This is a happy story with a good problem to have and a solution… but it’s mostly detail-sy insights about how I run the Kit Club. I do these types of posts every so often because a handful of folks find the behind-the-scenes stuff interesting. If it’s not, fear not! We’ll be back to regular programming in no time!
Problem: The Kit Club outgrew my car
I am committed to giving my customers the best prices possible. This means that I ship all of my Kit Club packages via first-class mail, which is a lower shipping cost than mailing via Priority Mail.
If you ship via Priority Mail, the post office gives you boxes (and delivers them to your house) for free. If you’ve ever wondered why so many companies only ‘offer’ Priority Mail shipping, that’s one reason why.
If you ship first-class mail, you have to buy and pick up the boxes yourself. No problem. I can do that.
So, every other month, I drive my car to Wisconsin and fill it up with boxes for the club.
This photo was taken 10 months ago. Since then, the number of subscribers has increased and the boxes no longer all fit in my car. I don’t have a tiny car, either. It’s an SUV.
How to ship the stuff? Possible solutions!
I want to point out that it’s the empty boxes that won’t fit in my car. I won’t even mention how, on shipping day, I can’t fit all of the full boxes onto my porch for the mailman. There are a lot of boxes.
So, I’ve been brainstorming some solutions:
Switch to Priority shipping. This would come close to doubling my shipping fee for domestic customers and would pretty much make all of my international customers cancel their subscriptions. That hardly seems worth it! Besides, what happens if the post office doesn’t have that quantity of free boxes in stock?
Buy a bigger truck or a trailer I don’t even want to calculate how many kits I’d need to sell to justify that cost! A trailer on the back does seem cool, though!
Have the boxes delivered. This would double the price of my boxes (since boxes are bulky and expensive to ship).
Make two trips to the warehouse. This would not only increase the cost of the boxes due to gas mileage, but I would also be charged a fee because these 2 smaller shipments would be below the minimum order. And, one trip already takes me 2 hours. A second one wouldn’t be fun.
Switch to padded envelopes. Hey… that’s not a bad idea!
The switch to padded envelopes
My longtime customer, Vicki from Australia, was the first to make this suggestion. At first I was hesitant, because envelopes don’t seem as ‘nice’ as boxes. But then I thought about it…
I can fit nearly twice as many envelopes in my car as boxes. Oooh, that’s exciting!
And, because the envelope is lighter than a box, I can include more material in the kit for the same shipping price! Ooh! This is sounding better and better!
So, I’m delighted to announce that I’ve made the switch! I know some of you may be sad about the lack of fanciness, so I made an adorable new sticker to make up for it:
That makes it all better, right?
Get ready for open enrollment!
New signups for the Kit Club open on July 20th. Although I’ll be be opening the club to some of the highest numbers I’ve ever had, there is still a limit. And if the club hits that limit before August 20th (the close date), then I will close the club early.
So if you want to guarantee your spot (and you aren’t already a member), sign up to receive email updates (in the sidebar). This way, you’ll get an email when the club opens and you can snag your spot!
As always, current members have a guaranteed spot. If you are a member, there is no need to re-enroll. If you do, you’ll end up with two packages coming to your door!