We have now added black sweatshirts back into stock, red should follow soon.
As previously mentioned there has been a price increase of £2 for all sweatshirts, but we are able to leave hoodies alone for the time being.
-The PrintPit Team
We hope all our merchants had a fantastic holiday and a very happy new year!
First things first, we'd like to thank all of you for reading through our end of year update and more importantly your understanding attitude towards the problems we faced towards the back end of 2016.
Looking ahead to 2017 we have very specific goals in mind;
We've learned many great lessons in 2016, and we're confident 2017 will bring all of the good parts of last year just a little bit smoother. Even now we have surpassed all expectations we ever had and because of that we learn more and more about PrintPit everyday, 2016 changed it from the small project it once was, into a recognizable authority in our field worldwide. We'd like to thank you all once again for allowing us the time to find our feet amongst all that.
In regards to price changes, at the minute it's looking very likely that sweatshirts and hoodies may rise this month. We are looking into alternatives but we don't want to compromise print quality or stock levels so the price change is more likely.
We're also unfortunately ending our bonus balance cards shortly. This is due to an unsuccessful trial. We are disappointed with the outcome so we hope we can put something else in place with similar effect soon, but the cards were far too unsecure and left us open to some big exploits that we'd rather not take the risk on.
As for orders placed over the Christmas/New year period; most of those will be completed and set for dispatch today, however as we don't have a collection until tomorrow, they will all leave at either 10:30am or 4:00pm on Tuesday 3rd.
Emails are a similar story, our account managers and support staff are in today and will be replying to as many as possible, however there is a weeks worth so some may not receive replies until tomorrow.
With that, we'd like to welcome you all back to PrintPit; and here's to a great 2017!
-The PrintPit Team
First and foremost we have to congratulate all our merchants on an incredible year. What stands out most to us is just how many of you have been able to go into full time self-employment. Breaking out of that 9-5 is an amazing achievement, and we can only hope that 2017 brings more of the same.
That said, we can't look ahead any further without addressing the elephant in the room, which is just what went wrong towards the end of November. We pride ourselves on being absolutely transparent with our merchants, because we know that you have to be able to trust our service as if it were your own company. We haven't been able to get into the nitty gritty of this issue until now, as we haven't had all the information ourselves until very recently. We now have the full picture of all that went wrong, and have decided that we couldn't be true to our character as a company without putting it out there and explaining ourselves.
For the majority of this year, our set up was enough to guarantee all orders were out in 24 hours, with very few exceptions. Our postage service recorded 97% of domestic orders delivered within 2 days. In October we sat down with our accountants, investors and business manager and based on last years growth rate, predicted we would double our sales by the second week in December. With that in mind, we immediately began upgrades to our facility, new machines, new staff and most importantly, a faster dispatch process.
All of our predictions proved to be very modest. By November we had tripled our October sales, and were even busier still in December. We started to buy in blank stock faster than it was being made available, so we were forced to move to 48 hour dispatch times to let our suppliers keep up. This was working well for us for most of November up until the 22nd where our new dispatch process caused major problems with tracked orders. We weren't aware of this until the 27th November when we realised that hundreds of orders had invalid tracking numbers. Immediately we we're in touch with our carriers demanding to know what had gone wrong. We have since found a way to make the tracking work, but as i'm sure some of you are aware, it's still somewhat intermittent.
Our 'faster' dispatch process meant our orders no longer had to be sorted by us and could simply be made available for our carriers to collect and sort themselves. At the time, we weren't aware this meant they would move through the delivery network slower, and had no idea this would cause our tracking software any problems. An important point we need to make is that we are not attempting to shift the blame onto our carriers here, we accept full responsibility for all of these delayed orders. As they say, hindsight is 20/20, and in this case we are sure we could've continued with our original method and avoided the problems that occured after the switch. At the time we were just looking for ways to ensure we could continue to provide the service we had been whilst sales continued to rise, which up until a month ago was the fastest custom product drop-shipping service in the entire world.
The main issue we faced was that even though there was a clear decline in our delivery speed, the majority of items were still being delivered inside the 10 day max time, so we had no cause to exit our new contract immediately, though we did try our best to. We are very aware this has caused some of you big headaches over the last few weeks, and to that we hold our hands up. It is our responsibility to ensure our service is as good as it can be, and it hasn't been. For that, we are sorry.
From the 1st January 2017 our mail contract switches back to our original service. This means we will be back to 97% domestic delivery within 2 days of dispatch immediately after we return on Monday 2nd Jan. Further to that, we've gone one better, in that our contract price is now dependent on the speed of our deliveries. In short, our carriers now have a financial interest in ensuring all orders are delivered as fast as possible.
Due to the success of some product lines in 2016, we are meeting with the managing director of the biggest blank clothing supplier in Europe to organise a direct supply line with the manufacturers of our most popular products. We've done a little bit of this towards the end of this year and it has been unbelievably helpful in ensuring we remain stocked. To the point that we actually held more stock of our sweatshirts than anyone, including the manufacturer themselves. This new deal will mean our manufacturers will not be caught short again, and as such, neither will we.
We've caught the eye of the manufacturers of our machines which means we should now find it easier to expand should the need arise again, and in that same vein, we've had positive exchanges with local employment agencies when hiring Christmas staff, so increasing staff levels is more or less an instant job going forward.
There is a final bit of bad news before we sign off for the year. We've spent a lot of this year making sure Brexit hasn't affected our prices, but going into a new year we are almost certain that we can't hold off our suppliers price increases for much longer. As i'm sure you've seen all over the country, this is an unavoidable issue, but we can say with absolute certainty that any price rises we do have to make will be on very few products and as minimal as possible. The point i'd like to reiterate is that our goal for next year is simply more of the same, with less of the bad bits.
So in summary, we hope our explanation at least gives you a bit of clarity in just what went wrong and reinforces the fact that there is absolutely no reason for it to happen ever again. You've been fantastic again this year, and we're looking forward to a great 2017 working with each and every one of you. We apologise again for the recent problems, but we're back to winning ways, we hope to show once again why we are the biggest, fastest, and most recommended custom dropshipping service in the U.K.
To all, have a merry Christmas and a happy new year and we'll see you again very soon.
- Dan, Ells & The entire PrintPit team.
13th December 00:26:
Today is the last day to get any orders in that are guaranteed for Christmas. As per the 10 day report time from Royal Mail, any orders placed after 11:59PM today (13th Dec) cannot be reported missing until we return in January. Many orders placed after this time will still arrive for Christmas, but some will inevitably be late or lost and that is the risk you will run if you continue to take orders. We are here until the 23rd December and will still be printing and dispatching orders right up until the last minute, but we are closed between Saturday 24th December - Monday 2nd January.
10th December 06:33:
From this point forward, all red, green and black sweats are unavailable. We will remove them from our customiser so as not to cause any confusion. The latest from the manufacturer does not have a date for new stock to arrive, but we're fairly confident this won't happen before Christmas. We'd also like to take this opportunity to remind all merchants that we are nearing the last dates for guaranteed Christmas delivery. Royal Mail have said that orders shipped by Wednesday the 21st are "likely" to arrive by Christmas, however our standard report times still apply. We cannot report any items as late before Christmas that are ordered after Tuesday 13th December, if you would like to continue to take orders after this date, then please be aware that you do so at your own risk.
9th December 12:20:
As below, stock for all orders containing red or green sweats will not be processed and refunded if placed. We have reserve stock for any missing items or replacements if necessary. White and Grey sweatshirts remain unaffected, however black sweats are nearly at the bottom of our additional stock. Expect this stock to be used up by orders at current rate at midnight today.
7th December 07:19:
All red and green sweatshirts are now out. We do have some in reserve for orders you may have pending, but these must be in before midnight. If we can fulfil any orders after midnight we will proceed as normal, otherwise they will be cancelled and refunded. We also strongly advise that you remove black sweatshirts, and these will be unavailable tomorrow at midnight. We still have great stock in grey, but please take note of updates as we think they'll remain available, but cannot guarantee it. As for white, these are still almost certain to remain in stock throughout.
5th December 20:46:
We are now dangerously low on green, red and black sweatshirts. We expect white to remain available throughout, as we've managed to secure more of those than any other colour. At current rates, red and green are likely to be out of stock tomorrow night. Please ensure you have removed these variants from sale.
5th December 14:04:
Red and black sweatshirts now running dangerously low, expect to be sold out of both by Wednesday. We now recommend removing these variants from sale.
First things first, it's now important to point out that we have passed the date for late item claims outside the UK before Christmas. Any orders placed from now forward to be shipped overseas will be ineligible for refunds until we return in January. For your reference, the latest dates from Royal Mail are 28 days worldwide, and 10 days for UK orders. This means that the last date for UK orders to be eligible for refunds before Christmas will be the 12th December. Please do bear that in mind when selling your products.
As for dispatch time, we will still be changing over to 48 hours on December 1st to keep up with current demand. We do intend to reduce this back down to 24 hours as soon as we can, but it may be after Christmas.
In case you missed the earlier updates, our automated app release is now on delay until further notice. We had intended to release it this month, but with hundreds of people on the waiting list, we'd rather remain focused on getting your orders done asap instead of inviting new merchants in. The likely release date is now early next year, we will continue development though, so it may launch with more features than first planned.
Next for us are more paper and card products (different sized prints, framed prints, etc.) and polo shirts. We are hoping to secure a deal with current T-shirt suppliers B&C for their polo shirts, and we will have them live as soon as talks are concluded. Sweatshirts were a massive hit and as such will remain available after Christmas. We're also sourcing phone cases for newer models such as the iPhone 7 and 7 plus. The best place to keep up to date with our new product releases is at our facebook page.
There will be one further update before Christmas, so for now - good luck with your December!
-The PrintPit Team
Update 30th Nov: We have now closed registration for new merchants until further notice to help bring our dispatch time back down.
As some of you know, we recently made some upgrades to our facility as we were at full capacity, and we did actually manage to double our output. That was less than a month ago, and we are already back at full capacity.
We are just about managing to hang on to our promised 24 hour dispatch times, however as sales do begin to increase throughout december, this is (unfortunately) an unrealistic target.
We now have a choice to make, either to upgrade our facility again, by way of a six figure investment, or to increase our dispatch times. Whilst we do want to maintain our 24 hour dispatch, we must be realistic in that such an investment may cost us dearly as sales slow down after the Christmas period.
Our next steps now are the following:
The aim in all of this is to get your dispatch time back down to under 24 hours, as we always have done since day one.
Thank you for your continued support.
-The PrintPit Team
UPDATE 12TH NOV:
We are now back up to date on all orders. Most orders were only affected by a 12 hour delay, however there are a few that have faced delays of up to 72 hours, please refer to the dispatch email you have received to find out the length of any delays on your orders.
We are working closely with Royal Mail to have all delayed orders sorted with priority, so the effects should be less felt than previously imagined, however we do ask that you allow an extra day or two to report these orders as missing, as the likelihood is that they are still on the way.
Apologies again for any inconvenience this has caused you.
UPDATE 10TH NOV:
Mugs, mousepads, phone cases and coasters are now up to date. We are expecting to be fully caught up on all products by close of business tomorrow (fri 11th). Again, we apologise for any inconvenience this has caused you. Please check back here for updates as soon as we have them.
Due to a site wide power cut at our production facility, all items due to be printed and despatched today (9th November) will be subject to approximately a 24 hour delay. This is due to both no access to our building and no electrical supply also.
Electrical services are on site and are fixing the issue, in connection with Northern Power Grid - and production will continue as soon as possible and through the night to enable us to catch up any orders that will have been delayed.
We apologies for any inconvenience this has caused and please be assured the parties involved are working as quickly as possible to restore power.
Please note, all emails both for support and account managers will have delayed responces due to the power issues with our building - and we will be back in touch as possible.