Western Art, Western Decor

News

Escalating Freight, Product Prices, and Overhead Costs

Posted on September 23, 2021 by Buffalo Trader Online



CELEBRATE WITH US!
We are now in our 12th year of business thanks to our wonderful customers like you! January, 2022 will make 13 years in business and we thank you for your continued patronage.


UPDATE ON RISING COSTS
In our last blog post, we discussed the rising costs of goods and shipping. We have been notified by every wholesale partner that currently supplies our goods that due to increased raw goods costs, production costs, and transportation costs, a sharp rise in wholesale pricing as well as higher transportation costs have unfortunately now made some of our most popular products no longer profitable. Due to hyper-inflation, we have made the decision to no longer offer some larger or heavier items in our products lines. These items include iron or heavier metals, wood, and glass items weighing more than 5 lbs. measuring 24 inches or more in any dimension. Items are marked as "(over-sized)" and most require separate shipping due to the weight and/or size and shape. These items are clearly marked on our website. We have also eliminated several product suppliers that have been unwilling to compromise on high-cost shipping options or product minimums.

AFFECTED PRODUCTS
Products made of raw wood, steel, aluminum, silver, glass, and injection molded poly resin materials are among a few of the categories of products that have proven to be the most affected by these increased costs. These increases are three-fold for us as a small business since we are not only absorbing higher incoming shipping costs (two increases just since January) but also additional fuel and distance surcharges with all major shipping carriers. Along with this inflation, we are also absorbing higher office, warehouse, electrical, and labor costs to operate. With the higher cost of goods, higher minimums required by our suppliers, and increased outgoing shipping costs to our customers, we had to make some tough decisions on which products to keep and which ones to no longer offer. Items that are not drop-shipped to our customers by our supplier have been marked "out of stock" momentarily. We hope this will only be temporary and while these items are still available from our suppliers, the overhead costs are just too great at this time.

DISCOUNTED SHIPPING RATES
While we have continued passing our discounted shipping rates to our customers, we have not increased our tiered shipping rates for the past three years and at this point, we may have to now as our current shipping rates barely cover shipping costs in most instances, even for smaller packages of less than 3 lbs. to most delivery areas. The US Postal Service has announced yet another proposed increase for 2021/2022. And, as we have in the past, if shipping costs are less than $5.00 more than our customer paid for shipping during checkout, we will continue to waive the difference and cover the costs from our profit margin, at least for now. However, the costs of packing materials, tape, and shipping boxes have also seen sharp increases in costs and we are experiencing shortages due to long backorders for paper products in general, particularly new boxes that UPS now requires for all shipping. This is not only expensive but also impractical or impossible with larger special order or open stock items that may or may not ship to us in suitable packaging for re-shipping. We only bill our customers the extra shipping for larger or heavier items that require over-sized rates or when shipped to an obscure delivery location that dictates much higher shipping costs, all described in the product's description. We will continue this practice for a long as is feasible.

While shopping with us, keep in mind that while we can no longer offer free shipping because search engines like Google and Yahoo penalize us by restricting relevancy and viewership on search results when we offer "FREE" anything. This hurts us and other small businesses in lieu of "big tech" helping their biggest paid ads customers Amazon, eBay, and other big box stores that can afford to absorb these costs and whom receive much larger shipping discounts due to much higher volume than we do. We are trying our best to prevent being squeezed out of the online marketplace to continue offering our customers fair and honorable pricing policies without deceptive offers where the added costs are tacked onto the cost of products just for the sake of offering "free" shipping. Many of our products are already priced at 20-25% below the manufacturer's retail suggested price to help our customers defray anticipated increased shipping costs. So, while we do not offer free shipping any longer, we do offer lower prices and our fairest, discounted shipping rates whenever possible.


INCREASED DAMAGE CLAIMS
We have also seen a sharp increase in damage claims with all three shipping carriers as a result of inexperienced and untrained transportation workers, labor shortages, increased shipping volumes, increased shipping delays, lost packages, and packages delivered to the wrong address. While we are not responsible for these issues, it affects our business and our customers so we are doing everything we can to prevent any damages by utilizing the required methods by all three shipping carriers to ensure safe transport of insured packages. While issues arise, please understand that shipping issues are not the fault of the store and once a package leaves our warehouse, we have little or no input on how or where the package is routed once shipped. We ship to the address give by our customers and the system is automated so please check the shipping address you enter carefully. 

CUSTOMER COMPLIANCE
We have also experienced an increase in customers that abandon their orders and/or refuse to pay additional shipping due on items marked as "over-sized" in the item's description. These items are clearly marked for this reason. We encourage customers to email us for a shipping quote in advance of placing an order for all larger or heavier items. Special order and larger open stock items are not eligible for late cancellation or refunds. This is also stated clearly in the descriptions of these items. Late cancellations after an order is packed, weighed, and measured for shipping costs us time and labor, non-refundable credit card fees, and other overhead expenses related to returning products to inventory. For this reason, all customers will now be required to agree to our Terms and Conditions (including shipping fees) when their order is placed. You may review our Terms and Conditions here. The 15% restocking fee (minimum of $10) for late cancellations and returns will now be strictly enforced. 


WE ARE SMALL BUSINESS USA!
We remain a small, family-owned and operated business and we will continue to try to make these decisions with our customers' best interests at heart. We want to continue offering a wide variety of products at fair prices with the lowest possible shipping costs while maintaining a decent profit margin.

My husband and I started this business 12 years ago to promote his western art. While this website has been quite successful, we have carried our share of obstacles and economic issues along with all other small businesses. Since the COVID-19 shutdowns, we've seen significant changes to how our business operates as well as how to effectively service our customers. My husband retired a few years ago so this is now our primary source of retirement income and it's becoming harder and harder each day to stay afloat in this turbulent economy. We're not Amazon and we never will be so please bear with us through this difficult time in our country's economic history.

As a reminder, we currently seek American-made products where possible and our remaining products are sourced only from American-based companies providing jobs to Americans. We do not deal with overseas vendors and we plan to continue supporting American owned and operated businesses only. Please help us by continuing to support all small local and online businesses!

We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to serving you in the upcoming holiday season. 

Pray for our nation.

Sincerely,

Denny and Leigh Karchner - Owners & Staff
Buffalo Trader Online

 

Increased Costs In 2021

Posted on June 07, 2021 by Buffalo Trader Online

We're in our 12th year of business thanks to our wonderful customers like you!

Over the last week, we have been notified by nearly every wholesale partner that currently supplies our goods that due to increased raw goods costs, production costs, and transportation costs, a sharp rise in wholesale pricing as well as higher shipping costs is inevitable. While our suppliers are holding back and absorbing as much of the additional temporary costs as possible, an average increase of 5-7% has been passed on to online and brick-and-mortar retailers like us. 

Products made of raw wood, steel, aluminum, silver, glass, and injection molded poly resin materials are among a few of the categories of products that have proven to be the most affected by these increased costs. These increases are three-fold for us as a small business since we are not only absorbing higher incoming shipping costs (since the 4-7% increases in January 2021 with all major shipping carriers) but also the higher cost of the goods, higher minimums required by our suppliers, and increased outgoing shipping costs to our customers. While we have continued passing our discounted shipping rates to our customers, we have not increased our tiered shipping rates for the past three years and at this point, we do not plan to increase shipping rates, however, this may have to happen down the road as our current shipping rates barely cover shipping costs in most instances, even for smaller packages of less than 3 lbs. to most delivery areas. Costs of packing materials, tape, and shipping boxes have also seen sharp increases in costs. However, for customer shipping that creates a loss of less than $5.00, we absorb the difference in higher shipping from our profit margin rather than raising shipping rates or even higher product prices. We only bill our customers for larger or heavier items that require over-sized rates or when shipped to an obscure delivery location that dictates much higher costs. We will continue this practice for a long as is feasible.

We have been ensured by many  of our suppliers that these price increases due to hyper-inflation in a post-COVID economy will be temporary and lower prices may come back when the "new normal" has settled things back down with the economy and foreign trade. And, of course, the geo-political atmosphere we are currently experiencing is also causing increased concern for the cost of goods globally in an unfair trading market with much market insecurity and concerns of higher risks. 

We are currently adjusting prices for products with all our suppliers and in the coming weeks will be eliminating a few more of our current suppliers while adjusting available product lines for some items that we feel may no longer be practical for us to carry that are creating high-cost overhead on incoming merchandise as well as utilizing precious warehouse space. With much regret, many of our most popular items may no longer be available after these adjustments have been made.  

As we remain a small, family-owned and operated business, we try to make these decisions with our customers' best interests at heart. We want to continue offering a wide variety of goods at fair prices with the lowest possible shipping costs. While shopping with us, keep in mind that while we can no longer offer free shipping because search engines like Google and Yahoo penalize us by restricting relevancy and viewership on search results when we offer "FREE" anything. This hurts us and other small businesses in lieu of "big tech" helping their biggest paid ads customers Amazon, eBay, and other big box stores that can afford to absorb these costs and whom receive much larger shipping discounts due to volume than we do. We are trying our best to prevent being squeezed out of the online marketplace to continue offering our customers fair and honorable pricing and policies without deceptive offers where the added costs are tacked onto the cost of products just for the sake of offering "free" anything. Many of our products are already priced at 20-25% below the manufacturer's retail suggested price to help our customers defray anticipated increased shipping costs. So, while we do not offer free shipping any longer, we do offer lower prices and our fairest shipping rates possible.

As a reminder, our products are sourced from American based companies providing American jobs and we plan to continue supporting American owned and operated businesses only. We believe that we can help keep costs down by being the solution rather than contributing to the problem. 

We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to serve our customers. 

Buffalo Trader Online Owners & Staff

Posted in Announcements, Furniture, Jewelry, Kitchen & Dining, Lighting, Outdoor & Garden, Western Art, Western Decor, Wet Bar Accessories

Annual Winter Sales Event

Posted on February 03, 2021 by Buffalo Trader Online

Save 20% off select Kitchen Decor & Gifts

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Posted in Kitchen & Dining, News, Sales Event

ATTACK ON FREE SPEECH!

Posted on July 29, 2020 by Buffalo Trader Online



As valued customers, or potential customers, we want to make you aware of certain situations that will impact our business and you.

Sunday night, we received an email from our web server, Shopify, demanding that we remove specific merchandise immediately or our website would be disabled on August 3rd, 2020. The email went on to mention items that have been deemed "not allowed" under their "Acceptable Use Policy" and are considered "offensive or hate speech."

We've been in business a total of 13 years now, 11 years online and over this span of time, we've seen a slow escalation of discriminatory practices implemented by all social media including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, as well as search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others that forbid and block promotion of a long list of merchandise, not to mention specific words. Over the last year, this has escalated further to not just warning but also causing financial hardship to many businesses and individuals for both selling and purchasing of certain goods by making threats of legal action, forcibly blocking and/or removal, and blatant censorship of certain verbiage. This is also now affecting many of our suppliers and is impacting small businesses like ours in particular. During the COVID-19 restrictions, efforts have been amped up to impede not just free speech but also to prevent the sell of goods and services protected under the First Amendment as freedom of expression.

After reviewing Shopify's Acceptable Use Policy, it was not only found to be vague but also potentially covers a host of other items someone (anyone) might deem offensive including but not limited to any and all flags, signs, any and all firearms, any and all images or references to ammunition, the Bible, the words "Jesus, God, Heaven, Native American, Indian, and United States of America," the word "Confederate," the words "southern, Yankee, or northerner," the word "Apache," the word "redneck," the words "First Amendment," the words "Second Amendment," any and all crosses or symbols of religion, the word "Christian," the word "faith," any product that references wars or depicts symbols of freedom, brand names including Winchester and Smith & Wesson, any or all animal based products including leather, skins, hides, fur, any product that might include images or wording concerning the slaughter of animals, references or images of hunting gear, the word "hunter," skulls, handcuffs, depictions of the American or Bald Eagle, reference or image use of any and all US coins or paper currency, any and all camouflage items, use of the numbers "911," the words "buffalo" or "bison," antlers or antler products (fake or real), any and all words used to describe any perceived violence including "shoot, shot, fishing, fisherman, bow & arrow, hunter or hunting," the term "nut house," any words that describe a particular culture or nationality, the words "black or white," the words "stars and stripes," the words "stars and bars," names of particular states in reference to patriotism as in "Texas pride," the words "southern pride," reference or images of rainbows, promotion of American-made products (non-inclusive to China or other foreign countries), brand names such as Budweiser, Miller Lite, Coors, Jack Daniels, or any reference to any and all wine, whiskey, beer, champagne, and moonshine, etc.,  reference or names of all tobacco products, use of the words "knife or knives," any products that include Patriotic symbols or designs of the American flag, use of the word "snowflake" to describe any product or service, the words "cowgirl or cowboy" as these are gender specific, use of the words "his or hers" as gender specific, use of the words "mother or father" as these are gender exclusive, use of the word "pray," any and all symbols of Christmas or other religious holidays including Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Easter, reference to or use of images or words that imply law enforcement such as the word "sheriff, cop, police, deputy, chief, CIA, FBI, DOJ," playing cards, dice, or other games deemed related to gambling legal or illegal, products or images that reference any branch of the US active or retired military, products that depict wolves, eagle feathers, or other protected species, derogatory references to the US government, words or phrases deemed "politically incorrect," images or words that may be deemed sexist, misogynistic, or reference perceived sexual orientation like man, woman, girl, boy, images, words or phrases that some individuals may perceive as "threatening," the word "Dixie," statues or figurines that depict any US history, products or words that are "non-inclusive" to all gender pronouns, any references to concealed carry, and just about anything else under the sun that any person(s) may deem "offensive."

While we are selective in our products and do not intentionally offend any individual, group, religion, or sex, we feel it is our First Amendment right to represent, display, or sell products that express our First Amendment rights under the Constitution inclusive of the entire Bill of Rights. These rights are protected under the Constitution and supersede any and all state laws, individuals, businesses, and/or other entities and are our right not to just display and sell these products but also your rights to see, purchase, and display or your own personal use. As you can see, the potentially "offensive" items listed above would include the majority of our website should someone (anyone) deem any item offensive. In 11 years of online business, we have had only one official complaint from a non-customer with regards to a specific product that was described to be "offensive" or "hateful." That person demanded that we remove the product. She was addressed in response with respect as to her constitutional rights to object just as it is our constitutional right to sell. She was instructed not to view or otherwise shop with us if our items offend her. She never responded again.

While we object to complying with this unconstitutional request to remove certain specific items, we also do not want to have our business shut down while we explore our legal options against Shopify. For now, we have moved items explicitly deemed "against their policies" to our Clearance section. These items are in-stock and available in limited quantities due to time constraints.

We hope you will support us in this effort to stop the suppression of free speech and to notify you and others of this bias against our business and our freedom of expression. Please feel free to forward our message to anyone of interest.

Thank you for your support and your patronage!

Buffalo Trader Online Owners & Staff

Posted in 1st amendment, bill of rights, censorship, constitutional rights, discrimination, first amendment, freedom of expression, freedom of speech

Buffalo Trader Online Emails

Posted on December 12, 2019 by Buffalo Trader Online

Howdy all!

The holidays are upon us. That said, we thought it would be a good thing to talk about the emails we send out during the year. We want you to know how your email address is used to fulfill your order as fast as possible and to give you extra discounts with coupon codes and special email only offers. It's also the best way to keep you informed on the status of your order. 

The most important reason for having a valid email is to notify you of your order status. A real email address is required to ensure you can be notified if there is a question or issue with your order. Due to limited man power during the holidays, we do not call customers. No one likes email spam. We understand. We hate it too.

This is the main reason we only send out 10-15 promotional HTML emails per year, all planned a year in advance. These email offers only go out to people that have requested Marketing or our Newsletter and submitted their email to receive them during registration or manually with our Subscribe link. We do not share our customer list with anyone. 

The emails contain special discount codes, coupon codes for our special deals, and other events not found on the site. We also do this for our Facebook page occasionally, so get on over there and friend us up for bigger savings! Visit us on Facebook at: facebook.com/buffalotrader

If you no longer wish to receive our Marketing or Subscription emails, just hit reply with the word REMOVE in the subject line or body of the email and you will be removed before the next marketing event.

Be very careful not to mark us as spam if you have or will be ordering from us, as this may prevent your order emails from reaching you. Entities like AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail have their own modules in place that will completely block an email from even making it to your junk mail folder if they think it's spam. It is always best to add our email address, info@buffalotraderonline.com,  to your address book or safe senders list to prevent important order information from being lost. Since email is our primary source of communicating, it is important that you provide us with an email address that you actually check frequently. 

Some mail houses will actually put a block on a URL if too many people mark an email as spam, which is a tremendous feat to have removed. This means that anyone emailing us from the blocked mail house address (i.e. johndoe@aol.com) can't email us and we can't email them. Most people don't realize that by marking an email as spam, it's potentially getting that URL blocked from that entire mail house. The user simply thinks they're marking it as spam so it goes to their junk mail folder instead of their inbox. We encourage you, however, to mark unsolicited emails that are actually spam as appropriate. 

It is our goal to keep our customers, not drive them away. Your personal information will never be shared or sold. No one likes a spammer, period. We want you to know what to expect from us so there is no question about what we are doing with your information. If you have any questions, please visit our Contact page to get in touch.

Thank you for making our 10th year in business very special! 

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and blessing for a bright and happy New Year's. 

Buffalo Trader Online Staff

Visit our subsidiary company, Baubles-N-Bling......Woodland Decor , Vintage Decor and more! This is where the shopping fun begins!

Posted in News

Summer & Outdoor Savings

Posted on July 25, 2019 by Buffalo Trader Online

With summer comes lots of outdoor activities with family and friends; cookouts, beach parties, BBQs and family gatherings. For a limited time, save an additional 15% off our already low everyday prices on Sauces, Rubs, Candies, Grilling items, Garden and Patio, Gifts, and more. 

Take advantage of special on-line only purchases that will publish both our retail price and our sale price. Savings are immediate and the discount is taken when added to your shopping cart. Sale prices apply only to items in the Sale category. Hurry, these offers are for a limited time only and tend to sell out quickly.  Sale ends 8/15 /19.

Click here to go shopping now!

Thank you for your business and continues support.

Buffalo Trader Online & Staff

Posted in Food, Outdoor & Garden, Sales Event

CLEARANCE SALE

Posted on January 03, 2019 by Buffalo Trader Online

2018 was a fun-filled year of changes and a handful of new suppliers with fantastic new products for our customers but as with every year, we have too many of some items still left in stock


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Posted in Clearance Sale, News, Sales Event

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