Weekly Store Update: 17 July
The Summer Blowout Sale is almost over, but WOW...what a showing! Looks like we'll be digging out of this amazing sale for a while! Remember, it's over at 3 PM Central Time on Sunday! We also have our July Board Game Giveaway winner! New items and restocks...as always, but let's talk about that sale start, shall we? A bit of a stumble out of the gate...
Welcome to our weekly newsletter! For our new readers I'm Eric, and Wendy and I run Stone Valley Games. This newsletter is our way to share both local and world-wide gaming news of interest that popped up last week. It also provides our subscribers, both local and remote, some information on the going's on around here so everyone feels like part of the action. At the bottom of this newsletter we show you the restocks, new items, and preorders added to the store last week. All in all it's not too difficult to navigate, so let's get to it!
BOARD GAME GIVEAWAY WINNER
We drew the winner for Dawnshade: The Watchers Prophecy
Dawnshade is a 1 to 4 player co-op action-adventure RPG that plays in about 30 minutes per player. In the game you journey through this rich, cooperative “choose your own adventure-style” board game where strategy, luck, and skill unite to bring you thrilling victories, agonizing defeats, and a different journey every time you play!
After pulling the lucky number, the winner turned out to be Kurt from Douglasville, GA. Congratulations Kurt!! We'll be getting that game heading your way ASAP!
Hey, if you didn't win this month...you know we'll be doing it again next month! Who knows what we'll have up our sleeve for August...
FOUR CORE AND... MANY MORE
This year's Summer Blowout Sale has exceeded our wildest expectations! Of course...when we drop sale prices like that, what were we to expect? I kind of had a suspicion when I was looking at those Prime Day "sale" prices that we probably needed to brace ourselves.
However, when the time came, the site just lagged and lost its ever-loving-mind. I was quickly on the chat (faster than phone) with our server developers to figure it out.
Well...it was because of the sheer volume of hits. Our longtime readers might recall my story about upgrading to a web-based server with plenty of CPU and RAM space. That normally does us just fine...but over the last year or so we have been creeping up on requirements and I just didn't notice.
Just to give you an idea, we normally have 4 cores dedicated to our site. After working with the developers for a few minutes, we upped that to 15 cores for the month. We also added a feature where it will drop back down to the baseline cores after a month but will increase cores based on usage. That way we don't run into this problem again. That's a lot of instant growth requirements!
Now that was fixed and the site surged back to life, the other problem I noted was something we couldn't really help. Quantities in carts. There were dozens of customers attempting to check out at the same time, and many times they had identical products in their carts. So, the system was doing its best to make sure the products in inventory were being reduced as the carts were checking out...but because of the sheer volume things were slipping thru the cracks. I spent many hours going thru and double checking those.
However, that churn has led to product quantity issues here and there. Sometimes, based on the combination of churn and multiple orders against the same item happening simultaneously, we've noticed the system miscounted items. So, you may receive a note from us that we don't have what you ordered available. We apologize for that! If it would have pushed you back below the free shipping threshold, we'll still ship it to you for free. Again...thanks for your patience and understanding!!
So, I've learned that...maybe 900 items with these kinds of discounts "might" be too much 😀 I'll have to tone it down a bit in the future.
COMMUNICATIONS AND SHIPPING TIMELINE
I have done my very best to get back with every phone call and email regarding the Summer Blowout Sale. If you haven't heard from me, please send another email as I've lost it in all the traffic.
We are very busy though. As I'm writing this, we are still 200 orders behind. 200! At our very best pace we can get 30 - 35 packages out a day so we ask for your patience as we work through processing everything. Know we are working in order of sale - and we are combining orders the best we can from those who ordered more than once.
Also, due to the sheer volume of the sales, we're not going to be able to exchange "this" for "that". I will refund things a customer might not want, but the order changing nuances are just taking way, way too long. Also, once it's packaged up, we HAVE to move on to the next order, so won't be opening it back up to make any changes...we hope you understand!
A few local customers asked why such a huge sale...was it a liquidation thing? Well, honestly, it kind of was. What I was attempting to do was clear out a section of the store. So, instead of RPGs and CCG's in one area and the board games in another, we will be able to put everything together. It will also allow me to move my MTG singles into a separate location where customers will not have access to them.
It looks like my plan succeeded! Of course, it will take a few weeks to get everything sorted, but at the end of it we will have our reconfigured storefront ready to go - more accessible and convenient for everyone!
THE WRAP UP
Okay, enough news for this week, I need to get back to processing these orders! Below are the Restocks and New Items added to the shop last week. You can click on the item to learn more, and many of the products have review and gameplay videos so you can see the game in action. If you're visiting our page 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!
No preorders added last week.
Please don’t “tone it down”. ☺
Thanks so much for the amazing sale! Happy to have you local to us.
Thanks so much, Eric for a spectacular sale! I am sure that it was quite the headache trying to get server issues figured out, but I so appreciate that you pushed through and I hope overall it was a win for the Stone Valley Games store/business. I know it was a win for me!