Saturday, October 31, 2015

One Rate for All

I would rather it were 'One Ring for All" but somehow I think Sir Peter (or a Hobbit) may take offense...if  they ever read this.

Over the years we have been trialed just about every delivery service to the rest of the world from New Zealand, with varying levels of satisfaction and success.

All have had inherent difficulties. Some were very expensive. Some took no care at all. Others garnered an international sticker on their way through the system that led some customers to believe we were actually making our products in Asia...and not in New Zealand.

Some took no responsibility for their actions; if they dropped the ball and, God forbid, lost a product, they became very defensive and almost accused US of mismanaging the process. Others were less accusatory...but extremely slow to settle their debt..

Meanwhile we, as the merchant, had to maintain our customers' faith in us, and delivery another our own expense.

Hopefully..those days are now behind us.

DHL promise much..and we have every expectation they will deliver on their promises.

Finally - a service that allows us offer a traceable delivery at a realistic rate.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Merchant's Work is Never Done

Ho boy....what a weekend...

After sending out an email to our much valued customer base...promoting our newly revamped website...we have been inundated with orders..

OK, maybe a bit of an exaggeration. Suffice to say - a lot of orders. More than most times recently.

However, during the course of this resurgence in Nutshell and hopefully our fortunes, I got a note from a potential customer saying he was unable to locate the Buy Button for a certain product.

I looked. He was right.
The button was nowhere to be seen.

Good grief and ALAS!
What to do?

Unfortunately our web merchant shopping cart supplier, Network Solutions, has recently been acquired by a company called They claim to be on top of customer service.

Like heck they are!
They do not work on the weekends! took me several painstaking hours to work out what had gone wrong with the product that had been brought to my attention. Unfortunately, the problem applied to lots and lots of other products as well.

For some unknown and unexplained reason many prices had gotten out of whack. The regular price had become MORE than the MSRP. No wonder the Buy Button had gone AWOL.

Luckily - as with most things in life - there was a relatively quick work-around. Well, one that actually took two days and about 12 hours to fix. Typical for any computer problem in my experience...lots longer than you anticipate. Especially when there are over 800 hundred line items to check.

Hopefully now ALL products will have pricing showing and the Buy Button will be prominent at the bottom of each product page.

There is always a silver lining to any grey cloud; while I was fixing things...I lowered many of the product prices to bring them into line AND lowered the shipping rates...because we charge a rate for handling that gets added on to the actual shipping I have made some adjustments.

There is more to come in the near future....but in the meantime I hope our customers  (whom I know are very forgiving) will return to us in droves,....telling their friends, neighbors, colleagues and even passing policemen; spreading the word and generating more than enough work to keep people downstream (who have to make, pack and ship the products) good and busy in the lead up to the silly season.

More about that later my friends....

PS: If you spot an error please let me know.
No promises...but...
I may even gift you a Nutshell.

All the best

Friday, October 16, 2015

Time for a Refresh

Nutshell has been running a commercial website for almost 18 years.

In that time we have had several hosts and several remodels to accommodate the changes. Initially we ran our website on a platform provided by T3West...then the Microsoft bCentral eCommerce platform....but then Microsoft determined it was not in the eCommerce game and pulled the pin in 2001. Subsequently we moved to our current host, Network Solutions.

Although there are those who claim this platform is not as good as some of its more recent rivals, at the time it was the best we could find, bearing in mind our wish to serve the US market. As such we decided the host needed to be local in the States, and not several thousand miles away down under.

As it was we experienced some interesting problems in the early days with failed routers and links that refused to work no matter what we did.

Right now we are in the process of revitalizing our website design with the aid of a talented young woman with sophisticated IT skills.

Over the coming months users will see improvements as she works her digital magic.

Our intention is that this will result in a more pleasing experience for online shoppers and make our products even more desirable than they already are.

We thank you for your patience and invite your comments on our progress.

Thank you for being a Nutshell customer.