1st Shipment Out

We had plenty of boxes packed up over a week ago, but we finally got our first set of Kickstarter boxes out tonight. We knew figuring out our shipping system would be tough, and it’s finally up and running.

This first shipment consisted of 302 three pack cases. Since we only made 6k boxes in our first run, this single shipment accounts for almost 20% of all of our popcorn. By far the coolest part of getting this all together was looking over each layer of boxes as we built up the pallets. I would occasionally recognize a name, but for the most part it was a landscape of new people from interesting places. Mike, Derek, Jennifer, Lord, Shannon, Jessica, Phil,… from places like… Tulsa, OK; Seattle, Washington; Lexington, KY; Austin, TX; New York; NY, Toledo, OH; Sante Fe, NM; Littleton, NH; Honolulu, HI;…the list goes on and on. I know I’m a dork, but somehow seeing that was exciting.

UPS arrived today for the pickup, and the guy laughed when he saw our stacks. It wasn’t about to fit in his loaded truck. After finishing his route and emptying his truck he came back and we loaded it all up in the pitch black of night.

A quick pointer on shipping rates; something we learned the hard way. We don’t plan on shipping too much ourselves. Amazon will handle our online order fulfillment, and distributors will get most of our product to markets. Our Kickstarter set is a lot to ship, but after it’s out we will only ship samples and popcorn to stores that we think we really need to be in, but are not serviced by our distributors.

Nonetheless, we were shocked we when saw how much it was going to cost us to ship our 750 Kickstarter boxes. We fretted and looked for alternate options for a few days before remembering that a friend of ours is shipping broker. He saved our asses. Through him we were able to shop UPS at about half the normal rate. If you consistently ship a ton of stuff, UPS will eventually give you better rates than what you and I get when we ship online. A broker, however, has already negotiated a deal with UPS and when you go through them, you get that deal too. Shipping our Kickstarter boxes was going to cost us about $12k, and now it is going to be more like $7k.

P.S. We didn’t really use any logic for the order in which we shipped the Kickstarter boxes other than get a big set out first. We are now on a roll and every day more will go out the door. Thanks for being patient! I have not yet received a single mean email.

COMMENTS

  1. Ivan Y wrote:

    It’s nice to have friends in all the right places, isn’t it? I’d sold on eBay quite a bit a few years back, so I know that S&H can really add up and eat into profits (especially on lower-priced goods). It’s possible to get UPS/FedEx discounts by opening accounts with them and/or through eBay, but ground shipments aren’t as heavily discounted as express ones, so your friend really helped you out. And, as oil prices have gone up, so have the prices.

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