We know it's unusual -- and annoying -- to start talking about the holidays in mid-October.
But whether it's our products or someone else's, we think you'll want the extra time to make sure your holiday purchases arrive in time ... especially if you're ordering internationally. Here's why:
From the early holiday specials offered by our small business to global politics, here are at least 10 very good reasons to shop early.
First, The Good News:
Early Holiday Promotions.It's only fair that we offer holiday promotions early if we suggest you shop early! We'll be offering our holiday promotions up front through the month of November.
20% OFF Stocking Stuffers with coupon code BFCM-2021 (ends December 1, 2021)
Shop Stocking Stuffers Sale >>>
- Free Gift Wrap. We're wrapping your gifts for free with "basic" gift wrap. Let us know it's a gift by checking the box, "This is a gift" (or just by, you know, letting us know with an email or whatever -- we're a small shop and we read all order notes!). If we know it's a gift, we'll wrap it nicely for your friends and family. Branded gift wrap is also available as an upgrade.
Free / Flat Rate Shipping Offers on Orders Over $55:
- FREE USA (2-7 days)
- Flat Rate $7.50 Canada (1-4 weeks)
- Flat Rate $12 Europe and Australia/New Zealand (2-8 weeks)
- $15 Rest of World (2-8 weeks)
These shipping rates are the most economical, but take the longest to deliver, which is why we recommend ordering now. Offers end December 1.
- Peace of Mind with Free Shipping Insurance.We insure every package valued over $55 for loss or damage. If it hasn't arrived by the insurance-mandated waiting period or arrives damaged, we will file an insurance claim and send you a refund or a replacement at no cost.
- Express Options for Reliability & Speed.FedEx in the US, and DHL Express internationally are our fastest, most reliable international shipping service - and with our bulk shipping discounts, pretty economical, too.
- International Customs Calculator.Our prices are in US dollars and exclusive of VAT, GST, or other customs and import duties. If you're worried about how much the customs fees are going to cost, you can now estimate ahead of time with Duty Calculator. If you're in the EU, you can also pay customs duties in advance on our Etsy marketplace store.
Now, the Bad News:
This year, in an unprecedented way that we've never had to worry about before, we are running the risk of selling out of goods early, having to raise prices mid-season, and/or having more packages lost or delayed in transit.
Shipping Slower AND More Expensive. ðŸ˜¤There have been multiple reasons for shipping delays across the board, with all services, including USPS, FedEx, and DHL Express. Truck driver shortages, COVID protocols, worker shortages, severe weather at hubs, and more has really piled up. To make matters worse, all those issues have meant that shipping carriers are raising rates just when packages are slower and less reliable. USPS has already implemented "holiday surge pricing" through the end of the year. Give packages a little more time, prepare to be patient, and rest easy know they are insured.
ABC News: Shipping delays felt nationwide >>>
Vox: Mail delays and price hikes are coming to the USPS. Here's why >>>
Global Supply Chain Crisis.The pandemic disrupted the globalized trade system and we're feeling the impacts in curious ways. Our material suppliers have been late, out of stock, backordered, or just plain slow in fulfilling our orders for some materials -- but not all materials, which makes it feel all the more odd and unpredictable. We're trying to order what we think we'll need in plenty of advance, but some of those orders have yet to arrive.
NBC News: Product shortages continue to hamper shoppers >>>
Material Costs Increasing.Our material costs are increasing, sometimes quite dramatically. We haven't raised prices in years but with costs increasing by 50% or even double, we may have to re-evaluate our prices mid-season. We'll keep our prices the same so long as we're using our existing stock that we purchased at lower prices.
White Paper: Raw Materials Price Increase >>>
EU / UK VAT Collection.New VAT collection rules in the EU and UK are taking more time and costing more on arrival. Marketplaces -- like Etsy -- are required to collect tariffs on our behalf so the fastest way to receive your goods with a locked-in tariff quote is to purchase our products on our Etsy store. Etsy will charge VAT during checkout and register it with Customs at the border with a new ID number associated with Etsy's shipping label (only available with standard global post, not DHL Express).
Etsy Marketplace: Customs Fees and Physical VAT Collection >>>
We don't mean to pack on the doom & gloom -- the holidays are a great time of year to think about happy future days with friends and family, hopefully playing games, riding a bicycle, or just relaxing together.