A quick update on services and availability.
From Friday midnight we are stopping sales to the US and Canada while we look at a production partner. If one can be successfully arranged then no problem, if though we are unable to finalise a deal then we will have to reduce/remove sales to the US and Canada for the time being, absolutely love our American and Canadian customers but currently demand is so high we simply don’t have enough hours in the day and I’m not personally prepared to allow delivery times to increase any further when we are working so hard to reduce them. It should all work out fine as we have a few parties interested though so don’t worry 🙂
Orders placed before Friday night midnight will not be affected in any way.
On boxes, The two smaller Dicemasters boxes are going, it’s a fantastic game but demand isn’t really sufficient to warrant keeping making the smaller versions so as of Friday these will be removed from the shop. Orders for them before Friday will not of course be affected in any way.
I was chatting to Mike P online earlier and we were talking about transparency and Mike mentioned how important it is (hence the reason for this post) so let me see if I can explain the rationale behind the above.
If we take the Dicemasters boxes, typically a new design without the engraving work takes about 3 hours to do, add on the engraving (that can take from 1 hour to 20 or so hours to design in laser ready format) so we have roughly a total time of say 10 hours on a design like DM models each.
The material is pretty much stock and we have quite a few tonnes of it here so that’s not a problem but what we do have is limited storage space for storing packed and ready items (about 1,800 square feet). It sounds like a lot being the size of a typical average house but once you start putting 1,000 antique models in there, plus custom boxes as well as the standard items that 1,800 SqFt gets used up pretty quick. Throw in some of the vaults as well as prototypes and other work we do and very quickly we can run out of space to put everything.
That’s fine if the stuff is quick turn around like the antiques and Arkham LGC for example, as the store empties at about the same speed we fill it up but if we start banging out boxes that can sit for weeks without being ordered it can very quickly cause problems. The cost of making them and having them stored isn’t really a problem but the longer they sit there unused the quicker it can become a problem with that space when new designs are made available. Take the GOT model that went in the shop tonight earlier, 25 of those got made and packed literally just waiting labels at the weekend and are sat in the store (well 15 now as 10 are already purchased) but that is 25 boxes worth of space that is taken up. It all soon adds up if we keep adding items that don’t sell particularly well.
This leads on to a second problem, if that space is used with items that don’t sell well then it is space we can’t use to add new items in a ready packed state so that can increase lead times if we offer the new items before they are fully ready. Like being caught between a rock and a diamond really. Chuck in the fact that we already may have several hundred or thousand $$$$’s in a new item and it’s just dead costs that take away from other projects that may end up being decent selling items. Dead cost increases overall costs, if overall costs go up then eventually no matter what we do retail and trade prices will also increase and that’s not going to help us or you.
So this is the reasoning behind removing slow or low selling items even though a few customers may actually love them, they may look nice but if they don’t pay for their own storage space then eventually something has to give.
Hopefully that will explain it a bit better as to why we may suddenly drop items from the range or will update or change an item without a lot of warning.
Oh and Mike? I haven’t done the Cat pictures yet 🙂
ps: More on the US supplies later tonight when the software is finished updating.