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A tale of two typos

There is a lot of information I’ve compiled on this website, and I do occasionally make typos.  Sometimes readers are kind enough to point them out, like reader Terry.

PS:  I believe the third paragraph; first line, of the Cleaning & Care Information page has a spelling error:  buffing oils arc likely
Also, under CARE OF REVERE WARE, the first paragraph ends with:  We recommend
and nothing after.
Very helpful, and easily fixed.  On the other hand, I also sometimes receive comments like this:
Please do correct the incorrect use of it’s. It’s should not be used unless you mean “it is.”
Yes, that’s all the information they gave me.  If you do find a typo, please let me know the specific page it is on. 🙂
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Best of RevereWareParts Blog: October 2010 How We Make Cookware Parts

Sometimes people mistake us for a big company and get upset when our parts aren’t perfect.  So coming across this article from 2010 it seems like a good reminder of how and why we do this.

About one out of every several hundred customers that buys a lid/cover knob from us complains that it didn’t come with a screw.  The reason is that, as far as we can tell, Revere Ware pot/pan covers had a permanently attached screw since day one.  I think the 0.3% of people who have covers where this is not true probably have a non Revere Ware cover that someone put a Revere Ware knob on, or their screw broke off and their lid was retrofitted to use a separate screw, as we outline here.

This issue is valuable as it highlights the process we have been going through to create replacement parts for Revere Ware cookware.  It seems that replacement parts have not been available from Revere Ware (now World Kitchen LLC) since 1986, according to World Kitchen’s website.  This has created not only a lack of parts for customers, but lack of unused parts for us to model ours after.

To create replacement parts, we attempt to find a wide enough sample of the cookware and parts to represent all possible variations that exist out there in the world.  It is not always easy and often times all we can find are parts that are well used and not exactly in their original shape.

With knobs in particular, there is a wide variation in the length of the screw and the actual knobs themselves have had at least 10 variations over the years, some with metal inserts, including aluminum and brass, some without, and with varying depths of screw holes.  With handles, there seems to be slight variations in hole separation.

Overall, if the number of complaints about problems is any indication, we’ve done a pretty good job; we receive about 2 or 3 complaints for every hundred parts we sell.  In many cases, a little bit of do-it-yourself effort, like widening holes in the metal part of a handle, can solve the problem.

Probably the largest hurdle and the reason people are upset when their parts don’t fit, is that we are often confused with the Revere Ware company, and as such, people expect the parts to work perfectly, unaware of the trouble we have had to go through to actually create suitable replacement parts.  While our name helps people understand exactly what we provide, people seem to skip past the numerous disclaimers on our site that we are not affiliated with the Revere Ware company or brand.

So, just to clarify, we are not the company that made the cookware and we have had no help from them in creating these parts.  You can find World Kitchen LLC, which owns the Revere Ware brand, here.

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Solving problems, advanced edition

I must say, the customers that are brave enough to purchase parts from a small independent website like ours seem to be made of heartier stock than their brethren that quietly retreat to the safety of Amazon.com for such purchases.

We know for a fact that those of you that purchase from us directly seem to be better at reading, as you rarely ever return items just because you didn’t fully read our product pages and ordered the wrong item.  On some products on Amazon.com, returns approach 15% of purchases; on our site we sit comfortably south of 1% of total orders being returned.  Even the characters that buy from us on eBay hardly ever return items, so this is definitely an Amazon phenomenon (phenomazon?).

But, there are some Amazon.com returns that are truly based on difficulty with our parts.  Granted, trying to replicate a line of replacement parts on a shoestring that was once developed by a huge corporation is bound to result in some imperfections.  But I give you our website customers credit, you seem to either figure it out or contact us for help (which we dutifully supply in droves) and rarely ever give up and just return the darn things, like your cohorts at Amazon are more likely than not to do if there is an issue.

So we’ve made some changes to try and engage with Amazon.com customers more; we now put stickers on every part with our Gmail address to make it easy for people to contact us for help, and we contact every customer who returns a product (that Amazon will allow us to in their infinite wisdom) to ask what went wrong.

And it turns out, we’ve been able to identify some small issues that are worth noting from al this.

Knobs that won’t screw on easily

Sometimes, the lid knobs just don’t seem to want to screw on.  I suspect it is corrosion on the lid screws that is the ultimate culprit here.  When you see a screw that looks like this, you know there will be trouble.

I suspect the tolerance on our embedded nuts is a little tighter in our latest production run vs prior runs.

Here are some things to try if you are having hard time

  • Use some WD-40 or household lubricating oil
  • Scrub a rusty screw with a green Scotch-Brite pad to try and remove as much of the rust as possible.  A wire brush might also be helpful
  • Push the knob onto the screw to try and engage the threads
  • You can always remove the screw, drill a hole, and use a separate screw from the hardware store, as we detail here, if your screw is too far gone.

If it still doesn’t work, contact us for more help

POH-2 pot handle won’t fit flat against the pot or the holes don’t line up

This one is another head scratcher.  We’ve had a few customers where the handle fits on just fine, but the hole in the handle isn’t line up with the hole in the bracket.

If this happens to you, you can sometimes get the screw to fit in just enough to screw down, and it holds fine.  Another solution is to nibble away at the inside hole of the Bakelite handle with a Dremel tool, or a round file, to provide extra room for the screw; usually you just need another 1/16th of an inch.

We’ve also had customers for whom the handle won’t fit all the way over the bracket. Here is the bracket of one such customer (who also had the hole won’t line up issue).

I measured several brackets from my test pots and they came out at 1.75″ x .5″ x 3/16″ (deep) the same exact measurements as the customers bracket.

In this case I sent her a replacement handle that worked, so it was probably just a little extra Bakelite on the inside of the handle where the bracket fits in that was preventing it from going all the way down. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have this problem.  If you are a DIY type person and don’t want to wait for another handle to try, use a Dremel tools to remove some of the Bakelite material from where the bracket fits to get it to seat all the way.

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The State of the USPS (what to expect) and the coming difficult holiday season

I’d been a difficult year and a half with regards to shipping via the US Postal Service, with much slower service, some extremely long ship times around the 2020 holiday season, and the somewhat more frequent unplanned world tour for some packages.  I thought I’d take a quick gander at some of our recent shipments to see how the USPS is doing in the last couple of weeks.

First, let me say that, we ship almost all of our packages via the USPS because it is far cheaper than either UPS or Fedex.  So, despite issues, there really isn’t a better option unless you want to pay three times as much.  And even UPS and Fedex had issues last holiday season.

On average, shipments leave our fulfillment center about one business day after the order is placed.

It used to be the USPS promised first class delivery to anywhere in the US in 2-3 days. So how are they doing right now?  About double that.  The average delivery time to anywhere in the US among all packages was about 4 days.  Individual regions varied:

West Coast: 3 1/2 days (as few as 2 and as many as 6)
Midwest: 3 days (as few as 2 and as many as 4)
South: 5 days (as few as 4 and as many as 6)
East Coast: 4 1/3 days (as few as 4 and as many as 6)

We also had one package going from Nevada to the East Coast take an unexpected trip to Hawaii and another that was delivered to the USPS in Nevada and hasn’t moved in 5 days, so these anomalies are still happening with some regularity.

As we head into what is likely going to be a very chaotic holiday season, expect things to get worse.  It wasn’t unusual last December for some USPS shipments to take 3 or more weeks in the continental US.

Another factor is that the disruption may start earlier this year.  There is a lot of information starting to appear that container shipping is very messed up right now, with the average time on the water going from 41 days to over 70 days, and 100 ships off the cost of Southern California waiting to be unloaded.  Retailers are going to have a very hard time getting everything restocked for Christmas, which means many things will be unavailable and people will frantically be ordering what they can.  Furthermore, in response to this, it seems likely that a lot of shoppers are going to start doing their Christmas shopping early, which means November might see an extraordinary number of packages shipped and see extended delays as well.

Also consider that, despite the global pandemic in the last 18 months, personal income and savings are way up due to all the extraordinary measures the government has taken, and the fact that people aren’t spending a lot on transportation, vacations, and other things. This means that there is more than the usual amount of money out there for holiday spending ,which will push up purchases and therefore shipping volumes.

The USPS seems to have held about steady with first class shipments in the US with the above numbers for most of the year.  I would expect October to be about the same, and then things start to get worse in November.

What you can do

First and foremost, please be patient.  Everyone should know by now that shipping anything is taking longer.  Even the coveted Amazon 1 and 2 days shipments are often late these days, and some Amazon shipments do seem to get lost with some regularity.

Second, ask us for help.  If your package seems to be permanently stuck and not making progress getting to you, give us a shout.  We have been known to drop a second shipment to try and resolve situations like that.  You may now know this, but if you receive a package, mark REFUSED on it, and put it back in the mail, it will go back to the sender. That is what we will ask you to do to one package, if both packages we send you for a single order arrive, eventually.

Third, order in October for the holidays.  Seriously.  My kids are working on their Christmas wish lists right now, and we hope to be done in the next couple of weeks, after which we will start ordering presents.  Also get your orders for things like Harry and David or Swiss Colony (my favorite) in early and set the ship date for early December.

With a little planning, you can get ahead of the expected difficult holiday season and skip all the mess.

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Problem with replacement percolator tops

For years we had been buying our replacement glass percolator tops from TOPS, which makes a variety of generic replacement cookware parts.  A few years ago TOPS was sold to another company and we started buying the parts from them.  Our last order was received in November 2020.  As we started to get into the remainder of this order, we found that the packaging had changed.  You can see the older blue backed tops with the newer red backed tops here.

The replacement tops work by screwing an aluminum ring from the underside of the percolator lid onto the glass top. This allows them to work for a variety of percolator hole sizes. This part was made to fit holes between 1.5 and 2.5 inches.

Unfortunately, when they switched to the new manufacturing process sometime last year, the aluminum ring shrunk in size, and now comes on the red backed product at only 2 1/4 inches in diameter.  This makes it too small to fit Revere Ware percolators.

We have removed the inventory from our website for now, so it isn’t possible to order this part through us.  We’ve alerted the company that makes the parts and are trying to find a resolution.  Given that the parts no longer meet the specifications printed on the product packaging, our hope is that they fix the process to produce the correct sized ring.

Stay tuned.

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Revere Ware on eBay continues to grow

It was less than two months ago that we bench marked the number of Revere Ware related listing on eBay at just under 13,000.  But now:

Wow.  Just wow.  It is hard to pinpoint exactly what is causing this upsurge to continue at such a rapid rate.  In much of the country, life is slowly getting somewhat back to normal.  Our sales have slowed a little from the holiday high, but still remain far above our typical level as evidenced by this graph of monthly sales for all the years we’ve been in business.

You can see 2020 broke ranks in March / April from prior years and continued at a high level throughout the year, interrupted only when we removed our parts from Amazon.com in October 2020 due to some inappropriate customer behavior.  This year the part has continued, with last months sales more like what a typical December used to be like.

There has been a lot of talk about what changes that were forced upon us by the pandemic will remain.  It seems that cooking at home is still wildly popular by all measures.

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2020: It was a great year for Revere Ware!

Looking at the graph of Google searches for the term “Revere Ware” since 2004, you might think interest in the brand is dying a slow death.

But look at the bump on the far right.

Clearly, overall interest in Revere Ware has bottomed out and is now going up again.  Impressions for the ad keywords we use on Google Adwords tells an even more encouraging story.

According to the number of impressions, which tracks a wider variety of Revere Ware related searches, interest bottomed out in 2012 and has gone up significantly since then.  As another data point, here are the eBay listings graph from our revereware.org site that categorizes eBay Revere Ware auctions.

That goes back to 2009, and the number of listed items has continually gone up, with a huge bump this year.  Then there are our sales over the last year.

All I can say is wow!  Every month since April has far outperformed prior years, and December was our largest sales month since we started selling replacement parts in 2009.  The graph of total revenue per year shows the year over year bump a little clearer.

Our sales have climbed continuously since we started selling parts. The Revere Ware brand may be officially dead, but interest in Revere Ware is far from dead, and experienced quite a revival in 2020.

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Some orders are seeing a shipping delay

Due to a lost bulk shipment to our fulfillment contractor, our lid knobs went out of stuck in Late December unbeknownst to us.  We discovered it last week as we noticed that some orders from late December and forward had not been shipped.  We worked quickly last week to get more stock to our contractor’s warehouse.  The stuck orders should start shipping soon.

We apologize for the inconvenience for anyone affected by this.

Update 1/11/20 : All stuck orders have been shipped and everything is back to normal

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Merry Christmas and Happy Revere Ware

This month seems likely to be, like most of this year, a record setting one for us.  People appear to have really hunkered down and gotten in to home cooking if our sales of our Revere Ware replacement parts are any indication.

Just a reminder that if you are shopping with us for a present for a loved one, and hope to have it under the tree by Christmas, place your order ASAP, as Christmas is getting close and the USPS isn’t getting any faster.

Happy Holidays!

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