Posted November 11, 2015 in Ruth Jeffers Blog by Ruth Jeffers
The 12 Days of Christmas is always an exciting and fun time at Jeffers. Each year we try to order enough of each special to last at least 15 minutes. There are always lots of funny stories around this time. My three favorite stories are the following…
1. Jeffers: “Can you speak up a little? I can’t hardly hear you.” Customer: “I can’t, I’m in church but didn’t want to miss the sale on puppy crack.”
2. Customer: “This is Mary’s dentist, she handed her phone and credit card to me for when you answered. Her mouth is now numb, and she can’t talk, but I need to order this item for her.”
3. A teacher called in during her class.
There are always lots of fun stories. The 12 days of Christmas started after I received an email from American Express in December 2006, saying that at an exact time two customers would be able to buy a $50,000 car for $500. This got my attention, and I took my lunch during this time so I could be one of two people. By the time I clicked onto my computer, someone else who was not on a slow connection in South Alabama had already claimed the car, but I got to thinking…wouldn’t it be fun if there were enough products that everyone at their computer at the exact time could get an incredible price on an awesome product, so the 12 days of Christmas was born in December 2007. The first year for our equine catalog we brought in 300 of these beautiful giant stuffed horses I had absolutely fallen in love with. They sold out within minutes, but I never thought to make sure we had a box big enough for the stuffed horse to ship in. Within minutes our warehouse manager was asking me what to ship the horse in, and within a few more minutes we had ordered a special box. The only problem…the cost of shipping this beautiful giant stuffed horse in the big box was more than we had sold the horse for. Needless to say, we never sold a giant stuffed horse again for $25.
We also sold over 100 sets of Oster grooming kits that year and we couldn’t turn off the sale quick enough to not oversell. Luckily, Oster was kind enough to help us out with the customers that we had oversold to, even though they were out of pink, by getting the same kit in a different color. The 12 days went a lot smoother in pet that first year, puzzles and agility sets were a huge hit, and all sales made it at least 5 minutes.
We have definitely learned from our mistakes. The inventory now cuts off when the count is at zero. We try to order more than we think we will sell in 15 minutes. Last year we sold out of the Rambo horse blankets in less than 2 minutes, which created a lot of unhappy folks. It breaks my heart when someone thinks we are playing a game, so we immediately started selling some of our other top blankets at extremely reduced prices, even below cost to make sure folks got a special deal they had been waiting on for that morning’s sale. We also make sure we have boxes that fit the product in the warehouse.
Probably the best part of the 12 Days of Christmas is how excited the folks at Jeffers get. It is always so much fun picking out the products, sharing the products with the call center, and waiting for the phone to ring at the exact moment the sale starts. Everyone at Jeffers is on the phone ready to take an order. We are always looking for ideas, so if you have an idea, feel free to leave a comment or send an email. Merry Christmas! -Ruth Jeffers
Below are pictures of the cover of the Christmas catalog in 2007, and the first 12 days Christmas’s: