Post-Fulfilment Thoughts: March 2018 Batch
I just thought I’d share some of our experiences as we approach the tail end of fulfilment for the March 2018 batch. We started off this journey with the desire to provide quality, stylish leather tech organizers that were also highly functional. We set out to design and build the products and decided to launch on Kickstarter. We were humbled that we received your stamp of approval by raising 8x more than our original target. The final step was to actually get the products into your hands, and we were determined to start off on the right foot by executing timely deliveries for all our products. I’m happy to say that we have done so for most of our backers. However, we have also experienced a few missteps:
Customs Duties and Taxes
I think we were not clear on how and why your local customs duties/taxes were not covered on our end. The cost of local customs duties and taxes are only known upon receipt, and vary too widely from country to country. As such, according to our research on other online brands, it has been a standard to have customs duties and taxes covered separately by customers accordingly. I have since come to realise that not everyone was aware of this.
Please allow us to explain why we are unable to cover this cost. By providing free shipping worldwide, we have committed ourselves to covering the extensive cost of shipping the products internationally to anywhere in the world for all backers as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation of your support for our brand. If we absorb customs duties and taxes, the resulting total cost will make it very difficult for us to survive as a brand. We really do hope that you guys understand where we are coming from. Also, We have taken note of the possible ambiguity of this and will be sure to explicitly state this in our next Kickstarter campaign.
Delayed Fulfilment due to Water Damage
One of the containers in the last shipments experienced a leak and caused water damage to some of the products. Although some products only experienced very minimal damage, we wanted to make sure we were delivering luxury travel bags and padfolios - we would have fallen short of providing you with that “luxury experience” if we had gone ahead and sent you those products. Consequently, we had to send these products back to the factory and make new ones – resulting in delayed shipping to a handful of backers.
Weather Conditions Affecting US Shipments
Our US fulfilment centre in Salt Lake City, Utah experienced some delays in receiving the bulk shipment of products due to bad storms. However, the fulfilment centre should still be able to deliver to US and Canadian backers within the month of March.
Other than the above-mentioned ‘big’ issues, there were many smaller issues that came about during this period. Solving these problems has provided us with invaluable experience - We have gotten more comfortable with working with our new overseas fulfilment centres and gained a better understanding of what you guys want as backers. We are confident that things will proceed more smoothly from here on end.
As mentioned in the previous update post, it has been a crazy period for all of us and we are grateful that you guys have been patient with us throughout this journey. To the backers who were not entirely satisfied with us in any way, we do apologise and promise to do better. Do continue to send us feedback and comments, it will help us grow as a brand and serve you better.