- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.p5VL3RkF.dpuf The Old Lucketts Store Blog: Inventory Clearance & Online Store Update

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Inventory Clearance & Online Store Update

Retail $65, now $45 on Shop Lucketts!
It's been a while since we gave you an update on our online store, Shop Lucketts.

It's true...we haven't mentioned much about what's going on behind the scenes as we navigate online sales, shipping & fulfillment.

Maybe because it doesn't produce pretty pictures {smile, I'm going through UPS invoices!}.  And it's honestly a little boring to write about.  But it's a necessary cog in the machine...so here goes...

Shop Lucketts put a survey up last month {we're still collecting responses if you didn't do one & would like to & we'll announce a winner next week}. Based on feedback from the survey so far, and naturally evolving our online store, we're looking in to new products and new shipping options.

Suzanne just ordered a bunch of merchandise for the fall & winter holidays, so those items will go up on the site soon {we heard that you wanted more holiday}.  To clear out the warehouse, she's dropped prices on many products {29 to be exact} to some crazy low prices.

If you saw something you liked before, but didn't order it, now is your chance to get it on sale.  {Pics of a few of the items below}.   Some items we won't be able to get in again {read why below}, so this is why we're calling it "Last Call."   She's also lowered shipping rates until September 23rd too, if you're on the fence!

Now for behind the scenes...

Rustic wall pockets were $29, now $19!
So what's the deal on inventory?   Survey respondents mentioned wanting to see more items and large pieces of furniture on Shop Lucketts.

The furniture question is easy....we have to ease in to that, very carefully.  Unless you're a huge furniture retailer or you offer furniture packed flat & ready for assembly, your options as we've learned, are somewhat limited.  Shipping furniture to a warehouse, then packing & reshipping out to an individual address costs hundreds of dollars.  Those fees are then either added to the retail price, or shouldered by the retailer.  For a small business, we're just not ready to deal with all the logistics just yet.

We learned a few months ago the hard way....we carried a piece of art that we loved that made it in to the oversize UPS category by a mere 2 inches.  After several customers paid $15 to ship it, we got the actual bill and with oversize fees & residential charges, and our actual shipping costs were $98.  Ouch!  We've also had a large mirror that our customers adore that was broken during shipping {we don't/can't carry it anymore since that product is a bad shipper}.  After paying return shipping fees, broken/lost merchandise, and reshipping a new item, we didn't even want to do the math on that one.  We lost money on those items big time & tried to learn quickly about what we realistically could & couldn't carry.

A customer favorite!  Was $45, now $35 each!
As for inventory, we've had to look at products we really liked ourselves.  Several months back, Suzanne had boxes & boxes of test orders sitting around because she needed to touch and feel everything.  Thankfully so!  Some things looked great in a picture, but when Suzanne felt it, it just wasn't right.  So our initial product catalog was whittled down very quickly and many items were wiped out entirely from our online product catalog.  Quality was one hurdle, but actually being able to receive the item in hand proved to be another...

Many of the items on Shop Lucketts come from independent vendors Amy & Suzanne find at interior design showcases.  Some vendors don't have the capacity to fill large quantity orders, and some actually don't start the manufacturing process until they receive a certain order volume....now picture committing tens of thousands of dollars on items, and watching them trickle in through the mail over as many as 6 or 8 months.  And they say patience is a virtue...

Not that our orders is something that would affect you....we won't ever put items up on Shop Lucketts until we have them in hand before we sell them....but it's an interesting piece of retail-land behind the scenes, and gives you a glimpse of this logistical puzzle we didn't realize we would have.  We try to stay clear of some of these companies, but sometimes they're the ones with the really great stuff!  Oftentimes waiting for a container of really great stuff for half a year IS worth it....so we wait!

So that's a little behind the scenes on inventory & shipping.  If you haven't already, take a peek at all the items on sale until September 23rd on Shop Lucketts.   There are some great gift ideas on "Last Call" and a bunch of items already under $25.....who has to know you got their holiday gift when it was on sale anyway?

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