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Canada shipping is broken at the moment (now fixed)

The challenge setting up international shipping methods, as we outlined recently, unfortunately includes sometime difficulties when the software that runs our website changes as we install updates.  This happened recently and it appears to have broken our Canadian shipping in so that the cheaper shipping methods disappeared, making shipping to Canada overly expensive.

We hope to have this fixed in the next few days.

Update: this is fixed now.

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Why we don’t ship worldwide

We get inquires from time to time about shipping to various countries around the world – Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Latin America, to name a few.

To understand why we don’t ship worldwide at this time, consider the following Google Trends graphic.

This shows the searches for “revere ware” since 2004, by country.  It seems pretty clear that Revere Ware interest is confined almost entirely to the US.

If it was simple to ship worldwide, we’d do it anyways, to maximize the benefit for anyone, anywhere.  But unfortunately, each additional country we ship to requires a painstaking setup process that can take hours of finagling to get right.  It simply isn’t worth it to add 170 countries on the likelihood of a handful of orders per year.

It is possible Amazon.com will make it easy to ship internationally using domestic inventory at some time in the future.  Until that happens, we only ship to the US and Canada.

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New Tri-Ply finder on revereware.org

Our revereware.org eBay Revere Ware listing helper now includes a Tri-Ply category.  It doesn’t sort them by type (sauce pan, skillet, etc.) but there are relatively few Tri-Ply listings on eBay compared to other things.  As an example, our skillet page has over 1,000 items on it, while the Tri-Ply page has only 150.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Why we don’t have a customer service number

 

Every once in a while we get someone who is a little upset that we don’t have a customer service phone number.  I thought I would take this opportunity to explain why we don’t.

We tend to answer customer service emails within a few hours; often at night and on weekends; we often answer in minutes.  We provide copious amounts of help for things unrelated to our sales, just to be helpful to the Revere Ware community.

Our business is small by every measure.  We serve a very niche market, and provide our parts (and information) as much as a service to the dedicated Revere Ware enthusiasts, as we do because it is a viable business.

As small as we are, hiring someone to sit by the phone to wait for the occasional call (I would guess a few a week if we did have a number listed) is out of the question.  We simply can’t afford it.

That leaves a couple of options:

–> Have an office phone that us answered when someone happens to be in the office.  I can imagine that nothing can be more frustrating than having a customer service number when you need help, but not being able to reach someone.

–> Use a personal mobile phone for such support calls.  Who among us wants to give out their personal number, and risk getting calls at 3am from someone that happens to be in a different time zone?

Neither of these solutions are very satisfying.  So we choose not to list a customer service number, and just do the best job we can promptly and thoroughly answering support emails.

But perhaps the best reason not to offer customer service by phone is that it isn’t nearly as useful and efficient as email.  With email, you can send photos and screen shots. With email you can cut and paste exact error message.  Email is simply a much better medium for the kind of support our customers need.

We hope you understand.  You can contact us using our contact form.

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