Back in August of last year, it was taking us the better part of a day (and sometimes a couple days on top of that) to fill orders. This wasn't popular, since we Outlaws can't be hanging 'round our mailboxes all day... let alone for several days. We need our goods and we need 'em good 'n' fast.
We knew we had to remedy this however we could, but we didn't have the people or the organization to do it ourselves. For the past year(ish), we partnered with a fulfillment company to help us handle the Outlaw orders in an efficient and speedy way.
And outstandingly, if we may take a moment to toot our own horns (and the horns of our fulfillment partner), we managed to get most deliveries down to a few days (with the notable exception of Christmas, which will go down in history as the Worst Time For Shipping Ever).
But everything's a trade-off, and the outsourced fulfillment came with a few compromises that we were reluctant to make (personalization and price for lighter items, to name a couple). We made a few updates and adjustments - handwritten postcards from our team replaced notes on packing slips, and I designed that fun and fancy box that looks like your over-enthusiastic lunatic friend sent you a care package - but there's only so much a gang can do from afar.
Without our little Outlaw hands on the goods, it was difficult to show that our little Outlaw hands were on the goods.
So we always kept it in our mind that we needed to fix this, but we're a little gang moving as fast as we can, so we put a pin in it for later... and now is later!
As of this past Tuesday, we've been fulfilling orders in-house!
We're testing it out to see if we can manage it, and if we can, we'll be working on a more permanent shared-fulfillment situation.
What does that mean for you?
On average, shipping costs have dropped a couple bucks. More than half of our shipments will be shipping for about $5, vs $7 - $11. That's a pretty solid savings!
Your packages will be coming from Sparks, Nevada, which is a shipping hub (unlike our previous very rural Grass Valley location), but it's not very centrally located. If you're on the East Coast, you might get to virtually ride along (via the tracking page) as your Outlaw loot makes its way across the country. Usually, this doesn't take longer than a couple days thanks to the magic of the USPS, but it could take up to a few days (gasp).
And while we're on the subject of the USPS, you'll find that most of our packages are also being delivered by the friendly USPS folks, rather than UPS or DHL. As you may have noticed, we're a pretty small company, and USPS is a more economical shipping method for the likes of us.
What about free shipping?
We get questions about free shipping a lot, since it's what makes Amazon such a formidable force in the world.
Some companies have decided to cover the cost of shipping and/or include it in the price of their products. For companies that sell big ticket items, this is probably an absorbable cost, but for companies like us (where our products are generally under $30), it's not a cost we can cover.
Many companies have gone out of business trying to compete with Amazon, and we're not interested in adding our name to that roster.
For the foreseeable future, Outlaw will continue to pass-through the shipping cost. It's not where we make money (actually, we have chosen to personally cover the cost of replacing items that are lost in shipment, so we lose money on it), but it's something we would like to be as cash-neutral as possible.
That said, we do sometimes offer free shipping in our emails, so if you're interested in free shipping, keep an eye on your inbox!