Beta testers needed - Help us revolutionize the way you discover new teas!
The tea isn’t free. At least, not initially, it isn’t. They don’t tell you this at the start, though.
I don’t mind paying a nominal fee for samples, but do be honest and up front about what you’re doing. You’re making this sound like it’s some kind of revolutionary service, when it’s nothing more than just another tea company that offers a limited number of samples (for a fee) and then with your purchase you’ll get the cost of the samples refunded to you.
I fail to see how this is revolutionary.
I did mention the $5 for the sampler I’m not sure if that was security or shipping though :D I would have to go back to find out. However if you don’t like something they give you all your money back. I just ordered today so I don’t know how that works and I haven’t tasted their tea yet.
Ahh, thanks for the heads up. Still haven’t gotten my e-mail, though, so maybe I’ll never know.
Also, other people mentioned getting the tea for free. Do you think it was only free to the first group of people? Or did they miss something?
I think the tea is TECHNICALLY free, you get $5 credited to your account. You have to pay $5, but you are guaranteed that much tea after your samples I think?
I don’t recall paying anything at all for mine. Hm. Maybe I just forgot about it.
LiberTeas & Company,
First, thank you for the interest and dialogue. In answer to your question – in our initial round of invites, samples were completely free (no charges, no credits). Since then, we received feedback that some samples were getting damaged in transit, so to fix this we’ve used packaging that will protect the tea very well. This also increases our costs a little, so to ensure that people ordering samples are serious, we’ve applied the credit system. If, after trying our teas, we hope you’ll buy from us, and use the credit as part of that purchase. If you don’t like our tea and want a full refund we’re happy to oblige – in fact, we’ll even refund you 110% of what you paid for the samples (i.e. if you have $5 in credit, we’ll refund you $5.50… and you keep the samples of course). We think that sounds like a pretty fair deal.
Regarding the question of whether this is ‘revolutionary’ – you’re right, we’re not designing the next iPad. That said, we do believe the user interface of the site is novel – dare we say fun! – to use. The ‘netflix-like’ queue for teas is an interesting way to track and manage teas you want to try. From our experience, a new design / interaction model can often enable behavior that didn’t exist before – in this case, we’re hoping to help people TRY more teas in a risk free way so they can find the ones they truly love. We think that’s a worthwhile problem to solve.
Finally, we’re still very much in beta with the service right now, and we love the feedback, so keep it coming (either on this thread of IM me directly). If something doesn’t make sense or isn’t working for you (the community) then we will certainly make changes and improvements. Our mission is to make tea discovery fun and easy – we hope you’ll join us on that journey!
If you got this far, thanks for reading – we truly appreciate your interest and support. Let us know how we can make this better for everyone.
- Life is too short to drink bad tea!
OK, well, I signed up on the very first page of this thread (#9 in queue?) and I did not get an initial “free” package of samples. I only heard about the unveiling of the website today.
I guess you were only looking for eight rather than ~100?
We’ve been rolling the service out slowly so we can learn and improve on things before bringing more people into the fold. We’re trying to find a model that delights users and is sustainable.
Thanks for your patience (and everyone else who is waiting). We will be sharing more invites sooner than later!
I have been unable to get my second round of samples to be accepted. The site has been having issues, it appears. It’s been quite awhile since I got my first samples. I reviewed them and put my next round in the queue but it just tells me the site is having problems. I am wondering if they are still in business…
The site is up and running – sorry to hear about the bug you’re experiencing. I’m looking into things right now and will reach out to you to get you back up and running.
Sign me up. I drink a bit much tea (~10 cups a day. don’t judge)
I just wanted to share a few observations of this process over the past month. I haven’t received my invite yet, so I can’t comment on the service itself, but I just wanted to bring attention to a few things:
- Your original post says “we’re looking for ~100 folks to be part of this first group”, but really you were looking for much smaller groups of people, and eventually you’d get to 100. Obviously your plans were, from the beginning, to roll it out to a very small group at a time. I wish you would have originally mentioned that, instead of having us all thinking if we were part of the original 100 we’d all get an invite at the same time.
- There has only been communication on your end when one of the thread members asked. Even when the first wave of invites were rolled out (which was a few weeks later, not immediately) people had to ask before you chimed in the thread and explained what was going on. How hard would it have been to come back into the thread before this and say, “Just a heads up – we sent out the first wave of invites. More are coming soon”.
- I sent an e-mail to you when this was first posted and didn’t hear anything back, not even a “Thanks for your e-mail, we’ve added you to the list”. So for all I know, my e-mail went into deep space.
I understand you’re busy and working out kinks, but you’re also a business and want people to trust and eventually buy from you. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time trusting my money with a company that is slow to respond to things and only offers information when asked. If you want to get people jazzed about the service, you want to keep us more informed. I’ve learned more about this service from other Steepsters than I have from you. At the very least, pop in every so often to stay what the status of updates are instead of people having to ask every single time. How will I know you won’t be just as slow to respond when I’m a customer and I have a genuine problem?
a very good point Rachel. Don’t forget you have to follow him on steepster as well as saying “sign me up” to count. As for the shipping and stuff well I’ll let you know when it gets here :D yes there wasn’t very much information on this thread and for awhile I thought it was a gag until people started mentioning they were getting invites and stuff. Then hope came back and then it was my turn so I tried to inform you guys as best as I could :D I subscribe to this topic so I get emails when you guys post (that’s how I keep on top of it)
All fair points – we believe the foundation of any good business is trust and confidence. Nothing builds that better than having clear, constant, transparent communication. We could certainly have done a better job on that front.
When we sent out the initial message asking for beta users, we had no idea it would get such a strong response. In a sense, the strong interest has become a double-edged sword. We want everyone to be a part of this, but we also want to refine the offering and make it truly great before we roll it out to a broader audience. To give you context, we have a good idea of the problem we’re trying to solve – Making tea discovery fun and easy for ANYONE, ANYWHERE in North America – but exactly how we solve that is still subject to changes and tweaks given the feedback we receive. Every wave we’ve sent out has generated great new ideas and insights to make things better.
So in short, please bear with us for a few more weeks. We think we’ll be able to invite everyone sooner than later. For our part, we will do a better job of proactively updating the community on this thread and the status of developments. Steepster has such a great community – I hope we can earn your trust and respect.
Nicely put, Rachel! I also wonder if the e-mail message I sent reached its intended destination or got lost in the ether.
C.R., thanks for your reply. You’ll find that this community is very understanding, as long as you step up and keep people in the loop.