A myriad of changes.

Sometimes I have things I want to tell you that aren't germane enough to enough people to warrant a mass email. The company Facebook page has served as the de facto blog, but that's really not the best platform. So I'm introducing The Desiderata Pen Company Blog, (name TBD) for the purposes of these communications.

http://www.desideratapens.com/blog/

So, I'm going to try and save us all a little time. Email updates were coming about once a month, but they'll be saved for seismic news and things I absolutely don't want you to miss, like a new product, or the introduction of this blog. Blog entries will also be much more often in coming. They'll be shorter, of course, but taken in aggregate, anyone will be much more able to track changes and progress. No more, "I just signed up for your mailing list, but missed your last update!" problems. I've been poring over your responses to my most recent survey, and I get the distinct impression that "more pens" is a theme. So while I work on bringing you that, I'm going to try and give you better communication. Not necessarily more, but better.

Not to mention, thanks to all the people who came out to the Chicago Pen Show! I met so many fun and interesting people, if you didn't come or have the opportunity, I highly encourage it.

I enjoy making pens that people use, but just as much, I love to meet the people who use them. There are some really terrific people out there, and being given the chance to please one, even a little, makes me very happy. 

Now, on to the business.

Shipping

I've tried to forestall this for as long as possible, but a considerable update to my shipping policies had to be done. Please read the full details on the Shipping/Returns page; There are a lot of minutia. For now, here are the highlights.

  1. Domestic (USA) shipping will go up, and items will require an adult signature.
  2. International first class now has: a total order limit of $125, and limits on what countries. The details are linked to in the Shipping/Returns page.
  3. I will no longer ship Priority Mail International because:
    1. It's misleading, and there are no guarantees: You would think based on the name that it should get you the item safer and faster than First Class, but that's just not necessarily true. It's not always any faster than First Class, there's no guarantee on delivery date, and it doesn't come with a true tracking number, so fulfilling claims can be problematic.
    2. In order to get a real tracking number, you're basically paying the same or greater cost for the next step up, Priority Mail Express International.
  4. Priority Mail Express International is the new default for all serviced countries. I still ship flat rate because the cost associated with by-the-weight calculation escalates impractically quickly, but I've tracked the world by zones of the most common shipping destinations and calculated specific shipping (and handling) rates for each zone. So now, Priority Mail Express International isn't just a single, catch-all rate, but one that is more equitable to more people. 
  5. There is still a single "All" Priority Mail Express International rate that covers all countries not placed in a specific zone (this includes countries in which I have never done business) which is higher, but covers every one. Remember, not everyone will have access to First Class international.

I wish I didn't have to do this, but you can probably guess what happened which forced this adjustment.

Who does this affect? The same people who always get the short end of the stick: The isolated and the remote.

I understand. It's incredibly frustrating to—already—be in a disadvantaged position and then be made to suffer further for the acts of a few bad people. That's not fair. I don't like it either. But these are the steps I have to take to protect my work and my own livelihood. This is a small operation with one man, alone, in a room, trying to make the best work he can for the world to enjoy, and there are people who just don't care about taking advantage of that. So, I know I'm going to lose some of you because the shipping costs will just be too high. I'm sorry. Please know that I have to take the steps I can to protect myself. And remember, this isn't over.

Checkout and Payment

In that vein, all checkouts will have to be done through PayPal for the time being. There may be slight issues with some customers, but by and large, for most of you, checkout should be as smooth as it was before.

User Manual

For the first time in a long time, the entire User Manual has been reviewed, streamlined, overhauled, and clarified. Every line, every word. Have a look at it to the left on the navigation bar. If you see any typos or other issues, please email me. 

Stock notifications

I also added the option within each listing to sign up for a list if you like an item that's not in stock at the moment. I'll let you know when they're ready that way.