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Archive | October, 2022

More about small business regulations

I’ve reported a number of times on the issues in recent years with the aggressive moves by states to grab income tax from out-of-state sellers (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine).  I’m surely not the only small business to get the jitters from all this; I recently came across a blog post on this topic from a small seller of retro electronic that I follow that highlights an additional issues along these lines; not only our states, but countries are creating more aggressive regulations, making it harder for small businesses to compete on an international scale.

In summary / TL;DR:

GDPR is responsible for all the “cookie warnings” that almost every website has now.  Like shady attorneys pursuing website accessibility lawsuits in the US, there are a litany of such attorneys pursuing GDPR lawsuits against companies in the EU.  This has created extra hassles (and costs) for small businesses and extra hassles for end users.

LUCID requires companies to declare their annual weight of shipped packages and then purchase a packaging license from a third party; it appears to be mostly enforced by Germany, but applies to the entire EU.

VAT tax collection by EU and Canada (we haven’t seen that yet) is causing shipment delays and extra hassle for customers.

The bottom line is that the regulatory burden that negatively affects small businesses is getting worse, not better.  I’ve always thought that people in the public sector making these laws are lacking in practical business experience, which leads to laws that hurt rather than help our nations small businesses.

I think our leaders need to remember that small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) employ over 60 million people in the US.  They would be wise to consider how new laws and regulations affect small businesses before implementing them.





Best of Revere Ware blog – Is Revere Ware oven safe

We have answered this question via our customer support perhaps 100 times, and first wrote about it on our blog back in 2013.   It’s been in our care guide probably since 2009.  It is still one of our most common questions we get.

As far as we know, Revere Ware did initially claim that their cookware was oven safe to a temperature of 350 F.  But in later years they revised their recommendation to not use Bakelite parts in the oven at all. The change is probably due to the fact that earlier ovens were gas fired from the bottom and tended to heat evenly where newer ovens (electric) can heat from a broil burner and areas of the oven (near the top) can easily exceed the safe temperature for Bakelite (350 degrees F) even with the oven temperature set to below 350.

Even worse, modern ovens have a rapid preheat cycle that will use very high settings on the electric coils to get an oven up to operating temperature up fast.

The problem is that, if you overheat Bakelite, it won’t just melt.  Bakelite is a phenolic plastic, which is made from, among other things, formaldehyde.  If you overheat Bakelite it will break down and release the formaldehyde. Trust me, it smells bad and you don’t want to experience this.

If you really want a Revere Ware Dutch oven that you can put in the oven, look for some of the all metal pieces, such as from the Institutional / 5000 line, or the 1800 Patio Ware line.  You’ll get that iconic copper bottom and something that is oven safe.  See our photo guide for more information on these and other lines.

Patio Ware / 1400 line


Institutional / 5000 line




A word about returns

Some years ago, before getting married and having a family, a woman I was dating was almost obsessed with returning a can of paint to K-Mart.  The gallon of paint cost $12 and some change.  For whatever reason, it took four trips to finally get the return done.  To her, it clearly wasn’t about the money (she undoubtedly spend more time and (gas) money effecting the return than she got back); it was about the principal.  She had been given the wrong color or something and she was determined she get her money back.

With that in mind, I have a comment about sending returns back to us.  Let me say that we are happy to accept returns, do the degree that we will refund everything but what it cost us to ship the part(s) to you.  Even that doesn’t really cover out cost of sending orders, as our fulfillment costs (labor + postage + packaging) are more than we charge for shipping on every order.  But that’s fine, we’ll take that hit.  And I should say, if the incorrect order is our fault (something more than a customer not fully reading our website product description), we’ll cover the shipping too; it’s the right thing to do.

What surprises me is when people send low cost items back and it costs them more postage than they will get as a refund.  For example, we recently received a return for a hardware set that we sell for $4.49, and the shipping on the outside of the return enveloped was for $4.50.  I have to wonder what was gained by sending the return back.  Perhaps it is a principle thing.

On that note, if for some reason we mess up and send you the wrong part, you may find that we may want you to just keep or dispose of the wrong part, rather than send you a return envelope; if the cost of all that return shipping is more than the cost to produce the part, it just doesn’t make sense from our perspective.



Comparing 2022 with prior years and what that tells us

It’s been a crazy few years, no question.  The pandemic boosted peoples interest in cooking and our business benefited from that.  Now, there has been a consistent growth in interest in vintage cookware products for the last decade we’ve been selling Revere Ware parts; we averaged 10% revenue growth between 2010 and 2019.  Then, in 2020, we saw a 35% revenue growth.  2021 retained the higher revenue level of 2020 and added another 11%.  So far this year, we are down 10.5% from last year.

There has been a lot of discussion about whether the lifestyle changes the pandemic saw (like working from home) would stick around for the long term.  Given the amount of activity this year has seen (people are doing lots of activities and spending plenty of time away from home) I would have thought we’d see a steeper revenue drop over last year, but that isn’t the case.  The winter season sees our strongest sales, so that will tell us more.  For now, it seems like people’s interest in cooking is sticking around.

As another data point, our website traffic is down about 10% from last year.  While there are lots of things that affect website traffic (like Google changing its algorithms which it does several times a year), taken as face value this is in line with the slightly lower interest we have seen.  Our website traffic levels had also been heavily inflated by the pandemic, as you can see here.