"Never complain, never explain" or ... True Stories from Back Stage
I've been deep in the trenches of year-end book-keeping and analyzing all the numbers with my accountant and advisors since we were snowed in in mid-December. NOT my favourite way to spend precious holidays, I can promise you! But these things have to be done - as an old mentor once told me, "You HAVE to know your business by the numbers" and being as we are a business, sometimes we have to make hard decisions.
As I am sure you're aware, we are all trying to cope with inflation and cost rises relating to oil and global issues beyond our control. Shipping is one of the aspects of our business that had been especially challenged by this (did we mention, we're NOT Amazon?). We've been shipping via courier or Canada Post for 25 years now, and have never seen rates like those we're dealing with now - fuel surcharges as well.
We have managed to maintain our policy of giving FREE shipping across this entire country when you order $100 worth of products, with extremely low shipping prices for orders under $100. In the vast majority of cases, we are either completely or partially subsidizing the shipping, even if you did make a 'contribution' towards it.
As an example - say you're in Ontario and you order $101 worth of product. Your shipping is free to you - it USED to cost me around $18 to send that box - but NOW it's costing me $35! That's a huge gap - it's basically a WHOLESALE discount and although that's one of the extreme cases, it's crossed the viable line, big time.
And so, with last year's numbers staring me in the face, we have to make some changes. We could double our product prices, (and in some cases that would be absolutely justified, given the rise in containers costs in particular); but we're trying VERY hard to not do that, and maintain our extremely reasonable prices for you, our loyal customers.
But having lost over $2,000 in shipping alone last year (yup, you're backstage now!), here are the changes I have been quietly talking about for some months now. It's not all bad news though, so please stick with me!
• We will continue to offer FREE SHIPPING - not only within Canada, but ALSO to the US and internationally! Your free shipping will kick in based on your purchase, and also depending on where you're located. If you don't reach your free point, you'll be offered standard shipping at a nominal rate. These prices referent to pre-tax purchases, by the way.
- BC - $15 standard, and $119.99 and up - FREE
- Prairies - $20 standard, $149.99 and up - FREE
- Rest of Canada - $30 standard, $149.99 and up - FREE
- USA + other international destinations - $30 standard, $149.99 and up - FREE
We're going to give this a shot for a few months and see where we land with it. I hope you can appreciate our situation, and continue to support us. Here are a few ideas that could make things easier though...
• Come to the studio! We're a mere 40 minutes from central Victoria and although we need a bit of notice, we'd love to see you! Take a busman's holiday and make a day of exploring lovely Cowichan whilst you're here!
• BUDDY UP! If you've got a friend or family member who is close to your place, and also is a Dragonfly Dreaming fan, maybe consider putting in an order together? Then have a nice reason for a visit when your joint order arrives, too!
• Our product shelf life is very stable and won't go 'off' in the short term - so doubling up on things you use regularly (or bumping up to the MEGA size) will help with our overall carbon footprint as well (bonus).
• We DO offer some products in mega sizes (and will be adding more over the next weeks) - feel free to contact us to ask if we can add your favourite necessity to the list. Again, that really helps with us being able to keep our costs down (did I mention container issues? still ongoing I'm afraid), as well as carbon footprint.
• If you need 'almost' enough to reach your FREE shipping, why not think about the next birthday gift (or such) you've got coming up, and add that to the list? Easy peasy shopping, you reach your goal and help us by spreading the word about Dragonfly Dreaming (with our thanks!).
• One final idea - how about giving yourself a few minutes to have a look through our catalogue? You might find things you had no idea we make, and which might be just the thing you need!
So, while I wish I were the Queen, sometimes one simply has to spill the tea! I really hope you can understand our dilemma and continue to support us - so we can continue to support YOU! Thank you, from our hearts!