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Microsoft doesn’t like us :(

Believe it or not, we run our own email server, and have been for 20 years or so.  There are benefits to running ones own email system, such as flexibility and privacy, but it comes at a price; namely keeping up with all manner of attempts at hacking the system, and, once in a while, one of the major email providers decides our email server is no longer safe.  Last month it was the AT&T system that stopped accepting emails from our server.  This time it is Microsoft.

Microsoft isn’t presently accepting emails from us from any of their email domains (msn.com, outlook.com, hotmail.com).  We’ve contacted their support for such things and while they have pointed us at a page that lists best practices for email servers that communicate with them, we are unable to find anything that seems awry, they won’t tell us specifically what the problem is, and they say “we are not a candidate for mitigation” of the problem.

We reviewed our mail logs since the beginning of the year and have sent a whopping 30 or so emails to any of the Microsoft email services, which means we definitely aren’t a source of spam email.

We’ll continue to try and figure out what the issue is.  In the meantime, please be aware that if you are contacting us from one of those domains, you may not get a reply from us, or you might not receive order confirmations from our system.

Ah the joys of being a small independent business.

Please feel free to tell Microsoft you are unhappy with them blocking email from us. 🙂

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Parts shipping and inventory status

We received this notice from Amazon.com yesterday:

We are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock. With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers.

For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors.

This will be in effect today through April 5, 2020, and we will let you know once we resume regular operations. Shipments created before today will be received at fulfillment centers.

Currently, we have approximately three months stock for all parts for typical sales volumes for this time of year at both Amazon.com and our websites fulfillment contractor.  While we can’t currently send inventory to Amazon.com, it seems likely that sometime over the next two months that restriction will ease.

Our fulfillment contractor tells us they are operating at full capacity, accepting new inventory, and have no plans to shut down.

So, for now, we can provide all of our parts without interruption. 

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Issue with our email system at the moment (RESOLVED)

We have an issue that is preventing emails to be sent from our server.  This means that contact form emails are not making it through and order confirmation emails are not going out either.

Please bear with us as we fix the issue.

Update: This is now fixed an all emails that were supposed to be sent have gone out.

Just a reminder that we are a small business and technical issues sometimes do happen.

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Happy Birthday to Us; a trip down memory lane

A year ago we celebrated our 10 year anniversary of selling new replacement parts for Revere Ware cookware.  If you aren’t familiar, the owners of the Revere Ware brand stopped supplying replacement parts for Revere Ware cookware sometime back in the late 1980’s.  For about 20 years, nothing was available.


We started out supplying a handful of parts in 2009 with this basic website, with sales solely on eBay.

Later that year we introduced handles for the post-1968 single screw pots and Dutch ovens, and switched to this beauty of a site; at that point we started selling through our own site, in addition to eBay.

We also started listing our parts on Amazon.com that year.  Over the last 10 years, Amazon.com has become a bigger and bigger part of our business.

The blue is eBay, red is our own website, and green is Amazon.com.


In late 2010 we introduced post-1968 newer style single screw handles for skillets and sauce pans, as well as the smallest handle for the pre-1968 2-screw line, followed by gaskets for the 1574 and 1576 line of pressure cookers.


In 2012, we switched from shipping things ourselves to hiring a fulfillment center to do the shipping for us.  This helped improve shipping responsiveness, and relieved us of the responsibility of shipping things ourselves, which became increasingly hard with the growing volume of sales and the arrival of our second child (now three) in 2011.  We stopped selling on eBay that year, as it was very difficult to integrate eBay sales into our fulfillment center.


In late 2015 we introduced the replacement, cap & trigger, and handle for the 2 1/3 quart tea kettle.  We also switched the the current version of our website.


In 2016 we completed a design for a 3D printable trigger for the 3 quart kettle, but materials that could withstand the heat weren’t available until 2018, when we added the model to Shapeways for ordering.


And all the while we’ve continued to add to our collection of manuals, repair guides, ads and catalogs recipes, and blog posts on Revere Ware related subjects.

We also started our ReverWare.org eBay listing classification site in 2010, with major updates in 2014 and 2019.  If you aren’t familiar, it makes finding the right replacement Revere Ware piece on eBay a snap.

For the last 11 years, it has been our pleasure to do something nice for the community of Revere Ware owners, fans, and enthusiasts.  Enjoy!

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It’s nice to be wanted

Every once in a while, someone contacts us with a comment like this:

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for having these parts available to us . I’m able to save Moms set of Revere Ware. Love it and now I passing them down to her Grand son Chef/Teacher of Culinary Arts.

It goes a long way towards making up for the hassles involved in running a small business like this, like the latest issues with collecting sales tax.  As we work towards doing a manufacturing run for the next 10 years worth of replacement parts, It is grateful customers that keep us committed to this endeavor.

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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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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.

 

 

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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