Sunday, December 24, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
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! :-)
Friday, December 08, 2006
Over the next few days we will fill more orders a day than we usually do in a week during the rest of the year, we will respond to every sort of customer question regarding stock levels and delivery times, and we will be totally exhausted by the time it's all done! Did I miss anything? Oh yes, a reminder that if you are just now getting your holiday gifts ordered then you have officially waited until the last minute. :-) If you are ordering over the next few days, please make sure to check our holiday shipping schedule and choose your shipping method wisely. Please don't automatically expect us to be able to get your order out the day you place it (though we will try very hard).
Also, don't forget that super saver orders by their nature get the lowest priority on the shipping line and that orders shipping FedEx Overnight, then 2nd Day, then Pri Mail, then Ground service get the highest priority on the line no matter what order we receive them in.
In Anime news this week, I have to sadly report that ADV has informed us that Golden Boy has finally gone permanently out of print, and they will no longer be replicating it - probably due to a license expiration. There are several other older ADV titles that have been on backorder for awhile and we have inquired to them for status updates. Geneon reported to us that the new Fate/Stay box that we received this week is completely sold out at their level, and we won't be able to get anymore until near the street date. We had just enough out of our first allocation to fill all of your pre-books and a few new orders, and then immediately had to put it back on pre-order status. We'll have them in stock again around the 19th, but that shipment will include the remainder of our allocation from Geneon as we won't be able to get anymore after that.
Geneon also let us know that there won't be anymore Hellsing Ultimate Limited editions made until after the New Year, and only a few at that. We have already sold 80% of our Limiteds, and we are shipping those first come first serve until they run out.
We have had excellent order fills so far this holiday season, but a couple of items have caused us some consternation like Stray Little Devil 2, Tsukuyumi Moon Phase 2, and Tsukihime 2 manga's. All three are sold out at the manufacturer and we probably won't be able to restock them until after Christmas. On the DVD side the Ergo Proxy Vol #1 w/ Art Box still is not in, but Geneon promises that we should have it no later than Monday next week. Also, Bandai was late getting out Eureka Seven Vol #5, but we're expecting both the regular and special edition to arrive today - hopefully - or Monday at the latest. :-)
The final piece of news is another disappointment. 4Kids announced this week that they are giving up on the One Piece series due to low sales and ratings. Honestly I think the execs at 4Kids need an education in Anime fandom, as they obviously licensed the title primarily for TV broadcast and thus did not option the unedited Japanese content for release. This meant that Viz had only the terrible edited dubbed version to release on DVD, and accounts for the low sales numbers and TV ratings. I remember when Geneon tried to do the same thing with Cardcaptors. The really bad news is that 4Kid's contract ties up the license until 2009, so there is no chance for an uncut release until after that. You can get the full story on this over in our news section.
All of you know that I pick 3 or 4 of your comments each week to feature in the newsletter (a little shameless promotion), but here is one that I wanted to highlight. Richard, who is currently serving in Iraq, wrote in a couple days ago to say:
"Wanted to say that again and again this site delivers beyond expectations. I always seem to get the good prices, good products and good delivery times. I even received my items in a timely manner while stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. The greatest thing about that is that unlike some services, Robert's Anime Corner Store actually ships to APO/FPO addresses. Without this site, my tour of duty would have felt much longer than it was." - RichardThe greatest thing about getting feedback like this is that we have the honor to serve those who are serving our country. Hats off to YOU Richard! We're glad we could make your tour a little easier and you and your mates will be in our thoughts and prayers over the holidays.
We've posted several more excellent Q1 and Q2 2007 figures for pre-order.
Here is the latest rundown:
It certainly has been an excellent week for new arrivals. Aside from a few studio glitches which I mentioned earlier, we have just about all but a handful of DVD titles scheduled to street prior to Christmas in stock now, including Black Cat, Ergo Proxy, Trinity Blood 3, Hellsing Ultimate, Rumbling Hearts, Fate/Stay, Paradise Kiss, Naruto Season 2 Uncut, and the list goes on and on! This is the last week for non-panic holiday shopping, so be sure to checkout our specials page for all the great holiday deals we are currently offering.
We still have our entire figure section on sale (these make great gifts!), and we are also offering an additional 10% off a selected list, which you can find here.
Our $5 soundtrack sale is still in effect for a bit longer, that list is here.
We still have a few titles left in our Geneon $5 DVD sale. Some are only $4 now.
We have lots of closeout titles discounted up to 75% off retail, which are listed here.
And finally, as you may be aware, Geneon's license for CardCaptor Sakura is expiring on Dec 31st, and the DVD's will not be available after that date. We have done a deal with them that allows us to offer you an unbelievable price on all 18 of the uncut subtitled series DVD's. We expect these bundles to arrive in about a week, and we will shipping them first come first served. If you don't already have it, this will be your last chance to get the CardCaptors series before it goes off the market.
Cardcaptor Sakura Complete Series Set, Vol #1-18, DVD Mega-Bundle (Uncut Subtitled Edition)
Your Price is ONLY $69.98! - Retail Price $539.82 (That's 87% off the Retail Price!)
Now that's a deal worth offering! Happy holidays!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
...it's going to be one hell of a week!
The folks in the mid-west have seen a virtual white out this week due to the first major snowstorm of the year. It looks like just rain and wind for us here, but I'm sure there will be some limited parcel delays in the effected areas, so keep that in mind when ordering and give your parcel an extra day or two to be delivered.
This week Flash Gordon completes his reviews of the Patlabor TV and OVA series with overall ratings and episode guides for the original OVA and the New Files releases.
In the news this week we have a few more product delays. This year the studios across the board have really been struggling to get their releases out on time, and I can't remember when there have been more delays and cancellations. Geneon managed to ship the first DVD of Ergo Proxy on time, but an issue has delayed delivery of the box version until sometime next week. Even as of this morning they were not able to pin down an exact delivery date. Media Blasters says the new Invader Zim boxed set probably won't be shipping to retailers now until the 2nd week of December. They also delayed the second Voltron Tin, resetting the release date back a couple of weeks to 12-12. We've had some trouble recently getting timely manga restocks from Dr. Master, and I'm trying to find out what the story is there. Finally, things have been a little sparse stock wise on the import side as we have not taken any new deliveries from Tokyo since September. We now have our first post move import shipment in process, and will be getting our import stock back up to par shortly. I want to thank everyone waiting for an import CD for their patience during this period.
Geneon did get Hellsing Ultimate shipped on time, but just barely. We received the regular edition on Thursday, but the limited's are not due to arrive until the day before or of the street date. We'll get those guys shipped as soon as they hit the dock. We received our Hellsing Ultimate screener copies last week, and after watching it a couple of times I think the worst thing about it is going to be the long wait between volumes! ^_^ I'm checking right now on the status of Eureka Seven #5, and I'm hoping Bandai will tell us it's already in transit since it streets next week. On the flip side of the delivery coin, ADV has been getting us their titles 2 or 3 weeks early. Last week we saw Pani Poni Dash arrive, and this week we received Nerima Daikon Brothers which was originally not scheduled to come out until Dec 19th. We also received the FUMOFFU and E's Otherwise thin-paks a couple of weeks early. Hopefully this trend will continue and all the other pre-Christmas releases will be in stock in plenty of time for you to enjoy them over the holidays.
In the mean time, we'll stay on top of everything and concentrate on getting all your holiday orders shipped as quickly and as complete as possible!