Friday, December 24, 2004

Shipping and/or handling.

If you check out our in-app store today, you'll notice that shipping suddenly got cheaper to everywhere. If you dig around, you'll also discover that we ship to more countries now, as well.

Mike didn't want to put out a press release on this because he fears over-exposure. I'm not really sure what that means -- I mean, it's not like we're Paris Hilton here. We're not even Nikki Hilton. Nor Susie Ramada. I don't think readers of Us magazine are going to get tired of reading about Delicious Library, since, uh, they've never read about us in the first place.

Anyways, since we don't have a press release, I'm announcing it here: we switched shipping companies, to our friends at (No, they aren't selling Olympias.) When we launched (a scant month-and-a-titch ago) we had the manufacturer of the barcode scanner drop-ship scanners to our customers, because we had no idea how many we'd ship and thus were worried about stocking a bunch in advance. Our plan didn't work out too well, it turned out, because they weren't prepared for the kind of volume we're doing (they assumed that since we weren't a Windows product we'd have almost no sales... heh), and their shipping department isn't really automated -- it's more intended for onesy-twosey kind of orders. (For instance, we couldn't get tracking numbers for the packages that got mailed off.)

Our new fulfillment company is actually the same guys I hired to do fulfillment for Omni, and they're really great. They also love Mac OS X and are very familiar with it, and they often write little utilities under Mac OS X to make their jobs easier. So, our computers and theirs should get along well.

The big upsides for customers are:

(a) These guys are in the shipping business, so instead of waiting several days for an order to be processed, it'll be processed in from 0 to 2 days. This is what we had hoped would happen with the previous company, but, they were really in the business of making scanners, and shipping was kind of a necessary evil.

(b) These guys are a lot cheaper. Their handling is lower and they use USPS instead of FedEx, which is way cheaper for the same kind of delivery times. We charge our customers exactly what they are charging us, so shipping rates just went down dramatically. (Especially outside the U.S.) (Sorry to all the customers who paid more already.)

(c) We deliver to many more countries now.

(d) Deliveries will happen a lot faster.

(e) Customers should get confirmations when their items have shipped.

So, all in all, this is good thing.