back to top

19 Things Online Store Owners Want You To Stop Doing Immediately

Set up an online shop, they said. It'll be fun, they said.

Posted on

1. Stop asking questions that are covered by the FAQs, the delivery info, or the returns policy.

Walt Disney Studios

All of the information is probably on the website in a really easy to find place.


4. And don't send us too many emails.

Comedy Central

Often the person making your order is also the person manning the website, the Facebook, the emails, and pretty much everything else.

5. Don't use something and then send it back for a refund.

No matter how careful you think you've been, we can tell if something has been worn or used and you just want to try and get some money back.

6. Don’t run to Twitter or Facebook if something goes wrong.

Running straight to social media to complain or leave a bad review can be hugely damaging to small business. We're all human and mistakes happen; email or call first and we'll probably bend over backwards to fix it.

7. Haggling shouldn’t be a habit.


Most business owners work out their prices so that they try to make at least minimum wage, but sometimes they struggle to even make that. If you must haggle, don't be offended if we say no.


8. Never say "The customer is always right!"

Nope. Saying this is a sure fire way to not get what you want. Just because you want it for half the price and for it to arrive yesterday, doesn’t mean it will happen.

9. Never send abuse to a seller.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

There's a real person behind the website trying to make the things we love, and you wouldn't walk into a high street store shouting abuse.

10. Don't expect miracles if you've left things until the last minute to order.


We beg you: Please don't wait until three days before Christmas to order something handmade and bespoke that will take days to make.

11. And remove this phrase from your brain:

said it before & I’ll say it again, if not receiving a gift in time will “ruin Christmas”, you really need to look at your relationships.

12. Stop asking for freebies; we run a business, not a charity.

Lionsgate Television

We understand times are hard and sometimes your budget just won't stretch to the thing that you really want, but small business owners need to live too.


14. Laziness isn't cool – don't steal our businesses ideas or contact us asking for our suppliers.

Universal Pictures

Successful business owners spend so much time finding the right suppliers, designing items, learning skills, and building up contacts. It's rude to email us asking "where do you buy X, Y, Z" from and it happens all the time.

15. Don't ask us to copy someone else's design: If you like it, buy it from them.


That other business spent a long time creating their product, trying to get someone else to make it for cheaper is shady.

16. Don't order something with the free standard postage then cry when it doesn't arrive the next day.

That next-day delivery option isn't expensive because we feel like it — that's how much it costs! Don't go for the free second-class option and then complain that it won't be there for the party two days later that you must have it by.

18. Don't forget to leave a review.

Walt Disney Studios

Reviews really help sellers, and if we've gone out of our way to help you or make something special, it's lovely to receive a nice testimonial email or review.

19. Never think it's easier than an office job or that sellers are sat at home twiddling their thumbs waiting for your order.

Supplies, as far as the eye can see. Weird working hours. Emails in the middle of the night. Working weekends. No separation of work and home life. Tax returns.

But despite all this, working for yourself is pretty cool.


There's nothing quite like that feeling when you receive a good review or an email from a happy customer, and not having to answer to a grumpy boss on a Monday morning.

Note: This post is based on several people’s personal experiences. Thanks to all who contributed!


Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!