Saturday, 29 May 2010

...Back-ordering on the store and the dreaded...

Fortunately Waltzingmouse Stamps appears to be growing! I have, this week, sold out of many, many sets. More stock is due in the next couple of days but this little spurt has prompted the question of backordering.

Originally, I configured the store to only allow folks to add 'in-stock' items to their baskets, I was wary of selling anything that I didn't physically have, but as time goes on, and with the huge amount of admin involved in running waiting lists, I am wondering If i might allow the store to take orders even for out-of-stock items.

There have been a number of folks who have had to keep returning to the store to check on availability and while it's nice to have the visits, I recognize that it's a pain in the neck for the visitor! lol.

So here's what I am going to do:

After I get todays orders processed, I will do the normal stocktake and then I will be updating the site to allow the purchase of out-of stock items. I will try to do this in a way which advises the customer that the item is on back order.

This means that towards the end of this week, all waiting lists will cease and folks will be able to order what they want, when they want, with the proviso that there might be the occasional delay. Any delays will be advised up-front.

My plan is to increase again, the numer of items I hold in stock, to try to minimise the need for backordering but I think that obver the next week or two there may be a little period of adjustment, but hopefully all will be smooth soon.


A little while ago, here I wrote about the planned price change, it's a necessary evil. Here's what I said:

I started my little stamp company last year, when VAT was 15% (VAT is a government tax that I have to pay when I purchase stock and packaging supplies etc.) The VAT rate rose to 17.5% in January this year, so my costs went up. My manufacturing costs also rose in January when my supplier made their annual price adjustments.

I did not raise my prices at that point. I felt that it was too soon after I had made a slight adjustment to the pricing in November. Frankly, I wanted to wait until after the May release and the first birthday celebrations. I was prepared to swallow the extra cost until then.

It is important that folks know that VAT is a government imposed tax that has to be paid, it is not discretionary, and so, unfortunately, I can't ignore it.

It should have happened weeks ago but we were in the midst of a change of government and there was talk of further changes to VAT which heavily affect this particular price change, and I so did not want to make the change, only to find I'd have to do it again very soon!

So I will be making the changes this weekend, when I configure the back-ordering.

My deepest thanks for your understanding.


  1. Hi Claire,
    I think its a good idea, to be able to order and if the item is out stock. LOL, this way i can cross it of my list of stamps I still need lol. As for the price change, Well I think your customers said before, It doesn't matter because the quality of your stamps and customer service is so worth it !!!!.

    Bonnie Jean

  2. Your products are amazing. Taxes are a necessary evil that we understand. Just keep the quality at the highest standard and your customer base will continue to grow. Love the idea of the backorder option too.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and processes with us Claire. You are a wonderful owner and operator of your amazing company. Glad to be a customer! :)

  4. I think you should do what is best for your business Claire - we crafters are a rather obsessive bunch and I'm sure if something is out of stock we would just wait for it to come back and perhaps even order something else in the meantime. When we want to spend, we spend! ;o)

  5. Here, here! You just keep on doing what you do so well and don't worry about the taxes. You've got a great fan base who will continue to support you and your fab stamp sets for a lot longer than the VAT man will be looking for his extra few pennies...

  6. I think allowing for backordering is a great idea, Claire! Then you won't have to worry about letting us know when an item is out of stock on your blog. You are so "in tune" to your customer's needs and your business administration skills are top notch!

  7. Don't stress about the tax, Claire. Your stamps are incredible quality and value even at a slightly higher price. We are just bracing for a new combined federal and provincial sales tax (HST- Harmonized Sales Tax - except there is no harmony amongst taxpayers about it) and it is only 12%. Can't imagine the hue and cry there would be over 17.5%!


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