It's finally Autumn! I'm fairly busy in the shop, working time is about a week prior to ship.
It's finally Autumn! I'm fairly busy in the shop, working time is about a week prior to ship.
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Christmas update! Lots of shipping!

This was the first holiday season for Modern Ethic.

Leading up to the season I was still processing orders on a regular basis and prototyping new ones, so building inventory for the holidays was not easy. I made as many as I could and I had no idea what type of demand I would see.
Black Friday came and I received no orders that day. The day after I had one order, for two items, which was good.
Then the first two weeks of December. Lots of orders, almost daily. I was selling multiple items, which from a shipping perspective was really helpful. When I sell one item, it costs say $15 to ship it to New York. When the same buyer purchases multiple items I can usually ship them in a box that is similar but larger. This costs maybe $22. Since my shipping costs are included in the purchase price this means greater net profitability when a customer makes a larger order. I know this makes sense to everyone. I just was able to see it more acutely this season for myself.

Learned some little stuff about shipping. When you're dropping off at UPS or the post office you can skip the line and just leave the package on the counter. They'll process it when they have time. This is if you've already prepaid using shipping software like I do of course. This is handy if there's a long line. This year one day I arrived to see a massive line filled with folks shipping packages. Luckily I just dropped off and didn't have to wait.
I've also become better and packaging. I used to ship in exactly the size box in order to reduce the shipping cost. I had a couple damaged items and learned that if I ship in a box that's 1" larger in about every dimension it will cost about the same and leave me room to pack a bunch or paper around to cushion it. I watched a clerk toss one of my packages into a bin and realized how rough the handling can be and decided to me more proactive. Now when I finish packing I give the box a shake. There should be no movement whatsoever.

Next Christmas: I'll make a concerted effort in September to build inventory up. This is a one-man gig and knowing that I'll be busy in December only shipping packages will help motivate me to build ahead of time. I'll do something extra special for shipping packaging. This year I was just trying to stay ahead and not screw anything up. Next time I want to step it up a little and more it special.

What's next for 2020?
  1. have a redesign of my Chev Modern Nightstand that I'm ready to cut out. I made some significant changes with the idea that I'm not going to ship this one as flat pack. This means it can be a little nicer without some of the concessions that I had to make in order to have it flat-packed.
  2. Build up an inventory of Vinyl Record crates. This holiday season sold me out completely! I'm glad to hear people love the product and I want to build up more inventory so I can do a better job of selling more. This means better descriptions, better photos etc.
  3. Put out more cool stuff. I have an end-table that I want to build. I have a bar-stool I'd like to design. I have a double cabinet that I want to do as well. Finally I have another transport crate that I want to cut. We'll see. It's all on a time-available basis. Oh yeah and more Vinyl record designs, I think triangles should be featured on one.

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