I had a great week! There is a lot to share this week, so, let’s not waste time. Hit the ‘read more’ button and we’ll get going.
This was a very busy week. Between the sale and some EBay auctions, I took 90 orders and managed to ship 85! It may not sound like much to some, but, when you consider I am one guy and I still have many other hats to wear other than shipping-and-receiving, I think I did a good job.
I also managed to finish the first new items in what will become a series of related products. I will release them this afternoon. I also hope to post a special update announcing the new line and explaining the plans I have for it. I will even explain some of the reasoning behind the new product line. So, watch for that update, as well.
AN AREA OF RISING CONCERN
There was one area of rising concern this week. I had to order resin. When I did, I was shocked at the price increases. Normally, I spend about $356 to re-order and ship the materials to make a batch of resin. This week, it cost me $496! That is a $146 increase! Worse, I had to go to two different locations to get the materials I needed. My primary resin vendor told me there is an industry-wide shortage on polyurethane, and they expect things to get worse. The scary thing for me is that this is not the only increase in prices I have to deal with. My packaging and shipping have also gone up, as have all the other materials I use to run the company.
At the moment, I am not going to increase my prices. However, this decision depends entirely on you guys. If sales slow much more than they have the last few weeks, I either have to raise costs or face the realities of being pushed out of business. For now, I am going to try not to worry about that. I do not need big sales. In fact, I prefer smaller ones. I just need the sales. SO, if you have a need for anything I make, and you can afford it, I would greatly appreciate your continued business. You pay my check and keep TMD alive!
As I said, I filled and shipped all but 5 orders this week. Those 5 orders are all on the larger side, and several need new molds. I hope to email the customers before the Sabbath starts at sunset, and to pour the replacement molds Sunday (if BB gives me an hour or two free time). If I can get this done, the 5 outstanding orders will ship by Tuesday next week.
Other than the 5 open orders, I shouldn’t have any outstanding customer service issues. If I do, please email me and let me know as you have gone stealth-mode on me and have evaded my radar.
The sale went very well (thanks to all who ordered). I managed to fund October’s overhead and make a respectable start on paying for December.
I will have 2 new items this week. They are the first of what will become a series of related products all focused on a specific vehicle family. Watch for the new product release later today.
ON MY BENCH
I did not have a lot of time for the bench this week, but I managed a few hours. I am still focused on the new product series focused on a specific family of early war, German AFV’s. Watch for more on this later today.
ON KARL’S BENCH
Carl sent me some pictures of several masters he’s been working on earlier this past week. As usual, they look good. The hints here are: U.S. crew-served weapons; U.S. maintenance and recovery vehicles; and Korean War era British armor. Same thing here as above: until I have the finished masters in the shop, you’re just going to have to guess as to what they are. The good news and the happy take-away is that Karl is working again.
The shop suffered a bit from the sale, as it always does. Still, it has been much worse in the past. A couple to three hours and I can have it inspection ready.
The office is a different story. The shop rats and I have made a bit of a mess out of the lounge area and, since I am in full mastering mode, the bench is in disarray. I even need to straighten up the office section. However, the new computer is up and running, so there is a plus there.
My mood continues to improve. The bills are paid for the next month and a half, I am mastering well. My bronchitis is still gone, and I have even managed to lose about 15 pounds. I credit it to the things I discussed in my last JOE’S CORNER post, and that is why I continue to head in the direction I discussed in that post. You can find it on the TMD blog, if you’re interested.
THAT IS ALL
OK, that is all I have — for now. I will have more to share next week, as well as the first of the new masters. Until then, stay safe and try to build something (preferably something using TMD resin).