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