Last month we wrote here about the businesses you’re going to find if you do an online search for “State 48 near me.” These are the wonderful retailers around the Valley who carry State Forty Eight products. And if you saw that post, or if you want to go back and read it now — g’head, it was May 3; we can wait — you learned that most of those retailers do other stuff besides ... sell our stuff. And a lot of it is interesting and cool and may not have anything to do with SFE.

We would never discourage you from doing business with our friends, so if you’re planning on getting out and doing some shopping anyway, pencil in a stop at one of those places. You’ll be glad you did, and tell them we said “hi.”
But this post you’re reading now is for you if you’re not going out shopping but you still want to get your hands on some SFE merch. And if the pandemic showed us all one thing, it’s that buying stuff without ever leaving home is easier than it used to be.

In fact, it’s easier than it ever was. We know a guy who bought a car online in only 20 minutes. It was so quick and easy he didn’t even tell his wife he was doing it. It ended well, but we wouldn’t recommend that. (He probably wouldn’t either. Now.)

Part of the reason he, and most of us, are more comfortable shopping online is because we’ve come to expect good customer support. Our car-buying friend was able to tell his wife, “Don’t worry, honey — we have two weeks to get every penny back!” Most businesses have really stepped up their game when it comes to keeping customers happy. Why? Because there’s lots of competition out there.

At SFE, whether you’re shopping at an in-person “State 48 Phoenix” or in “State 48 Cyberworld,” we always want you to be happy. In fact, making customers happy is a specialty of ours. It’s even one of the main reasons we exist. So we thought we’d spend a few minutes to tell you just how we do that.

What we won’t tell you, and what we will

The first thing we do to keep you happy, of course, is sell you really, really good stuff; stuff that we know you want because you searched for it and found your way here. We won’t spend a lot of time talking up the merchandise right now. The product pages on this site do a better job of that than a blog post will. And there are more pictures. So we won’t start with that.

Let’s start with service after the sale. Say you picked out a shirt, ordered it, and a few minutes later a friend calls and says, “Hey, let’s go to a D-backs game.” You’re up for that! Then you remember that the D-backs Team Shop at Chase Field is one of those “State 48 near me” locations, and you think you might stop in while you’re at the game and look around, except ... you just ordered that shirt.

Pffft! Just let us know. As long as your order status is still listed as “processing” and not “shipping,” we’ll cancel it for you. (And while it’s true we pride ourselves on fast order fulfillment — part of that keeping-customers-happy thing — it’s not instant. So your Diamondbacks-fan friend who always thinks of things at the last minute? We can probably work around that. Go on, go to the game.)

Everyone makes mistakes

What if you don’t buy anything at the D-backs shop, your order goes through, and when your new shirt arrives it turns out to be the wrong size?

Now, we know the only reason that might happen is because all that exercise you got during the pandemic really paid off, and you placed your postpandemic order with your prepandemic size in mind instead of your new physique (Hey, we believe in you), and when you try on your new SFE shirt you look like the Hulk in mid-greenifying.

Let us put this simply:

“If you are not 100% satisfied with your order we will refund or exchange within 30 days of ordering. Send returns to the address below with a note describing your intentions and a phone number to contact you.”

That’s it. That’s the policy. Simple and clear. That’s also the policy for damaged goods, like if something doesn’t arrive at your door looking the way it did when it left our loading dock. “100% satisfied” is “100% satisfied,” whether you’re shopping online or at one of those “State 48 Phoenix” retailers.

And that’s not just to keep you happy. It keeps us happy too. Because you know what we find ourselves saying to happy customers most often?
“Welcome back!”

And then there’s the unforeseen

And what if everything goes wrong? You don’t cancel your order before you go to the game. Your friend who, in addition to not planning ahead very well has always been annoyingly childish, picks a jalapeño slice off his nachos in the sixth inning and throws it at you, hitting you in the eye, and instead of finishing the game at Chase you end up in urgent care. So of course you forget about the new shirt you ordered, and when it arrives your kindly neighbor picks it up off your porch and holds it for you until you get out of chili-eye rehab … 31 days later.

It could happen.

If it does, let us know. We’ll work it out. There may be a small restocking fee, but we want you to be happy. 100% happy. And it’s not your fault you got a jalapeño in your eye.

Yeah, the pandemic changed a lot of things — an awful lot of them for the worse. But one good thing it did is make businesses appreciate their customers more. And hopefully, that won’t change back. Hopefully, you’ll be able to continue to expect good customer service when you shop online.

Not at State Forty Eight though. From us, you can expect great customer service. We’re going for 100% after all. And if we don’t hit 100 with you, tell us why we didn’t.