In the last blog post, A Quick Founder’s Story – Part 1, I explained the story of Jack getting a stack of magazines instead of an iPad. If you do a quick internet search on this topic you will find countless articles detailing a similar story with different products and re-sellers. The reality in this story is – we simply do not know what happened to the iPad.
The most common scenario is simple fraud. It’s unfortunately common for an individual to purchase a product, take it home, keep the item and swap it out for some sort of weight, re-shrink wrap the box, and return the “sealed” box. They get their money and get to keep the stolen product. Alternatively, someone, somewhere in the supply chain may have done the swap. The problem is we simply do not know!
Regardless of how it happened, everyone else in this scenario gets screwed. First is the customer. They’re out the money and walk away without a product. Even when a store grants the refund, the customer is still left with a bad experience and hassle of dealing with the problem. This leads to the store being left in a tough spot. Re-sellers ultimately have a choice – refund the money (and take the loss) or refuse the refund and take a potentially greater brand-damage hit. Finally, the brand owner and the entire supply chain take a reputation hit. When a consumer goes to purchase a brand-name product, they trust they will get the real thing. Next time they decide to buy they may not trust the brand the next time around.
This story and problem led to the inspiration of the solution. I’ll explain that in A Quick Founder’s Story – Part 3.