We're in our 13th year of business this month thanks to our wonderful customers like you!
2021 was a difficult year for most small businesses. We were not an exception. We were 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 was inevitable. While our suppliers continue to hold back and are absorbing as much of the additional expenses as possible, an average additional increase of 10-12% has been passed on to online and brick-and-mortar retailers like us. Christmas 2021 was quite a struggle, but we managed somehow, but not without many, many delays. 2022 has started off much the same but rest assured, we are trying to contain costs as much as possible. Unfortunately, we have had to make sacrifices on which products will be available going forward and as a result, we have dropped a few of our product lines entirely as a result of poor supplier business performance, products not selling, or continuous supply chain issues with certain vendors. We hope to find suitable new products lines soon to give us a wider selection of goods that are reasonably priced and going forward, we will deal only with reputable suppliers to provide the best products as the best prices possible.
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 increased costs. These increases are three-fold for us as a small business since we are not only absorbing higher incoming shipping costs 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 UPS and US postal shipping rates to our customers, we have not increased our tiered shipping rates for the past four 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 new shipping boxes (required for UPS and FedEx) have also seen sharp increases in costs in recent months. 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.
PLEASE NOTE: We only bill our customers additional shipping fees 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. Products that may require additional shipping have a disclaimer in the description, however, combined shipping of multiple items can also create higher shipping costs that are not calculated at checkout. Our shopping cart calculates shipping based on purchase price and delivery region only, without consideration to size or weight. This is not something we can change currently. Please review our Terms and Conditions page for complete details.
We are in the process of 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 freight 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. Some larger items may show out of stock but are actually still available. Because of ongoing high freight costs and other extraneous expenses, these items are no longer profitable for us. We hope, with time, that escalating shipping costs and costs for goods will normalize if and when our economy improves and/or suppliers of these larger items will consider utilizing drop-shipping to avoid or eliminate double-shipping costs.
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 high-quality 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 who 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, all of 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 a part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem.
We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to serve our customers in 2022.
Buffalo Trader Online Owners & Staff