100% FREE Matcha

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Alas, too late for caramel matcha! Sign me up for eggnog, though. It certainly sounds interesting.

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This is like the worst day of this year for me. All my samples shipped just came back on USPS truck. Apparently the Post Office employe that gave us the price quote for shipping charge was incorrect and they wanted me to add additional postage. Some of the numbers did not make sense to me so I went to Post Office to confirm the extra postage. The lady at the counter gave me totally different prices saying that quote “should” work. Not taking any chances, I asked for supervisor to confirm that prices. What do you know, he gave me a different shipping quote. Not sure what is going on but my postage fee went up:
for USA from $.46 to $2.07
for Canada from $1.10 to $6.55!!!!
and of course they are sorry for giving me the wrong numbers before.
As you can imagine, I was shocked. This has increased the promo cost considerably. Not only I may have to cancel the November promo due to shipping cost, but I also won’t be able to offer free shipping on December samples either.
The worst thing is that the promo’s job was to spread the word out about my company and products and now it looks like it will but in a bad way.
Any ideas how to make the lemonade out of this huge lemon?
The shipping charge for USA packages went up from

Yeah, $2.07 is the cheapest I’ve ever been able to send a package within the US. However, I’ve also been able to slap a stamp on something small and relatively thin and have it squeak by as a “letter”. This is really unfortunate. Sorry you are having this trouble :(

Oh my gosh! That is terrible! I’m so sorry. $2.07 for something so small is ridiculous.

Lala said

That is horrible. I have had that happen to me with Canada Post before. I went into the outlet and sent a package only for it to be returned to me for insufficient funds, even though the postal clerk weighed and measured it for me.

My only suggestion off the top of my head would be if it is possible to downgrade the size of the samples. With a smaller sample, would it be cheaper to send out?

yyz said

That is horrible. Did they confirm why they had to charge you for small package. I recently sent 200g of tea in to the US for under 5 dollars. One store wanted me to send it as small packet which would have been about 3 more expensive (corrected from cheaper) , but In Canada at least as long as the package is under 2cm thick and is within a certain length and width you can send it as an envelope. I have received packages from other tea companies with samples that have been sent as letter mail from the US recently.

I suspect that if I was trying to ship a few, they would not make a deal out of it, but since the number is thousands, it’s a different story.
The sample size does not really matter, it’s the fact that it’s not a letter but something thicker that creates a problem and it can not be shipped in regular letter envelope anymore but rather a large size envelope or package of some sort. I may have to cancel this November program, I simply can not afford to spend extra close to $8K on shipping alone. Damn you Post Office!!!!

Uniquity said

It’s unfortunate that this all came to light after you had packaged everything. I wondered how large your budget must be to accommodate thousands of orders – truly, it sounds like you need a way to figure out which people requesting the samples are likely to make a purchase in future. You need a way to make money back on any ones you DO send out, if any at all. It might almost be better for you to scrap the large scale mailout and keep the samples to add on as free sample with order so you only lose out on the cost of the matcha, not the postage. Or did you already have to pay for the postage that is on there? In that case I would target the market most likely to make a purchase and keep it in US, if that helps. Anyone who came just to get something for free (like from the deal site) isn’t as likely to pay $$ for matcha down the road, I don’t imagine. Best of luck finding a solution that works for you. If you scrap the program, you may want to send an e-mail to people who ordered and explain that demand and cost made it less feasible. You could always offer to send the sample for free if they pay shipping and see who responds, but that might also come off as a scam so that is up to you.

yyz said

That’s a bit of a nightmare. I hope you find a way to resolve the issue.

Cavocorax said

That’s awful! If it’s possible, I’d like to remove myself from the list as I feel it would be stealing to take my sample from you for $6 shipping!

And is there no way to ship it as a regular envelope instead of a packet? I’ve received samples from Nina’s Paris like that from the US, as well as Design-A-Tea.

And Amoda Tea ships thicker lettersize boxes for $2 across Canada and fairly cheap to the US. It doesn’t make sense you couldn’t do the same in reverse.

You couldn’t just mail them as letters with stamps? I thought there was a 1/4" thickness maximum, which I would think the matcha samples would fall under. $2.07 seems like a awful lot for such a small light little thing like the samples are.
You could always try sending out a handful or so like this and see what happens?
Hope you’re able to figure everything out.

Thank you all for your thoughts. I actually did ship 5 to test at first to make sure it would ship and it did, but now I’m guessing that they did not bother with 5 envelopes, but with over 3000 that’s a different story. This is the largest promo we have ever done, kind of “all or nothing” to see if it would work. I think I would have to scrap the last months mailing and offer the already done samples as bonus to each order or just offer it again, but without free shipping. I still think it’s a good idea to send samples to anyone that wants to try it. I believe that once they try it they would like it and buy more. Unfortunately the free sample and free shipping will just not work :-(
I’ll be working on the update email today or tomorrow to let everyone know what is going on.

Lala said

I would support you in whatever you decide to do with the samples. You have been a great company to order from.

Another thought: Could you send an email to everyone who ordered a free sample, explain what has happened, and offer them a GC for the amount of the free sample? That way people are getting something for free and you may get sales out of it?

Great idea Lala, but instead of creating a few thousand Gift Certificates (each would have to be done with a different code) I will send a coupon for XX% Off or $XX OFF.

Uniquity said

Good idea Lala! That encourages sales at less of a risk to new shoppers and also lets them know that you are serious about getting your product out there, just in a way that is reasonable for everyone involved.

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Update:
Below is the link to new December flavor – Eggnog. I’m sorry but free shipping will no longer be available, but the sample is still free. Let me know if you have any comments/suggestions regarding the adjusted program.
http://www.redleaftea.com/free-matcha-en/december-eggnog.html
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Also as a side note: there are 3 flavored matcha teas on sale today 50%OFF. Check it out.

SimplyJenW said

I loved both of the free samples. I know the matcha was your classic grade, but what was the flavoring level?

Sorry to hear about your troubles with the post office. If it’s any consolation, Canada Post just raised their prices and announced their plan to phase out door to door delivery! :/

Also, I don’t see any matchas on sale right now. Do you have a new one coming up?

I have just posted 3 flavors on sale today. If you have a specific flavor in mind let me know.

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Re: http://slickdeals.net
Can I ask for a favor. Can you post those 2 deals on slickdeals.net. I wanted to do so my self but my account was block since there is no self promoting allowed :-(
Deal 1: Caramel Matchaccino 50%OFF til the end of this year.
http://www.redleaftea.com/matchaccino/caramel-matchaccino.html
Deal 2: Eggnog sample value $10. Free product, just pay for the shipping.
http://www.redleaftea.com/free-matcha-en/december-eggnog.html
Facebook post would be appreciated as well :-)

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Hello everyone,
Our new free matcha sample is available now. The new flavor for January is French Vanilla. Enjoy.
If possible please spread the word via Facebook, Twitter and some other sites for freebies. :-)
http://www.redleaftea.com/free-matcha-en/january-sample-french-vanilla.html

Were the other samples ever sent out? I never received any.

Uniquity said

I think they were cancelled because the demand was too high. There was meant to be an explanatory e-mail but I didn’t get that either. Unfortunate but understandable.

HI,
We have send an email to everyone with an explanation and apologies, but it looks like only 35% opened the letter. Perhaps it went into the Spam folder instead :-(
Since than we adjusted the program and it looks like it’s all working very well now.
Please note that if you signed up for November sample (Caramel) that was cancelled, but are willing to give us another chance, simply order one for January (French Vanilla) and Caramel one will be added to your order automatically since we do have them made.
Once again, my apologies for the inconvenience.

Will everyone who orders the January sample be getting the Caramel one as well? Thank you! :)

I ordered the Vanilla sample so the caramel will go automatically in the package with the vanilla?

Also, I never saw an e-mail from Red Leaf and I’m usually good at checking my spam.

Lala said

I never received an email either. But I did eventually get my samples with a recent order.

Uniquity said

I actually checked my spam folder a couple times wondering if that is what happened. Perhaps the internet ate it. That happens a lot. :)

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