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Going postal (split from SolarButter)

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naturalnails

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geeg said:
It has always been our philosophy that our smaller customers ARE our MOST important customers and we try to partner with them to grow their businesses because they ARE our future. One reason you will never see minimum orders required by Designer Nails .. If you only need 1 nail enamel then that is what you'll get.
If this is the case can we not have more realistic postage charges - this was discussed recently on another board - if say I had a customer who wanted a particular colour of varnish - I would be hammered with something like £4.50 and the rest for something that could probably be sent for 27p.
 

The Geek

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That does seem a lot.

There are a couple of problems with postage.
Things like enamels send the postal guys...um... postal. Mainly because its breakable... they want us to send it via a courier. Couriers have a set fee for sending items (hence the silly charge).

The rule we have to follow is: If its flammable or the Post Office wont ship... we have to send via courier. A good large portion of our goods are flammable and must (by law) be sent through the courier.

Lame huh?
 

Aligirl

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yup Sam - lame is dead right! As Fiona said, this very subject was discussed recently on another board and some of us are very, very irritated about it. I mean, what on earth is the point of being able to buy one bottle of varnish if the postal regulations mean it has to be sent via courier and therefore incur silly shipping charge - in some cases a shipping charge which is greater than the cost of the product itself!

Ah well. It just means that the local wholesaler gets a slice of custom that would've otherwise gone to our regular suppliers!
 

The Geek

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If thats the case... I guess so...

Otherwise we would make a serious loss every single time we made that single enamel sell (in other words, we would pay you to make money selling a bottle of enamel) :? .

How often do people order a single enamel anyway? Why not stock the goods instead of wandering off to a wholesaler that your own customer could go buy from anyway?

Look... I understand the frustration, but I don't see a great deal that can be done about the situation... someone has to pay for the shipping of the goods.

I would love to hear some ideas on ways this can be improved or eliminated... anyone got any?
 

naturalnails

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If you feel that the small people of today are the future of tomorrow (metaphorically speaking) then why is it that if in most companies cases if you order over a certain amount then you dont pay postage at all.

As you also point out some companies make you have a minimum order say £50 which cuts out the small people all together - each time I may need to order a couple of varnishes say to top up my stock I cannot always afford to spend minimum orders. - I digress as I know you dont have minumum orders.

It does seem that if larger customers place an order they will pay a maximum of £6.50 acording to the T&C. It also says that all orders below 1kg will be sent normal first class post - I appreciate that flammable items need to go by courier but I feel that those that can afford postage charges should have to pay more of a fair share - If I ordered £300 worth of goods I would only pay £6.50 p+p - my last order came to £31.70 and I was also charged £6.50 p+p.

This is why a lot of "little" people choose to shop in the wholesalers or buy from suppliers who will charge more realistic postage charges.
 

geeg

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I think the cost of postage - and we all hate to pay it - should be weighed against the cost of taking time out of your 'earning' day to get in the car and pay for the petrol to go to the wholesale outlet.

My time used to be worth at least £35 per hour and it never took less than an hour to go to the store so paying postage was in fact a cheaper option. Also I wanted the best and I couldn't get it at the store.

Another thing you need to consider is the scale on which we post as primarily a mail order company. Average 150-200 parcels per day - we couldn't absorb the cost of all those parcels. And there are the wages of 6 warehouse collegues who do the picking and the packing. Compared to some, I think our charges are not unreasonable. As a company we abide by the law and never ship flammable goods by ordinary post. Many other companies ignor the law on this issue and ship by ordinary mail which is, I emphasise, illegal.

We understand your point of view believe me and that is precisely why we put our 'points' scheme in place to help to allieviate postal charges. The points sheme basicaly equals a 5% saving on products you buy .. with no minimum! This does add up and can be put towards postage. So on your order of £31.50, you saved £1.55 on the cost of the postage. You have to think of these things. Bet you never thought of that :)

The easiest way for you to loose out is when you forget something from your order and order just one thing OR when you order more often than you need to. Try to ammalgamate and order all at once and think towards the future and what you will need. This will save you money too.

I hope this has helped you to see the point of view of 'the other guy' --- even if you still don't like it!! ;)

At every planning meeting, we look at this postal thing and can assure you that when it is possible or there is a better way for all, we will put it into place.
 

The Geek

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naturalnails said:
then why is it that if in most companies cases if you order over a certain amount then you dont pay postage at all.
Technically... as Geeg pointed out... we explored 2 options at one of our annual planning retreats a few years ago:

1- Offer free postage above a certain amount (i.e. £110)

This is big bonus for people who consistently order that amount or higher.

But what about those that don't? There won’t be any type of reward for them. Not to mention the fact of... How do you reward those that have really big orders? The same as those that make the £110 mark?

You could do that... it equates to more savings for the company.

The other option is the one we flew with:

2- Offer a points system worth roughly 5%.

That means that no matter what you spend, you automatically accumulate 5% of your net as points that can be redeemed whenever.

That means if you are hitting that 'Free postage mark' of £110... you essentially get your postage... but in points.

This way... if you spend £1000... you get a bigger reward... instead of £6.50 off your order (i.e. no postage)... you get £20 off future purchases.

If you spend £109... you wouldn’t of hit the 'free postage' mark... but at least you would still get back 5% of the order.

As I said before... It would save the company much more not doing points... and instead offering free postage... but we feel the path we took works to the benefit of our customer regardless of the size of their order.

I appreciate that flammable items need to go by courier but I feel that those that can afford postage charges should have to pay more of a fair share - If I ordered £300 worth of goods I would only pay £6.50 p+p - my last order came to £31.70 and I was also charged £6.50 p+p.
I see where you are coming from... the only problem with that is that the postage charges are set by the courier. The charge x amount per consignment no matter how large or small it is. It’s not fair to expect people with large orders to pay more to subsidise small order postage.
If you had a salon where you consistently ordered £300 every order and your postage suddenly jumped from £6.50 to £10... that will add up quickly and more than likely anger you.

I wish there was an alternative to the postage situation... I guess I look at it as a kind of 'VAT' tax.

Keep the ideas coming though... Maybe there is another way :)

This is why a lot of "little" people choose to shop in the wholesalers or buy from suppliers who will charge more realistic postage charges.
Who has more 'realistic' postage charges for flammable goods?
If it’s being sent via first class post... its not 'realistic'... its 'illegal'.

Hope this helps explain the situation.
 

Peppercorn Nails

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ehem!!!

What's all this about a 'Points System'? Seeing that I have spent about 5/600 pounds (maybe more :shock: ) with you over the past 18months I think somebody ought to have told me!!

I do shop at the Loughton branch so do they not operate the same system? If this is so and it only occurs at Leeds, then I'm afraid Loughton will be losing a customer.

Adele
 

The Geek

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Im sure they use the point system (though they may not activate it unless you ask)... Ask them about it... they use the same computer system as us.

You may already have £15 in points awaiting :)
 

groovynails

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i havent heard of this points thing either :?: if you go to a one stop nail shop do you get points as well.if so are the points backdated.
 

The Geek

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Each OSNS keeps track of each persons points.
You must be activated to receive points. Check with your OSNS that you are.
All of customers in Leeds are automatically set up to accumulate points whenever a new account is opened.
If you mail order from Leeds... you get points for the order... you can only use those points when you mail order from Leeds.

Hope this clears things up a bit :)
 

crazy'n'creative

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hi

i didn't know about the points either until i rang up to order once and they told me they could take £10 off my order i was well chuffed and think it is a brill idea

:thumbsup:
 

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Going to the wholesaler doesn't take time out of the earning day Geeg, as they're open until late. The managers of the branch I use ask to see customers id cards too Sam, specifically to discourage the general public from shopping there - although I'm aware that's not the case with lots of wholesalers.

Like some of the others I didn't know about the points system either, and I do think that's a worthwhile idea. It doesn't solve the issue of postal charges for very small businesses of course, but since there are legal restricitons on method of delivery for flammable goods, I don't really see how it can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction unless suppliers had their own dedicated delivery service and smaller customers were willing to wait for their delivery until a vehicle was in their area. That doesn't seem feasible either. Stalemate I guess!
 

geeg

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Maybe not for you Aligirl, but going to the wholesale store certainly took time out of my working day as they were not open late near my salon and it was also 20 miles from my home. There is no way I would want to spend my precious down time away from my family at the store either.
Much more convenient to phone or email an order through and have it sent direct.

I think everyone accepts that there will be some charge for post and I do think the points system brings it down to a more reasonable level and it works for everyone which is more fair.
 

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someone said sending flammables in the mail is illegal, then there's plenty of companies breaking the law in that case.
Anyway. Its nonsense really. I mean, if nail varnish and the rest is such a hazard to the post office then its the same hazard to the man driving the courier van. Jeez..........like as if a bottle of varnish is going to start a fire in the sorting office..........bet its never happened yet and likely never would. im not having a go at your company so dont jump down my throat (your just abiding by the law). I reckon the law aint too realistic thats all.
 

The Geek

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But its more of the way packages are handled.
Couriers handle boxes and packages better while the post office handles letters and documents better.
We used to ship enamel via the post office as we didnt think it was a problem. Then we got into serious trouble when they bashed one of the packages and enamel leaked out everywhere. They got way pissed off that we were sending flammable enamel and glass via the post office and we were told never to do it again as it was illegal.

The post office isnt really equiped to send stuff like that. Look at how they handle their parcels!
 

Peppercorn Nails

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Hi

Maybe 'I'm with Stupid' :shock: , but to be honest I've just come to accept that I have to P&P and I allow for it accordingly. Every company charges, and to be fair whenever I've made an orderwith CND, I've had it at my door next day. That doesn't always happen with Royal Mail!!

Whenever I make an order I do a stock take beforehand (I always try to keep at least 1 spare of everything) and then phone through. I guess my average order now is something like £150.00 probably once every 2 months.

However, my gripe is with this points system. If you have to ask to have it activated, then surely you've got to be aware of it in the first place!! I'm pleased to hear that it should be accumulating even though I don't know about it, but I really think this is something that WE should be aware of when we first open an account. Lets face it, if Grand Master himself hadn't mentioned it, we would still be none the wiser!!

Adele
 

naturalnails

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Peppercorn Nails said:
However, my gripe is with this points system. If you have to ask to have it activated, then surely you've got to be aware of it in the first place!! I'm pleased to hear that it should be accumulating even though I don't know about it, but I really think this is something that WE should be aware of when we first open an account. Lets face it, if Grand Master himself hadn't mentioned it, we would still be none the wiser!!

Adele
I have to say Adele that I do remember getting a flyer from Designer Nails some time back about the points system and the last time I ordered from Leeds the girl on the phone told me I had so many points and did I want them taken off my current order.
 

The Geek

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Thats right Fiona, We sent out a letter to all of our active buyers to notify them that all of them would be receiving points.
Im just saying that you may want to check on it if you order from a OSNS. They may not automatically activate your account for it (though to be honest I think the system does it automatically)

Hope this helps
 
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