Cultured Cowboy's Shipping, Handling, and Discount policies
The Government at large prefers no taxes for Internet Sales – Why? In an effort to get you to read some of our S&H policies and discount policies…
In our early industrial society, companies cut costs by reducing costs of materials in volume purchases. Later, we used mass production and robotic technologies to allow per-item costs of labor to reduce to fractions of the former expense. Today, the largest part of a reducible cost to you is in the distribution of goods and services. Today, this is where pioneers are trying to find competitive advantage. In each stage of our industrial growth, governments have tried to support the development of each economic advantage. After the stage became developed, the taxes followed.
We are pioneers forging and hammering the future! The advantages to this method of distribution are many. It will expand the economies of nations. It will bind together the citizenry of competing political ideologies. (note: USSR seclusions were abolished through access, and the understanding that it could not be stopped, to the internet by citizens.) And all the governments understand this.
At this time, the costs of working through the logistics would be prohibitive if there were additional taxes levied.. You should understand that once everything is easy, and working perfectly, with lowest cost of distributions, there will again be organized taxation. We all expect it.
There are many
advantages to ordering over a phone from an online retailer. For the
store, we are able to expand our sales beyond the local economy, in
which it may be difficult to support our dreams. We can be assured that
sizing and colors are understood. We can build rapport and find friends.
Our customers have even taught us how to buy better!
For both, we are able to provide information and merchandise in a manner that you can all view and learn more intelligently. No person can repeat, in person, the information that millions of you are requesting. Good examples are the boot definitions or the wedding aids.
For you, there is more selection than can be offered by most local merchants. There is security in knowing that with all the learning experience, your financial transactions are safe. You have the power of the credit cards. You should take advantage of the low pricing we offer on your needs. Competition keeps everyone honest.
Over the past five years, Cultured Cowboy and others have tried many programs to solicit your business. For all of it, we thank you. And will continue to offer other innovations!
One of the problems of internet specialty sales comes in the logistics of availability. We offer a wide variety of high quality merchandise at very affordable pricing. Many times, the items are so special that they must be made to your specifications. Even if it is in a maker’s usual ability, we often pay them surcharges to get an item. This is often because they have to take a line item and assign it as a special order or special timing.
These charges are mounting. We have held a policy of passing only the surcharges to you. We try not to add profit to these charges, only the actual costs of doing business. This is creating an opening of ten-thousands of dollars in special charges we pay in advance so that you can have your requests. So there is no misunderstanding, we must deduct the special charges from any credit toward returns. If we receive them back from you, we cannot return them to a maker. For example, if there is a rush charge from a wedding dressmaker, we will not refund that charge if the item is returned, or cancelled before delivery. If you order a special toe on a boot, or a special feature on a saddle, that carry extra charges, those special charges are not refundable.
We take the absolute
lowest margins possible so that you can have fair pricing on high
quality merchandise. We love this industry and we love the people we
meet. It is fun to be a small part of so many lives. Send us some
pictures! (never as an attachment, put ‘em in the e-mail or snail
If the lines are busy, thank you for calling till you get through. This past year, we averaged answering about 2000 minutes a month just in questions that people have about things they bought somewhere else. Our average phone bill has over 8000 minutes of interstate long distance, I haven’t averaged in-state bills, and I personally have had over 200 requests for callbacks in a day. We have recently had two salaries devoted to answering e-mail. A slow day is 150 e-mails. A busy day may have 2500. With all that e-mail, we get a lot of viruses. Some of these things can shut down a computer for two days before firewalls have a cure. We try to keep up. If you have an express need, and we have not answered your e-mail, please call.
You should know some of the downside. When we were only a storefront, we used to have about 10 percent of our customers aggravated by slow delivery, or something. Special order companies have always had to face this reality. This is why most guys will not do special orders. We have thrived on doing the things other companies would not try. That number has reduced to 3 percent, but there are more of you. We hope that by making some of the changes planned this year, we can reduce that to less than 1.5 percent. (Other companies will not tell you this stuff.) Part of this is lack of automation by our industry. Part of this has been suppliers going out of business. Part of this has been by lack of funds created by explosive growth. Part of this has been because I worked 18 hours, six days in a row and snapped at an employee. That reflected back at customers. This I have under better control. I cut back to 16 hour days.
companies are getting billions in profits from guys like us. The
interest they charge on a balance is only the tip of the iceberg. Have
you wondered why anyone can get one? The charges made by Visa, Disc, AX
and MC on the retail end far surpass their interest profits. And it is
all charged up-front. Sometimes an invoice comes and you wonder why the
S&H charge was $5.00 and the stamp was $4.65. We are trying to
include, in a small way, some of the charges that we pay the credit card
companies for using your card for the freight sale. Even when we credit
your card for a return, there is another usage fee charged to us. Also
included in S&H may be other costs of getting a package to you. Our
goal is to have these charges remain reasonable. So, we do not charge so
much for so many dollars. We actually load everything in your box and
use weight with size of box, so that it is fair.
Our sales are now heavily Internet based. Even people across our small town are viewing our website and calling their orders to us. We are narrowing some of our focus to better serve you. Many categories have great sales but no profits. For these, we are regrouping. As Walmart and Target have discovered, as long as there are large numbers of sales in a category, there is a chance for profit. (example: we offered almost every motorcycle helmet shield. These are wanted and needed. They get scratched. We have averaged losing 25% of the total sale on every sale made, due to the logistics of delivery.)
The former company who hosted our server did not provide proper backup for a site as expansive as ours was. This is the second time this century that this failure without backup, has happened. (Yes, we arranged for them to backup nightly, we thought.) We believe they have internal difficulties. Since we have had to rebuild, we are reviewing everything.
Since the past crash, we too have had reductions in forces. Those rehired will be carefully selected. We must manage to serve our fellow employees and our customers in a better than average method. The leadership begins at the top. That is Chuck.
I thank you for a real learning experience. 2002 was a time that I reflected closer to God, closer to my wife and children, (they visited me!) and actually became closer to myself. 2002 saw the death of my father, my grandfather, and a good cat. 2002 my cholesterol dropped, and so did my wallet. 2002 my vision rose and so did our base of friends.
I look forward to 2003. We are now instituting an additional discount in many categories. You will see this as you go through the site. Another 5% Justin, to 20% Montana Silver, off our already fair prices. We will see if we can increase sales enough to cover the difference. I think so. As a trade off, we will asses a 5% restocking fee plus shipping, for all returns not defective. We hope this discount policy, (designed to help defray some S&H costs) will encourage you to place your orders with us.
God Bless you all. Pray