It's officially Spring, and the trees and flowers are starting to bloom; great for me, not so much for allergy sufferers...maybe they should stay in and play some board games... 😉 Last week we received a few new items, a good amount of sought after restocks, and set up some great looking preorders. We survived an odd webstore attack, recruited help in that area, and have a few notes about International shipping. So, like fellow vet and ring announcer Michael Buffer said so well, "Let's Get Ready to Rumble!"
I hope this update finds you well! It's Eric, your usual weekly guide through the shop news. The top part of this post contains the news, and if you're not interested in that you can jump down the post to see our restocks, new items, and preorders.
While we do have fairly brisk curbside pickup, our webstore is our lifeblood and it came as quite a shock when our host shut down our site due to excessive CPU usage. After a few moments of panic it didn't take us long to find a single IP causing all the issues and put a stop to it. I guess the strangest thing is we have so many layers of protection... but like anything else on the internet, it's just impossible to be impenetrable. We don't believe it was a malicious attack, more like some kind of bot just causing havoc. After a few hours we demonstrated that we stopped the unusual activity and they turned us back on.
Oh, if you're interested in starting your own website or webstore here's some unsolicited information. Our current web host is SiteGround, and they are fantastic. Even through the blackout they were more helpful than hurtful and have always been responsive. Day and Night compared to or original host WordPress...who was quite simply horrible. As our webstore is complex and completely home grown, SiteGround fits the bill nicely. For those who are looking for a little more cookie cutter, there are a lot of more inexpensive and excellent choices out there. The one thing I can say is do your research. Just because something is at the top of all the 'best of' lists doesn't necessarily mean it is the best, most of the time it just means they spent the most money to get that spot.
Well...why not one more tidbit on this topic? Since the attack we've recruited WP Tech Support. We are still on WordPress (they just aren't our host anymore), so having a team familiar with their idiosyncrasies is important. The one thing I can tell you is my web development knowledge is self taught, so who knows how many things I've done wrong that can now be corrected. If the end result is a more responsive and healthy website then it's a win for all of us. We're excited about the partnership, and I guess my only regret is waiting until this attack to look for help...I should have done it sooner. Live and learn, right?
One final bit of news this week is about our International gaming friends. You may have noticed in our FAQ that we've added an international shipping section. As it's just Wendy and I we really don't have the bandwidth to turn international sales on completely, but we can entertain queries from time to time and can take care of them outside the webstore. As we package everything as if it were being shipped internationally anyway (because we ship to our deployed military folks) we have that part established. However, the international shipping rates can be harsh and we believe an informed customer is the best customer - so we wanted to provide examples for items we shipped over the last few months.
|Canada||9x6x2||1 lb 14 oz||$14.02|
|Canada||9x7x3||1 lb 4 oz||$15.60|
|Canada||12x9x2||2 lb 8 oz||$17.50|
|Belgium||9x7x3||1 lb 6 oz||$18.01|
|Spain||9x7x3||1 lb 9 oz||$18.55|
|Japan||9x7x3||1 lb 12 oz||$19.05|
|Canada||10x10x6||2 lb 15 oz||$20.00|
|Portugal||16x12.5x5.5||3 lb 4 oz||$35.49|
|Canada||13x13x6||5 lb 6 oz||$55.58|
|Canada||13x13x7||7 lb 15 oz||$68.70|
|Belgium||13x13x6||7 lb 6 oz||$78.01|
|Australia||13x13x6||7 lb 3 oz||$87.00|
|Austria||14x14x11||18 lb 12 oz||$118.80|
Again, we don't add anything to these rates, it's how much either UPS or USPS charges to ship the item. There is a distinctive line between items under four pounds and over... which is unfortunate because almost all of the more significant games are at least five pounds. Well, forewarned is forarmed!
In any case, that's enough news for now! Below are the Restocks, New Items, and Preorders added to the shop last week. You can click on the item to learn more, many of the products have review and gameplay videos so you can see the game in action. If you're visiting and you'd like to keep up with our giveaways, sales, new products, and articles like this one just create an account here. Once created you will be subscribed to our newsletter and become enrolled in our loyalty system, instantly earning 50 Stones that you can use on your very first order. A Stone? One Stone is equivalent to One Cent. That doesn't sound like much, but you earn 2 Stones for every dollar spent and 5 for each product review, so though it may seem small, those savings add up fast! Redeem your Stones upon checkout, and they can save you up to 10% off your cart total. Loyalty Matters!