Happy Halloween!! One of our favorite holidays, and we're seeing lots of ghouls and goblins browsing the shelves here! Another screamingly good week in the books with not only new games and restocks, but also a spooky amount of preorders too. Make sure to check out our latest Board Game Giveaway going on right now, and we have other news you might be interested in too!
I may be an old fuddy-duddy, but I like each holiday to have its own identity. So, now we'll start watching those Hallmark Christmas movies 😀 We've noticed others looking forward too as the Christmas orders have started up. That idea has our stamp of approval and is a fantastic way to beat the holiday shipping push! Hello there, I'm Eric, and Wendy and I own and operate Stone Valley Games. If you're new, welcome to our weekly newsletter! This top portion contains local and far-reaching gaming news. Then, down at the bottom of the post are the restocks, new items, and preorders we laid in last week. First though, let's find out about the Board Game Giveaway!
BOARD GAME GIVEAWAY
Top News is our Board Game Giveaway! CLICK HERE to go to the sign in page and find out more about it. There are two significant holidays in November; Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving. We were trying to decide which holiday we were going to lean on for this giveaway...and then had a thought...why not both?! So, we're giving away the complete version of the approachable World War II wargame Frontier Wars, and the latest Ewe Rosenberg farming masterpiece Hallertau. Best of both worlds!
RUMORS OF MY DEMISE
In a continuing story, I am alive and kicking after my shoulder surgery. All things considered it was the best scenario possible. Three incisions into the shoulder to get the machine in there. Once in, they didn't have to relocate my bicep (a bit frayed, but nothing to worry about), and the labrum tears weren't the problem after all...it was bone spurs and debris that hadn't show up on the scans. So, a quick cleanup and bone saw later (no...not Bonesaw McGraw from the Spider-Man universe...stop it) and I was out.
Thank you for all the well-wishes, emails, thoughts and prayers! I'm following the doctors (and more importantly Wendy's) orders and working on getting back up to full speed. I'll be a one-armed jack for a bit, but I'll be back slinging games before you know it.
We've pulled in some help to cover us while I'm recovering and things haven't skipped a beat! I even put that 'we may be slow for a bit' banner up on our checkout page...but we've still met our 24-hours shipping threshold every time. Let's see if that holds!
PRICES ARE MOVING ON UP FOR UPS
UPS sent us a notice about 2022 price increases. I won't go into the 'why we're amazing and worthy of this price hike' jargon they dropped on us, but will simply say they have been much more consistent than FedEx. So much so that we only use UPS and USPS now. In any case, the following changes will take effect on December 26, 2021:
|•||The rates for UPS Ground, UPS Air, and International will increase an average net 5.9%|
|•||UPS Air Freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico will increase an average net 5.2%|
Effective January 9, 2022:
|•||Remote Area Surcharge will now apply to deliveries to certain ZIP Codes in the 48 contiguous states, as well as UPS On-Call Pickup requests in those ZIP Codes. The Remote Area Surcharge also applies to certain ZIP codes in Alaska and Hawaii, as it has in the past|
I will tell you though that UPS gets every red cent from us that they can. With the residential surcharge, package pickup surcharge, and now expanding the remote area surcharge I'm sure things will get very interesting. I'll tell you straight up that we do not plan on modifying our US Contiguous Free Shipping thresholds at this time, but are keeping a close eye on it. If there are any adjustments required we will be sure to let you know.
OFFICIALLY LOCAL YOKELS
I mentioned last week that we were going to be tested by Google to verify our Local Inventory. It was all lined up to take place days before my surgery...timing is always important! The rules seemed fairly straightforward; up to 100 items, with a number of them requiring photographs to include pricing. The passing grade was based on items in the store matching what was being presented to the interwebs. Well...considering we have over 1,600 products I figured it could get interesting.
The time came and sure enough, we received the email. 100 items, with 20 of them requiring photos. It wasn't that bad at all though. I used an iPad so I could conduct the survey and take photos with the same device while hooked up to the internet. As I was also taking care of customers it took a little under three hours to get it done. A click of a button and it was submitted.
Then, two short days later we received word that we passed the test, and were authorized both Local Inventory Ads and Free Local Listings thru Google. Now, I originally signed up for this because the various Google teams were taking so long with the Product review setup and this seemed like a fun thing to add. However, after playing with it for a bit over the last few days...this is really neat! Plug the item into google, and if you are close to us we'll move up the Google rankings and the system will tell you how far away from us you are if we have it in stock. Fun times!
THE WRAP UP
Okay, enough news for this week! Below are the Restocks, New Items, and Preorders 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!