Last Tuesday & Wednesday, we sent some messages to a few good Outlaws (if you didn't get one, be sure to click on the emails we send you since we segment lists based on activity). We announced the very limited release of CANDLES, a burning topic of conversation on the Outlaw circuit (that is: people writing in, posting on Facebook, posting in our Facebook group, etc.).
We do listen!
We couldn't predict the popularity of the candles, so when they turned out to be very popular, they sold out in less than 24 hours.
For those of you who want to know why we only offer certain scents in subscription-only limited editions, this is why: It's tough to predict the popularity of different scents and products.
We do our best, but as a small company with limited resources, we order the absolute minimum we think we can sell. Otherwise, we might end up with months of excess inventory on hand (and a real cash problem).
Having inventory on a shelf is one of the worst things for a business because it means we can't do anything with the money we paid for the merchandise until we sell that inventory. It happens a lot in small businesses and kills many otherwise solid product ideas before their time.
We do not want to be a casualty to this problem.
Ordinarily, we offer candles seasonally in Fall and Winter. We've tried them at other times of the year, and they haven't done as well. This year, we had so many requests we decided to get a tiny few little bitty number in stock. They sold out quickly.
It's almost Fall, so we're probably going to order our Fall/Winter inventory soon so if you missed the candles, you'll probably get another chance.
BUT HERE'S THE IMPORTANT THING ABOUT LIMITED EDITIONS: They are REALLY limited
We use subscriptions to predict demand, so we rarely make too many and rarely make too few.
That's why we did our limited edition scents in subscriptions only: If we know we have 500 subscribers, we make 550 bars of soap. We know people have already ordered them, so there is little risk we'll end up with thousands of dollars of inventory that won't sell.
But we also know there are problems with this model.
After pondering the Soap of the Month (and build-a-subscription) offerings, we realized that people use these as a way to get to know our regular scents, not just to try new limited scents... some people really want to stay with the Outlaw Canon (our seven regular scents), so they can try all the scents.
We also know that, for a variety of reasons, people are hesitant to sign up for subscriptions (I personally have a small pile of personal razors on my shelf at home because I didn't remember to pause my subscription).
This Fall, we'll be trying some new things (based on your emails, posts, and comments):
1. Selling the over-runs of limited edition soaps in one-time-only announcements (so watch your emails)
2. Moving back to our regular line-up of Outlaw soaps for subscriptions
3. Changing some of our regular Outlaw Canon to seasonally available (we'll announce those products before they go out of stock so you can stock up)
4. Trying out some new scents that strike our fancy (in cologne, soap, and body wash)
We want to do our best to be the perfect company for YOU, our beloved Outlaw. You're why we come here every day (and sometimes even on a Sunday, as the case may be).
We know we can only continue to serve you if we continue to be in business, so we'll always have to make the best business decision (even if it's hard and pisses some people off), but we'll always try to explain these decisions.
We believe the best Outlaws are informed Outlaws. The more we involve you in the decisions we make, the better you can help us make decisions in the future!
Thank you, as always, for your support, consideration, and wonderful discussion. We are blessed to have the best darn Outlaws in the West!
In love & adventure,
Outlaw at Large