Merlin's Pin Pickup Process Survey 2017!

Discussion in 'Anything Goes' started by MerlinEmrys, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    Please read/skim this before taking the survey!! It means a lot to me!!

    Hey guys! So I’ve been doing pickups at WDW for about two years now and while there have been some bumps along the road (FILM BOXES….), I’ve had an absolute blast. However, it occurred to me that you guys may not be enjoying it as much as I am! So I wanted to do this survey to get some feedback about how the process is going, find out your preferences, and hopefully find ways to improve the surface!

    Please be aware, this survey is specific to just the WDW pickups! My questions and your responses do should not reflect anything about the DLR or DSF pickups. So please keep that in mind.

    Also, in an effort for you to go into the survey knowing your options and knowing what some choices may reflect, here’s a rundown of the questions and some additional commentary from me to hopefully help explain those choices.

    Please don’t post your responses, this is just to explain the questions. You’ll answer them in the survey link below.

    1) Which method do you prefer to receive your Invoice?

    a. Paypal (this means that I’ll send you an invoice directly to your paypal account. No forum conversation required. However, this will mean that you will be required to pay as Goods/Services, which includes the paypal fee)
    b. Forum DM (this is the way invoices are currently conducted)

    2) How much detail do you want in your invoice?

    a. Itemized – full breakdown of price/costs (this is how invoices are currently conducted—but they’re quite time consuming, so if you don’t want that or use it, then by all means pick something else. :) )
    b. List only with Grand Total (I’ll send you a list of the pins you’ve ordered along with a grand total)
    c. Grand Total only – (just the money, ma’am)

    3) What do you think about the thread layout? (This is referring to the monthly pickup thread. Please be honest—you won’t hurt my feelings!)

    a. It’s too busy / There’s too much information
    b. It’s just right!
    c. There’s not enough detail

    4) When prices are unknown, how would you like me to estimate the price? (Since Disney doesn’t announce the prices ahead of time any more, there are some cases where I have to guess what the price may be. I do this to the best of my abilities based on past releases, but I don’t always get it right. So here’s your chance to tell me which way to err. Of course, pin of the month pins are set, so this is just referring to random/stand alone pins)

    a. Over estimate – I’d rather receive a refund later
    b. Under estimate – I’d rather have to send the balance later

    5) How would you like to indicate when to ship your order? -- Does not apply to international orders? (This is probably the most confusing part for me as it’s quite hard to keep up with who wants me to ship when. So maybe this will help some.)

    a. Place a star (*) on the last pin for the month’s order / pound (#) for holding to the end of the month (this will be indicated on the thread itself)
    b. Select/indicate a shipping date in a Paypal invoice
    c. Default all orders to ship at the end of the month
    d. I’m international, so this doesn’t affect me <3

    6) For international orders, how do would you like shipping costs to be calculated? (this is always a point of concern for my folks across the pond/boarders, so I do want your honest opinion. But be aware that each one comes with clear benefits / risks)

    a. Shipping calculated through Paypal – often much cheaper for just a few pins, but requires some fudging of the rules (I have to list it as large envelope instead of a parcel, which is technically wrong) and could potentially result in packages being held or returned
    b. Ship through USPS – often (much) more expensive for just a few pins, but is verified by a postal worker so it very rarely gets held or returned
    c. I’m domestic, so this doesn’t affect me! <3

    7) Is there anything about the pin pickup process that you would like to see changed? (PLEASE be honest!) If so, how?

    8) Do you have any questions about how the pin pickup process works or is conducted behind the scenes? Please be as specific as possible. (this is really important to me as I strive for complete transparency, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question!) You will remain completely anonymous, but all questions will be answered on the Survey Thread (here on the second post)

    9) Overall, how satisfied are you with your pickup experience? (so this has 7 categories, ranked from 1 star (awful) to 5 stars (the best!). Please be honest. It’s all anonymous!)

    a. Thread layout (do you like how it’s set up?)
    b. Promptness of Thread updates (do I take too long to update sometimes?)
    c. DM/Private Communications (do I answer your questions?)
    d. Invoice Process (do you like how the invoice is set up/delivered/explained?)
    e. Shipping Process (is there something you’d change, such as speed or labeling?)
    f. Packing (how the pins are packed in the packing package)
    g. Condition of the pins / errors, scratches, etc (this is about Disney’s QC and my ability to pick out good pins for you)

    10) Finally, what is your favorite pin you’ve had picked up this year? (I thought this would be fun to know! :D)

    Okay, so that’s it! It’s just 10 question, but I really deeply want you to take it seriously and please please help me make this as good as possible! You will NOT hurt my feelings and I will NOT know who put in what answers. I will have absolutely no clue, so please be honest. :)

    The survey will be open from now until December 15th. Then I’ll consider the response and make some changes accordingly before the new year.

    To take the survey, please click the link below:

    Merlin's Pin Pickup Process Survey

    Thank you again for taking the time to go through the survey and give me honest opinions. I really appreciate and I hope 2018 will be an even better pickup experience! :D

    CCofRR13 likes this.
  2. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    On DPFer asked:
    "Just for fun, I'd like to see how you organize the pins after large pickups before shipping."

    Dang, I should have taken a picture while I was organizing the November shipment! hahah! Well, the way my office is set up, I have a large brown desk with a hutch, then a long bookshelf on another wall. I arrange everyone's pins into little piles for each person. So if you were to walk in before I started packing pins, you'd see about 30 piles of things scattered around the room, organized by package size (so all the small envelope packages are on the hutch, mediums on the bookshelf, and large ones on top of the books on the shelves). Pretty much picture an episode of hoarders and you wouldn't be far on--except on top of each pile you'd see a little post-it note flapping in the wind like a flag XD

    Another DPFer asked:
    "Is there anything you want to see changed from those of us making the requests?"

    Well, now that you've mentioned it. ;P Putting your requests in the order they appear on the thread is SUPER helpful to me and cuts down on the chance that I miss something. :) Also, being specific as to which pin you want--so say "I'd like the Mickey and Minnie Christmas Day pin!" rather than "I'd like the Mickey one!" Because that sometimes leads to confusion, hahah!

    Another DPFer asked:
    "Is there a way to find out which OE pins or LR pins are available to make pickup requests on that may not be listed in the monthly flyers?"

    There is! You can download the Shop Parks app on your phone or tablet and search for "pin" and it will show you all the pins available to purchase in WDW! You can skim that down by adding characters to the search terms. If you can't find something you're expecting, try a few different search terms because I've found they don't label some pins very well... Also, sometimes it takes a while for new pins to be added, so keep that in mind as well. :)

    Another DPFer asked:
    "How often are you there a month?"

    I'm there at minimum once a week, so at least four times. I usually end up there at least one other time on the weekend (usually more for myself than for pickups), so I'd say on average five times a month. :)

    Another DPFer asked:
    "How many pin angels help you with pick-ups? And do the post office workers roll their eyes when you walk in the door?"

    Generally speaking, I do the pickups solo. For really big releases or events I enlist the aide of my boyfriend on a follow-up trip (such as for the Film Mystery release or the Aladdin and LiaA events). I've also had some guest stars over the year as well! Haunted575, AidanShephard, Addicted to Alice Pins, lovepink. But on any given release, I'm usually there by myself. :)

    Another DPFer asked:
    "What's the difference between Pickups and Backups?"

    This is a good question! So the rule for buying LE pins at the parks is that it's limited two per person (per store). so for any given pin, I can pretty much guarantee that I can get at least two of them (so pickups). Anything after that involves a bit of luck and dashing around to other stores to get the rest of them--hence they are "backups". But, as we saw with the Snow White Jumbo pin, by the time I made it to the second store, they were sold out. Now, that's the only time that's happened in two years. So for the most part, "backup" just means that you're not guaranteed the pin until I actually get it from that second (or third, fourth, fifth, sixth.....) store. Also, on a purely mental level, having each list start off with a set of two, it helps me eyeball how many "trips" it'll take to finish the pickup since the list starts off as broken into pairs.

    Another DPFer asked:
    "If I order a pin from you, but you’re unsure if you will be able to secure it, do I still pay you ahead of time? If so, I’m assuming a refund or different pin will be given, depending on my choice. Is that correct information?"

    Yes, that is correct. :) Generally speaking, I prefer to have payment for the pin before I actually pick up the pin. This typically cuts down on people "jumping ship" after I've already grabbed the pin (thus leaving me with unclaimed pins, unpaid money on my credit card, and the arduous task of either finding a new buyer or having to return the pin--which is so so so involved at Disney....) And too it provides a certain level of accountability on the customer's side and assurance on my side that everything will go smoothly. It's only on the rare occasion that I don't think I'll be able to complete a pickup (unless the request is late). Even if the list is long, for most of the pins at WDW (with the exception of that Snow White Jumbo), the edition sizes are big enough that I don't have to worry much with an immediate sell-out. Now, if for some reason I am unable to make that pickup happen, then yes you will most definitely get a full refund of all fees and retail associated with that pin. You can also request a different pin and, if the price is different, we can do a follow-up invoice or partial refund. There have been times where I've put people on an "Unlikely" list, or held off on collecting payment until I have the pins in hand (for instance, the "I Was There" Epcot pin). But generally speaking, you'll pay up front and you'll get the pin or a refund if the masses beat me to it. :)
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  3. fuzzybunny

    fuzzybunny DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    survey done thanks again for doing this as I cannot get to the parks to get the pins
  4. Ajk

    Ajk Not so new anymore.

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    Glad to answer your survey and provide feedback, but there are certain items I try illy have no preference on, such as numbers 1 and 4. How do you want to handle those? Should I skip them (presuming they are not required, I haven't looked at the actual survey yet) or would you prefer to add a "no preference" option to your survey?
  5. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    I think you have the option to skip them, so that's probably the best way to do it. :)

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  6. theoucharis

    theoucharis Active Member

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    Thanks for what you do for DPFers.

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  7. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    Thank you all so much for the kind words and for completing the survey! We've got 13 submissions so far and two questions, which will go up shortly! :D
  8. Counselor

    Counselor Active Member

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    i will complete your survey so you have the empirical data you want but here is the most genuine answer to all questions.

    the most kind, impeccable, fair, fast, funny, gregarious and beautiful human i have had the pleasure of doing business with. if you want the best in all areas ... get your name on merlins list. the best!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ajk likes this.
  9. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    Wee bump! :3 I've added some more FAQs to the second post!
  10. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    One last push for this. :) I'll leave it up through the weekend. :)

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  11. Counselor

    Counselor Active Member

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    You are the best! Thanks for the huge assist with releases!!

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    sbmpins likes this.
  12. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    Added a few more Listener Questions to the early posts! :D
  13. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    Last day for surveys! :D I'll post the results tomorrow morning. :) Thank you all so much for completing it! :D

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