Sunday, December 17, 2006

Updates - December 17th, 2006

Needless to say, it's been controlled chaos here over the last few days. We have been treating every order as time sensitive no matter what the shipping method is, and the crew here has really been busting butt to get as many orders pulled, prepped, and shipped as quickly as possible. They have been cutting off orders within minutes of the post office closing at 7pm, and we've been shuttling FedEx orders up to the Air Shipping station down the street as late as 7:30pm in the evening so they get on a plane that day. We hope all of your orders arrive on time and when you need them.

Friday was our 'official' cutoff for ground and US Mail shipments to get in the system and still have a chance to make it to you by Dec 24th. That said, most UPS ground and Priority Mail shipments put in the system up through the 18th might still get to you on time. After that, it will all depend on how close you are to our facility (and if you have good joss). If you need to be sure your stuff arrives on time, I cooked up a great Flat Rate 2nd Day air deal for only $12.98 that should have you smiling! This offer is good until Monday, and it gives you guys a way to get time sensitive orders on time for a good price even at this late stage of the game. After Wednesday of next week, please choose FedEx overnight for your time critical orders and we'll do our best to see that it gets to you before Christmas weekend.

One of the small pleasures of doing customer service this time of year is answering the hundreds of customer e-mails that poor in - especially at the last minute from panicking people who are desperate that their attentions are seen to. As I spend my Sunday combing through e-mails and returning timely and courteous answers, here are examples of a few and how, well, after a long day I would like to answer them:

'I need an item by Christmas, but I can only ship it to a PO Box. Why won't the store allow and order to ship FedEx to a PO Box?'

Sometimes I can't believe how many people still don't know this. Only the postal service can deliver to a post office box. Your SOL for Christmas delivery without a street address for air service. No, I can't 'make' FedEx deliver there, no matter how bad you want them to. Happy Holidays.

'My credit card is being declined, but I know it's good. Why won't your @#$%ing store take my credit card??!!'

Your bank's declining it, not us. Why don't you call your @#$%ing bank and find out why your balance is overdrawn, or you last payment hasn't been processed yet instead of bugging me. Happy Holidays.

'I'm sorry, I need to cancel an order I just made immediately as I do not have enough money to pay for it. I need a full refund and the order canceled ASAP!! Thank you for your time.'

What do you tell the folks at the supermarket when they've just checked and bagged 100 items and you find out your debit card is overdrawn? ~sigh~ Clearly my time means little to you, but thanks for saying thanks and taking up a little more of it. I live to serve. Happy holidays.

'My order shipped on the 11th via Priority Mail and it's now the 15th and it has not yet arrived. Please explain to me why it is not here yet since I paid extra for Priority Mail, and please check and see if there was some problem that delayed shipment'

DO you have a calendar? Every mother loving SOB on the planet, and their brother, is shipping parcels to someone right now. There is so much extra volume that postal workers are committing ritual sepuku by the dozens. Keep your pants on, it will be there shortly. Happy holidays.

'How late can I order and still get my items before Christmas?'

Basically, about 3 Days ago. But if you select Air and order now and we still have everything in stock we might still pull it off. You're welcome. Happy holidays.

'Some other store says they can ship by ground up until the 19th and still guarantee Christmas delivery. Why don't you?'

No one can guarantee ground delivery on shipments that late. They lie. We don't. Happy holidays.

'I know you're really busy right now, but when you get a chance can you tell me when XX series is going to be released on DVD?'

Considering I've never even heard of 'XX' series, it's probably a long way off getting out on DVD here in the US. By the way, we do have an upcoming releases page you can check, but that's OK, you're probably assuming that we might have missed it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. And yes we are very busy, but thanks for at least acknowledging that. Happy holidays.

'I just placed an order [Sunday Evening] and I just wanted to make sure the order ships out first thing on Monday so I get it by Christmas. Thanks!'

There are about 1,000 orders from Friday and Saturday ahead of you, but I'll tell you what, for fifty bucks I'll move you right to the head of the stack. Yeah, I said fifty bucks - by tomorrow morning it might be more. I know, the audacity to give my people the weekend off. Oh, I see you ordered all $5 sale items, choose free shipping and used a discount coupon at checkout. Yeah, we'll jump right on that one. Happy holidays.

Anyway, just a little fun after 3 weeks of non stop work. All names have been changed to protect the guilty. One of the studios sent me a bottle of Sake as a holiday gift.

After this week, I'm certainly going to be able to put it to good use... -_^

A couple of notable date changes in the news this week. Illumination pushed back their entire catalog including Vandel Buster, BtX, Am Driver, etc. See the full list in our news clips below. Geneon also let us know that the release of the initial volume of Princess Racoon has been changed from January to June 07. No reason was given for the delay. Bandai (our favorite company this year -_^) told us that the Gundam Seed Movie trilogy Box (26024) is now sold out at their level, and they are not sure if they are going to repress it again, so (~ sigh ~) we've put it on 'Stock on Hand' status and we'll see what happens.

Finally, Geneon delayed the Ergo Proxy art box one more week, and is now telling us we should have them on Monday or Tuesday next week. We'll see.

Terence, who is a regular RACS customer and also an avid photographer, has put up a site with pictures from several of the cons he attended this year. His gallery is definitely worth a look. His photographer friend Jerry also has a nice site setup with many cos-play picks from his recent Convention stops.

We got so many e-mails from folks about our 48 hour sale (basically saying it was too short), that I decided to keep it running through the weekend until Monday to give everyone more time to take advantage of that rare deep discount coupon we're offering. See the side bar for complete details and coupon codes - they are good through this weekend on every item in the store (EXCEPT our Cardcaptor Bundle)! The figure sale will continue through next week, and the coupons can be taken right on top of those sale prices. We've got end of year inventory coming up, and the less we have to count the better - so I'm going to try to keep these kind of great deals coming at ya!

Our first batch of the last call $69.98 Card Captor Sakura DVD bundles have arrived and most shipped on Friday. Our entire first batch is going to fill pre-orders and we've already pre-sold about 70% of our current allocation of them. We have these priced at 87% off the retail price and 10% to 15% lower than some of those 'brand x' guys and people are gobbling them up very quickly. If you still want one then get your order in soon as I think these bundles are going to sell out in a few more days. After several interminable delays, we have finally received our copies of Eureka Seven #5, just not in time to get it a blurb in this weeks newsletter.

We also got in IGPX #7 and the latest re-release Yu Yu Hakusho volume. They will get official notice on the site sometime shortly. We received a fairly large new manga shipment this week, and while we were able to get the first 45 books posted to the site, the rest (about 20 more) will be following up this weekend as well. Most of the distributor and studio warehouses close up next week for the holidays and don't reopen until after the new year, so I'm not looking for many big new figure and toy arrivals until early January...

...that's fine though, it will give us a chance to rest and digest some of the stuff we already have. And goodness knows, we'll need it! :-)


Anonymous said...

I have never been anything but completely satisfied by your service. My shipments have always arrived sooner than I expected. Thank you very much!

Robert said...

We all appreciate that a lot. A good word goes a long way this time of year. :-)

Unknown said...

You know, I have only ordered one thing from your shop (it was an $170) order) and It was shipped on time and for a good price and my daughter, who wasn't expecting it loved it. Now I have a place to get her birthday presents from (Christmas items are for the home game systems... it's a good plan when it works :D) . Anyway only an idiot would expect special treatment on something ordered after 18 Dec and expect it to arrive before Christmas without paying a premium for delivery.

Try not to let the idiots get you down.

Robert said...

Roger that Larry. It's OK though - after nine Christmas seasons in this biz you get a thick skin. I'm glad your daughter enjoyed her Anime, that's what it's all about. Thanks so much, and have a great Christmas! :-)

BeckoningChasm said...

I could never work in retail; I'd go nuts. I'd like to add my voice to the chorus of folks who are completely happy with RACS.