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A note on shipping and potential item price changes on our website

A note on shipping and potential item price changes on our website

Well everyone, 2021 is over! We're very happy to be able to leave most of this year in the past, but sadly some very stupid things are coming with us into 2022. One of those things is the ongoing logistics situation, which is resulting in all carriers raising their prices across the board.

We always strive to strike a balance between our flat-rate shipping policies, our free regional shipping promotions, and our lower rates for local customers who are still waiting for us to open our showroom. However, our rates have remained the same since before anyone even knew "Covid-19" would ever be a thing, and sadly we're unable to keep them at that level any longer due to yet another wave of incoming carrier price hikes. We tried to fight it as long as possible, but unfortunately it's no longer sustainable.

Overall the changes we've implemented now are as minor as we could have made them. The regional $5 shipping promotion for NY/PA/NJ/CT is now $8, and we've also broken down the shipping options for all locations to include a variety of choices for insurance coverage. Previously insurance was not able to be chosen for orders under $100, but we have updated the thresholds to be tiered by increments of $50 so that coverage is always an option if you should choose. Although carriers have been unreliable at best this year, the supplementary insurance providers we use typically do a good job solving issues, even if they require patience in waiting for the process to resolve.

Additionally, you may notice variations in item prices when we receive stock from different sources. Due to the extreme difficulty of obtaining stock in any significant capacity, we have been expanding our network of suppliers even further than before. We expect to begin receiving items more consistently from these sources once the holiday rush at the ports begins to dissolve, but you may notice some variety in prices depending on where the items come from. (As an example, we used to be able to obtain a full ocean freight container for approximately $3,000 shipped. Now that cost is roughly $20,000 for the same amount of products, which for a 3,000 piece shipment would result in an extra $6 cost per unit. For some items, that negates the entire cost margin and can even result in selling at a loss.

As much as we would love to keep our prices and shipping rates flat where we set them at the end of 2018, that practice would either put us out of business within the first 6 months of the new year or force us to cut our staff to two 168-hour per week workers, both of which are scenarios we would love to avoid. As always, we can't thank you enough for continuing to choose to shop with us through the extremely tumultuous times we all continue to endure. We all hope that we've been able to bring you some peace and joy in this great hobby that we all enjoy so much, and we are very excited to continue doing so into 2022 and beyond.

Take care and have a happy new year break!

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