Shopee made me pay for a parcel that was lost by J&T

I am a casual seller on Shopee and see about 1 to 5 orders per week.

A few weeks ago, one of my customers raised a Refund Request saying that he has yet to receive the item.

I checked and verified that I had shipped the correct item, to the correct address (can’t get this wrong because the shipment can only go to the address indicated by the buyer) and J&T had marked the item as successfully delivered.

I raised a dispute on the refund request, making reference to the obvious delivery status as “Delivered”. To my surprise, Shopee went ahead to refund the customer (at my expense) without even clarifying with me.

I raised another dispute via chat and email and was told that the refund was released before J&T even came back with the refund. Seriously? My profit for this order is only about $2-$3 but now, I am making a full loss on the item because the customer claimed that the item was “lost”.

Now, to be honest, I find this suspicious but I have no proof that the customer indeed received the parcel. However, this is between J&T and the customer. I’ve done my job.

Till now, Shopee has yet to rectify the issue. I have been penalised with the following:

  1. Full loss on the item delivered to the customer as Shopee refunded the customer at my expense even though it was delivered successfully
  2. 1 penalty point strike on my seller account because of this “non-fulfillment”

I’m not sure when will I get an answer to this but this is a warning to all would-be sellers on Shopee that customers and Shopee can pull stunts on you like this.

5-HTP – my personal recommendation for moodiness, anxiety, depression and general sleep difficulties

5-HTPIf you feel moody, anxious, depressed, stressed or have any combination of these, I would like to personally recommend you to take 5-HTP supplements.

5-HTP is an amino acid that is integral in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that causes happiness and positivity. Serotonin is produced by the body from tryptophan and 5-HTP is the immediate precursor to serotonin.

5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin and has been studied extensively for its role as a treatment in depression and weight loss. It also has an important role in sleep regulation, appetite control, immune function and cardiovascular health.

Truth be told, I don’t take this every single day. I use it specifically when I have had late nights and felt that I really need to sleep well tonight. Quite consistently, I get restful sleeps without my mind going wild about things I have to do the following day or reflecting on things that have happened. The supplements are not expensive and are pretty safe to consume.

You can get the same brand that I’m taking (Now Foods, 5-HTP, 100 mg) or get it from your own preferred supplement company.

Cloud Based Brownie Points System for the kids

It sparked from a conversation with Emma about how she and Ethan ought to receive a decent present from Santa this Christmas. I’ve had plenty of ideas in the past on how to track merits and demerits ranging from a whiteboard stuck to the fridge or bomb shelter door to a Google Assistant enabled method of populating a shared Google Sheet with awards and deductions. The Google Assistant method was close but there were limitations so I never got to complete that. Emma suggested the whiteboard method but I wasn’t keen to have an exposed whiteboard that is prone to “hacking” (modification) of scores when I’m out so I told her that I’d build something by the next day. I spent the entire night and the wife was very annoyed with me being still up at 5am while the kids rolled around restlessly without my presence in bed.

So let’s start with the requirements

  • Must be able to track points for 2 kids (Emma and Ethan)
  • Must be cloud-based so that multiple parents/guardians can have access to award/deduct points anytime, anywhere, with everything synchronised perfectly
  • Must be able to award / deduct points easily without fuss
  • Must have a real-time “dashboard” for the kids to check their scores at anytime from their iPads

After some considerations, I’ve chosen to build the web app in PHP, mySQL and javascript. Yes, yes, that’s a rather ancient stack but I’m not a fulltime developer and that was what I used to tinker with. I even had to deal with mysql_connect() being deprecated since PHP version > 5 – that shows how long it has been since I last touched this. Killed brain cells reading up on the newer PDO_MySQL extension and using jquery/ajax to make the experience more seamless.

For the admin portal (for parents to award/deduct points), I had to make sure that:

  • On document load, fetch Emma and Ethan’s current scores and populate them in the input form fields as shown in the screenshot
  • On any change to the fields, either via the -/+ buttons or editing the score directly in the input, the score in the input field will be sent to a separate PHP script along with the new score and for whom the score is meant for.
  • Check that mySQL returns an affected row count of >0 (technically it must be “1” for success modification of 1 record)
  • Every 3 seconds, Javascript will query the DB for the latest scores and update the input field element values (in case the other parent updated the score from another device). This is to reduce race condition though this implementation is really not full proof.
Howard's Cloud based brownie / star point merit system for kids
The admin portal. I’m obviously not a designer. Sorry!

For the kids’ dashboard,

  • Visually pleasing, fancy way of displaying the 2 scores
  • Javascript updates score every 2 seconds by calling the DB for the latest scores (Yes, yes, going to get judged for doing such polling but hey, it’s a private project and polling only happens if the dashboard is running).
Howard's Cloud Based Brownie / Stars merit points system for kids
Creating the background of the dashboard
Howard's Cloud Based Brownie / Stars merit points system for kids
What the kids will see

I also took pictures of the kids in order to use them for the dashboard. What a tiring day!

Sorry that I won’t be releasing the source codes as I deem myself as a sloppy, amateur coder. I, however, hope to inspire you guys out there to find creative ways to engage your kids!

Feel free to share your comments or feedback!