(last edited on September 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm)
I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally bitten the bullet and have released the new Dave Seah Shop from its bonds. While you can still see my physical products on amazon.com, the new shop at shop.davidseah.com will ship outside the United States. So, if you are a long-suffering Canadian or European that has not been able to buy through the Amazon store, NOW YOU CAN!!!
Figuring out how to manage international shipping has proven a challenge to me; it’s taken me four years to finally get this working in a way that I think allows me to spend most of my time designing or writing. It easily was taking me around 45 minutes to ship a single package, once all packing and labeling and shipping and driving time was summed up. I still feel kind of dumb about taking four years to figure out something like shipping; if I’d had my shiny new attitude about zing I probably could have gotten something up much quicker, but that’s water under the bridge now…no sense in beating myself up over it!
The store currently is stocking only some Emergent Task Planner Mini Notebooks, but the plan is to put more physical products into the store when I do new production runs of them. Also, I am planning on putting the digital products here as well as on Gumroad so they are all in one place. A side benefit of using this store is that I’m now able to accept PayPal in addition to credit cards; I’ve been getting requests here and there for this, so I’m happy that I can finally accommodate those readers.
While I’ve tested the shipping myself by ordering a package, I haven’t had a chance to test the shipping to Canada, Europe, or Asia. To incentivize those brave souls who are willing to try ordering from outside the United States, I’ve created a discount code that is good for the first 25 orders until August 31. The code is DAREDEVIL. If you are living in the United States, buying from Amazon is still going to be the better option when buying at least $25 worth of stuff, qualifying the order for free shipping. My Amazon-fulfilled products also are eligible for Prime 2-day free shipping, so if you’ve got Prime you should get on that :-)
So that’s the big news for today! The entire system is built on Shopify and Shipwire, and your credit card data is being handled not by me, but by Shopify and PayPal’s secure servers. It’s pretty exciting and scary at the same time…what happens if someone wants to make a return? What happens when a package gets lost overseas? It was this fear that kept me from opening the store earlier, but I think that the way to handle it is committing to eating the potential losses, because I don’t expect them to happen that much. Rather than worry about it constantly, it’ll be better for me to just keep movin’ product and designing new stuff.
Congrats David! The shop looks nice and clean.
I thought Shipwire would be more competitive sending stuff to Europe (I’m based in Madrid).
Is this related with the units you send to their warehouses? (more units, better pricing?)
By the way, I didn’t know you could create this kind of shop with Gumroad. Always learning new things here :)
I try your shopping site, but international shipping prices are very high (about $20 for Turkey) so canceled my order. May be you should look for cheap standard shipping services.
Another issue is blurry and dusty pics in your shop. And, in many pics lines are broken (http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0244/2315/products/mini-etp-square-detail_medium.jpg?271). I think you should use more clear and fresh photos of printed material.
As a pen thinking man, potential market of digital scribing excites me always. It may create new potentials to integrate your framework and printed material with Livescribe pens;).
Really pleased to see you take this step. Even with the discount code, the shipping ends up being as much as the product. My wife might raise an eyebrow at that. Could you contemplate an eu-based fulfillment centre and then you could ship over to them much more cheaply?
Cesc: The shipping costs are related to the source warehouse. Currently, I’m using only one warehouse located in Pennsylvania, which is the closest one to Europe. Shipwire does have a warehouse in London, but I would still have to ship products to them. It’s hideously expensive, and not price-competitive. I just talked to someone today, though, about handling printing in the UK through his company so this looks very promising for getting costs lower in Europe.
Korkut: I understand your hesitation. The $20 is for the standard international shipping from the US Postal Service; the FedEX and UPS options were $80 to $100! There are no cheaper options available. The best thing I can do right now is create bundles that maximize the value you get for the expensive shipping. Or alternatively, I could hide the shipping cost in the cost of the product so it seems cheaper.
LiveScribe is an interesting idea…I have one of their pens purchased when someone I talked to was trying to get that working. I know there’s a way to print LiveScribe-compatible paper on certain color laser printers; unfortunately I don’t have access to one.
Simon: Thanks! And yes, it’s expensive! Even with an EU-based fulfillment center, I get killed on the shipping from the US. I might start having to look at sea freight, but then I would also have to register as a business (or find someone) in the EU, get an import license, handle customs, and probably ship much larger quantities. Until I figure out how to handle that pickle, I probably will start creating EU-friendly SKUs that pack multiple units into one package that ships for $20; at least the total shipping cost will be a smaller fraction. And like I mentioned above, I might be able to bundle the cost of shipping into the package price to make it SEEM like less. I think this is how other online stores must do it to make their prices competitive. It works better with higher-priced goods.
Thanks a lot for the answer Dave. I thought sending stuff to warehouses was cheaper. I guess you need to send a big number of units to get a low enough cost.
Cesc: I think I probably need to look at freight services instead of the normal consumer and office options (FedEx, UPS, DHL). It’s a whole different world of options.
Hi david I have placed an order to canada. that’s great I was disappointed when I found out I was not able to order from amazon ! let you know when I received, shipping is a bit expensive but with the daredevil code that was perfect !
Hey Benjamin! Thank you for giving the store a try! I’m glad that the code made it more affordable!
Do you know if I will receive a tracking number ?
Benjamin: When the item ships, you should get an email that tells you if there is one. For the USPS rate (which is the lowest), there is no tracking number, unfortunately. If there’s any problem, feel free to contact me. I’d guess it’ll take about 6-10 days to get there.
Dave, There is a tracking number
Dave juste received them, they are just great !
Thanks for the super-detailed posts on e-commerce. I’ve just completed a kickstarter project and I’m looking for long-term fulfillment options, with the same goals as you (fire and forget). I’m sure tons of people have the same experiences, but you are one of the only people to actually write about it in enough detail to make sense of the options. I’m considering the same path as you (FBA Amazon for domestic and visibility, and either BigCommerce-shipwire or Shopify-Shipwire for international). Too bad Amazon is so wishy-washy about international shipping. Did you consider Bigcommerce?
Ben: Glad to hear that you received them! Enjoy!
Andy: Congrats on your kickstarter! It looks pretty awesome…I love camera stuff :-) I did look at BigCommerce, but integration with Shipwire through the free third-party service Shipiro was not as satisfying. Basically, BigCommerce talks to Shipiro with the order, and then Shipiro talks to Shipwire. At the time Shipiro did not update status of BigCommerce (inventory, for example). I haven’t looked at it since picking Shopify.