It has so far been impossible for me to keep up with demand since opening my site, I am making every blade myself from scratch, and the batches I put up tend to sell out within a couple of a days. As I often say on the phone, I can make them quicker but the quality would drop and that is not what I am about. The wait list on the site is the best bet to catch a blade when it is in stock, the site will automatically email you when I have listed new stock, but they are not reserved so it is better to act quickly.
This system works reasonably well, it is certainly better than relying on me to remember and email the 200 odd people that are on various lists. However it doesn’t cope well with orders of different blades and recently customers have had to order multiple times to get the tools they are after. Currently though this is the best system I can offer as it can take me a long time to cycle through all the out of stock items and a mixed order might take months not weeks to fill. Also the wait list gives me an idea of demand so I can concentrate on the items with the most customers waiting.
I do try and keep my postage rates as low as possible in light of the fact that people end up making multiple orders. Currently this is £4.00 flat rate in the UK and £7.50 for EUR/ N America / AUZ / NZ. Other Destinations available if you email me. It is not uncommon for me to spend more on P&P than I charge, but on balance it seems about right.
I have never factored in any charge for the time taken to actually pack the item as my view is that whatever you make you have to sell, and this takes time. Going to a show, taking an order down the phone or someone coming to the workshop to pick an item up all take way longer than packing an order that has been managed and processed by the website, with a good mix of new packaging boxes and recycled wrapping – the workshop next door makes fleece sleepsuits in an astounding variety of patterns and I have access to all their offcuts- it is actually very quick to pack an item now.
There is one way I could cut prices a bit further and that is to use a franking machine, however as many people that have been on courses at my workshop have found out the local post office and shop is a real gem. The owner Lil has cut down on the items she sells, but the basics are covered and it is the focal point of the village and I am proud to support it. On rare occasions that she has sold out of milk she sends me back to the workshop with a jam jar toped up from her fridge. If I went down the franking machine route, as a few local businesses have, the post box would still get filled but the income going through the post office would drop making closure more likely. Plus I often spend the entire day locked in my workshop, the few minutes walk up to the post office and chat at the counter is a welcome break I look forward to.