Top Menu

Archive | May, 2019

Shipping hardware notes

This post might be most interesting to those readers who run a small business.

As a (small) business owner for 18 years now, I’ve learned that it is important to keep an eye on costs.  Employees, even good ones, don’t always pay attention to costs as much as I might as a business owner.  I’ve worked in environments where paying attention to keeping costs down is frowned upon, like a tech startup.  The motto among many tech startups is move fast and break things, and I’m pretty sure this doesn’t include penny pinching.  I’ve also seen people come out of the big corporate environment to a small business and still act like they have all the money in the world to spend.

The bottom line for small businesses is, a dollar not spent is one more dollar earned, and, in a small business you typically work hard for every dollar earned.

Along those lines, when setting up my shipping early on for RevereWareParts.com, I bought used gear at a substantial discount.

  • shipping scale used for $75 vs $400 new
  • label printer used for $70 vs $300 new

Mind you, this was 10 years ago; with the explosion of online selling today, many cheaper options are available.  But also, when dealing with shipping software packages like UPS Worldship, they typically only support a few types of hardware, that tend to be on the more expensive side.

Used items often come with quirks.  The shipping software would occasionally lose connectivity with the scale and it would need to be added again.   And, most annoyingly, the label printer produced marginal quality labels.

I thought this was just a sign of age, and was an unfortunate trade-off for having gotten a well used label printer for much cheaper than a new one.

But a few weeks ago I decided to see if I could get a replacement head or something to fix the problem; 10 years was long enough to put up with it.

Much to my surprise, the website for the printer maker said that one of the causes for poor print quality was low power supply voltage.  Huh?  The Zebra LP2844 (the gold standard for shipping label printers) takes a 20 volt power brick.  Sure enough, mine said 16 volts.  Whomever sold it to me used just used one that fit the plug and seemed to work; it did print after all.  I found a replacement power brick at the proper 20 volts, and like magic, the print quality was perfect.

Perhaps someone will stumble upon this and fix their own Zebra LP 2844 print quality issues like I finally did; would be nice to help someone avoid the issue I had for so long.

I find that when I meet someone who also owns a small business, whatever it is, we often have a lot to talk about.  There are so many challenges to being a small business owner that most of us share, from bureaucratic  and regulatory issues, how to make the best of the tax code, economic cycles, employee issues, sales tax changes, dealing with Amazon.com, how to market your business … the list goes on and on.

Having to deal with technical issues when you don’t have an IT person to back you up, is just another one of the challenges many small businesses face.

0

No more Revere Ware warranty replacement

With the silent shuttering of the Revere Ware brand last year, all traces of Revere Ware have been removed from the website of Corelle, the parent company that owns the Revere Ware brand.  You can still try contacting them for warranty issues, but we aren’t hopeful. We’ve heard from some customers that have been told by Corelle that they no longer provide warranty support of any kind for Revere Ware products.

If you do contact them, you might point out that the Revere Ware warranty is still posted on their website (which can be found only through Google as far as we can tell).  Perhaps that will convince them to give you something for your troubles.

0

How to get our mailing address

In addition to the reasons we don’t have a customer service phone number, (in short, we don’t have an office staff to answer the phone) people often wonder why we don’t post our mailing address.

When we first started 10 years ago, we did.  However, we often got unwanted mail.

For one, people often sent us their old broken and worn parts to see if we had a replacement.  In many cases, we didn’t, and, because a worn part is better than no part, we felt obliged to send the part back, for which we had to pay the postage.  In almost all cases, pictures will suffice to identify a part; sending one by mail is completely unnecessary.

Another problem was people sending their parts to us as a return without first contacting us.  Sometimes, customers think a part won’t work because of a simple problem, like this issue with old lid knobs losing their nut insert.  By not posting our mailing address on our website, customers must first contact us, and much of the time we are able to solve a problem, avoiding an unnecessary return.

However, if you really need our mailing address for some reason, just contact us.  Our reply with have our address in the signature.

 

 

New Old Stock

In the parlance of vintage items, new old stock, or NOS, is a term you want to be familiar with.  New old stock items are items that are old, but never used.  If you are interest in vintage items, finding a never used piece, or replacement part, can be the holy grail of picking.

Searching eBay for new old stock revere ware shows some interesting stuff.

Today, we see an interesting early 40’s handle you can’t get replacements for, from us or anyone else, and some nice new vintage items.

Some old items can be ruined by time alone; rubber items can often degrade over time even if not used.

But for the most part, searching for new old stock / NOS items can bring up some really interesting stuff.

 

0