Hello there! Long time no blog post, lol! Guys, this week has just been nuts. We are moving operations to a commercial warehouse where we can bring on additional employees to help expedite your orders and get things moving in a timely manner. We are also working on getting a retail pop up location started and we are bringing some exciting changes to our website very soon! We are very, very excited to roll those out. Expect to see a new and improved site as early as next week.
I know there are some orders that were late shipping out this week. This transition has been more of an undertaking than I ever imagined, but these are good changes. I will still be pulling and inspecting all the orders myself, but we will have additional help getting the orders boxed up and sent out. My main focus will be procuring the best plants possible, answering your questions in a timely manner and preparing our uploads a little better. This will keep our operations moving smoother as we continue to grow.
So that said, I don't feel it's fair to do a listing when we still have some orders outstanding tonight. If we can finish up early tomorrow we might do a mini upload for you guys tomorrow afternoon.
Promotions: We know that Father's Day is just around the corner and some of you guys are regulars and want to see a sale -- we get that. So, this weekend we are offering Free Shipping on everything in our store. This includes soil, propagation trays (first time ever for free shipping on those), pots and water vessels. If you have an outstanding order that includes any of these items that you have paid shipping on we will be refunding your shipping charges before it ships out. Water vessels sold out of most sizes the very first week they were listed to our site. We have restocked and those are will be shipping out on Wednesday this week. If you wanted one of those now is the time to purchase one, they sell out very, very fast. The wooden propagation trays I make myself by hand every Sunday. It's just a little hobby that relaxes me and lets me get my hands dirty. I appreciate the orders on those trays as it gives me an excuse to take some 'me' time in the workshop.
We have also decided to run a special with our gift cards. Our local nursery does this and I always stock up when they do because it's a fun way to guarantee a sale whenever I get ready to shop. So, we wanted to do something similar for you guys as well since we are not having a standard upload tonight. Our gift cards are sent electronically and never expire and they are stackable with any other promotions we run. The promo is simple, you buy a gift card and it comes preloaded with 20% more value than what you paid; i.e. you buy a gift card for $100, you are sent a gift card for $120. We don't run this promo often and it's usually when we miss an upload. So, now is the time to refill those. This deal is valid through June 15th, 2018 at Midnight, EDT. The gift cards are sent automatically and usually come over within 4 hours of purchase to the email you provide at checkout. You can send these as a gift by specifying in the order notes what email you'd like the gift card sent to. Link to gift card promo can be seen here.
Announcements: We will not be having an upload next weekend. My family lives out of state and I will be spending some time with my dad and kayak fishing with my brother in The Gulf of Mexico next weekend. I don't take time for myself often, but feel time with family is important from time to time and I really want to visit my dad on Father's Day. We will have everything shipped before I leave with the exception of future presales placed next week. The only changes you'll see is the lack of an upload next Saturday.
Another couple of points I wanted to address, live uploads can be a lot of fun. It's easy to get caught up in the moment and order too much, but cancellations are incredibly hard on small businesses and mean a loss of revenue, especially with a business like mine. People pop on to see what is being listed live and they don't really check back after the upload closes out. So, cancellations deeply impact sales as these items are only listed on our site for a week at a time. Please only order what you are sure you want because if you cancel most of the time other customers do not know these plants have come back in stock and that plant no longer has a home to ship to. I have been pretty understanding about this in the past, but please understand that cancelling deeply impacts our business model. No hard feelings if you have requested a cancellation, we're happy to accommodate our customers, but it does make things extremely difficult and I wanted to address this point.
Presales are just that, they are presales. The plants have been ordered at the time of posting, but they ship from overseas and are subject to US Customs inspection. We quote a two to three week lead time and usually ship out the very next week, but there are times when the lead time will be longer and that's why we offer presales with free shipping. The weather is getting warmer and not all of the plants travel as well as we would like. I personally take a look at every plant before it is shipped and we do refunds on plants that aren't stellar quality. This time of year sometimes plants die in transit, it doesn't happen often, but it is a possibility and these plants are refunded when this happens. We always try to be very fair and ask that you always keep an open line of communication with us if you aren't happy with something, it's the only way presales can work.
Custom Requests: We will have a form on the new and improved website that will allow you to make those requests and we will be implementing a wish list feature. My email collects messages from customer service forms on the site, vendors and special requests. It gets absolutely flooded. If you have a special request it has probably been buried in that heap of communication. We would like to invite you to resubmit any requests you have to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work on those ASAP. You are still welcome to email me personally with any other question, comment or concern you may have, but I would like to start filtering requests to a dedicated email account. To reach me personally contact email@example.com
General Scheduling: We get a lot of emails about who we are and when we do uploads, et cetera. So, just as a brief reminder, we do an upload of rare, in-stock succulents almost every Saturday (I think we have missed three Saturdays since launching in January, all were due to holidays). This warehouse transition is a very rare exception to our business model. We are a small business and time with the family on holidays is absolutely vital, so we appreciate your understanding on holiday weekends. We do a presale every Monday at about 9:00 PM, EDT. The best way to be alerted to these live events is by texting SUCCS to 555-888. The next in-stock live upload will happen on June 23rd, 2018 and the next Make it Mine Monday will occur on June 11th (no upcoming disruptions to our presale schedule).
So, a brief recap:
- If you are expecting an order that didn't ship this week nothing is wrong. We're working extremely hard to get those orders out the door and do our warehouse transition. We do have some emails that need to go out regarding late shipments and I will do my best to touch base with everyone that has an outstanding order tomorrow.
- Maybe a smallish upload tomorrow, time permitting.
- Free shipping on retail products valid through Sunday, June 17th, 2018 at Midnight, EDT. No code needed.
- Gift card promo ends on Friday, June 15th at Midnight, EDT. No code needed for that, gift cards will be preloaded with 20% more value than purchase price. Maximum $500 per customer ($600 gift card will be sent). Link to gift promo here.
- No upload Father's Day weekend.
- New website coming soon, don't be alarmed if you type in the address and see a new look. Implementing new features and products and it's only getting better.
I want to take this opportunity to offer my sincerest thanks to all of our customers. This started out as a hobby and has quickly morphed into something that has introduced me to some of the most wonderful people ever. Maybe one day I will share how all of this got started, but I have rambled long enough for one post. I will say I put my heart and soul into this business, most days are 16-hour days and it's seven days a week to keep things running smoothly. I appreciate you guys allowing me to do what I love and I cannot thank you enough for the support you have shown me. So, thank you again, you guys make the long days worthwhile and I deeply appreciate it.