I ordered a few 3D Doodle Pads a couple weeks ago. It's a cool drawing notepad that makes whatever you doodle jump out at you while wearing those red and blue 3D glasses. The product was created by famous Dreamworks Animation artist Donnachada Daly. He's worked on Shrek, Madagascar, Antz, Bee Movie, and more. Donnachada is competing in our Build-A-Business contest, and hoping to win the $100,000 grand prize. 


I ordered a few of Donnachada's 3D Doodle Pads to see what they're all about. I paid via PayPal and the order went through as expected. Then, a couple of days later I received an email from PayPal saying "Donnachada Daly just sent you a partial refund of $3.00US for your purchase." What the heck? 

Upon further inspection, I found a note saying "Hello Mark, I'm issuing you a refund of $3.00 because the shipping cost for The 3D Doodle Pads was less than originally quoted. Yay!" Wow, talk about exceeding expectations. 


First of all, I should note that Donnachada didn't know that I work at Shopify. Secondly, the original shipping charge wasn't out of the ordinary, in fact it was quite reasonable. Third, there's no way I would ever know it actually cost a little less to ship. It's normal for online merchants to charge a "shipping and handling" fee that also takes into account other costs associated with shipping, like labour and paying for packaging materials. Finally, the refund was for $3.00US. Sending a refund for three bucks is pretty extraordinary... it's clearly not the amount that matters, it's the gesture. I was so impressed that I sent Donnachada an email to say thanks and to ask what inspired him to send me a $3.00 refund. 

Why did you refund part of my shipping cost?

Initially, the package was quoted at a certain price range for a certain sized box. I felt like it was way to much. Instead of just sending the package off, I quickly ordered boxes for the specific size and amount of my product. It took an extra day, but it was still within my time allowed to get a package out. This time, the package cost less to send and I wanted to be sure that saving got passed on to the customer.

Was sending a partial refund using PayPal easy?

Actually, it was really easy. I just had to find out if PayPal did partial refunds first. They did, and a few clicks later, a partial refund was issued.

What's your customer service strategy?

As a small business, each package that goes out is personal to us. Someone spent their hard earned cash on our product. We want to give the customer the best service and attention, so the smaller things and the details for the order is what will make a lasting impression. If the customers are happy, then there is a better chance they will re-order and also tell their friends about it. As we grow, we want to continue that quality.