Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Flash Sale: Flat S30v Raw Bar Bedbugs

Dear Friends,

As you all know, recently my fans have been snapping up my batches of tools in record time. Of course, I am deeply flattered to have that kind of demand for my products and I am immensely grateful for the business! However, I hear from folks constantly who are frustrated that they have tried for ages and just cannot get a break and catch a sale in time. So, to address this concern, for smaller batches or for special batches of limited items I sometimes do a Sign Up Sale.

Well, the SUSale system certainly makes things more fair but it is often a bit tedious for me on my end. It takes a lot of time to go through the entries, discard duplicates, pick the random numbers and send out the emails. It's more work than you might think and it takes quite a bit of time. It would be nice if there was a way to simplify the process and speed it up. So I asked Jenny for assistance. She was incredibly kind to help me work out a new type of sales model and she wrote some new software to do it. (Thank you Jenny!) The result is a sort of hybrid of the SUSale and a General Release sale but with a restricted time element added. With this new sale tool I can now be both fair but also more efficient at the same time. We're calling it a Flash Sale. I think this is a cool idea and it will be rather fun as well. Now, I will continue to do both General Release Sales and SUSales, but this new idea offers us an interesting third option, especially for small batches.     

How the Flash Sale model works:

1. Similarly to a Sign Up Sale, you fill out a form with your real name, real shipping address and a valid email address. It is very important that you make sure your email is spelled correctly or you will forfeit your turn! Likewise, your address must be the shipping address the item will go to. Unlike the SUSale system however, no list of entries or list of winning numbers will be shown. Remember, I'm trying to keep all this as simple as possible on my end and not so cumbersome to manage.

2. The sale will be for small batches of items, no specific quantity, it's for however many pieces I have on hand. The duration of the Flash Sale Entry Period will be however long I decide but generally these are SHORT sales for small quantities so anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes might be a typical duration of a Flash Sale Entry Period.

3. After the specified Entry Period is up I will select the winning buyer numbers via a random number generator.

4. Emails will then be sent to the buyers containing the purchase link.

5. As soon as all the email notifications have gone out I will announce on the blog that the Response Period has begun. You will then have only a short time to respond to the email and purchase the item. That time will be announced at the same time that I set up the sale. So for example, for a 30 minute sale I might give just 15 minutes to respond to my email containing the purchase link. For a 15 minute sale I might give only 10 minutes to respond. It will depend on how many items I have to offer and how long I want to run the response time.

5. If I haven't heard back from you within the given time frame (no exceptions!) then you forfeit your turn and I will select a second round of buyers from an alternate list of randomly selected numbers. The process will then repeat until all the items are sold.

This is as fair as I can make it. Everyone has the same chance. People who have software advantages or Facebook alerts and who get to the sales in the first two minutes EVERY SINGLE TIME are put on the same level playing field as everyone else. I will have more control over the sales of small batches and will eliminate the overselling and subsequent refund problem. The problem of the disappearing SUSale winners who don't get back to me for 2 days because they signed up and then went out drinking with their buddies or are scrambling around to raise the funds for the purchase is now over. There will no longer be leftovers after the sales so all batches can be more efficiently sold out and I will save many hours of answering emails after the sales. This will be a fun approach and above all, as I mentioned, it's as FAIR as fair can be for my fans! It's also fair to me and to my valuable time.

So there you have it. How about a test run? :D I'll give a little longer than 30 minutes on this first trial sale so that everyone gets a chance to read through the rules above a couple of times.

Today I have a couple dozen flat S30v Bedbugs with raw bar finish. These were sample pieces that were cut a while back and I just now finally got around to finishing them. These will run $45 plus shipping and the Flash Sale sign up link is below. The Entry cutoff will be 12:30 EST. Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone is enjoying the glorious spring weather before the black flies come out!

Sign Up Period is over and I will send emails shortly and then announce the start of the response time. Thanks so much everyone!


HighSpeedTROUBLE said...

This is bullcrap.

I have NEVER won one of these stupid SUS things. "Random" my ###.

I don't see how this stupid scheme is any more "fair" than catching a sale while it's posted.

Peter Atwood said...

Well it's as random as I can make it. A lot of people really like the SUSale model because they actually DID get a chance to buy something and never got into a regular sale before.

Unknown said...

Finally got to sign up for my first SU Sale. Would be pumped if I won. Lets hope the randomizer is good to me.

SteK said...


As you once said: "Y'all...(ALL of y'all!!!)...WHINE too damn much."

Unknown said...

You had to mention black flies.... I live in Maine. 2 seasons, Winter and Black fly season....

HokieX said...

Thanks for the chance Peter. I've never won a SUSale either but it makes it exciting to switch things up. One of these day's I'll win though. :)

Scott Hopkins MD DC said...

as laborious as the creation of these tools must be-i was thinking about what a pain in the ass it must be to make the postage for each sale- go to paypal, print it out, stick it on- AND THATS JUST THE SHIPPING- how about back in the day tying all those knots! kudos peter!

Cuso said...

Maibe you need to look elsewhere for you pocket tools. Obviously Atwoods are not for you.

ryan said...

I think it is a great idea Peter. Seems fair to me. Thanks for the opportunity.

Unknown said...

This is as close as I've ever come and I'm just happy to finally have an chance, and raw bar to boot!

jodj said...

Thank you, Peter and Jenny, for making this fair. I was a little worried that it took me more than 2 minutes to read the post, LOL.

Curby said...

Random your ### indeed. The way random number generators work is that they don't necessarily have to pick your number. Your bad luck (and mine, as I've never won a SUS either from what I can remember) doesn't reflect poorly on the quality of the RNG or the fairness of the system.

@Peter: This system should just flat out replace the SUS model. A SUS just has a smaller pool of products for sale, and a longer signup period. It should still have a set response period so you're not left hanging. It would also make things simpler for everyone involved: either there's a signup or there's not. Anyway, my 2c. Thanks!

tamaders said...

this system is great .. about as fair as you can make it. I like it!

Unknown said...

I think this is a great way to make it fair to pick up something off PPT. Thanks!

HighSpeedTROUBLE said...

Again, the regular method is just as "fair" as this bullcrap is. You either catch the link when it's there or you don't, same as this "random" number crap.

Also, if any of you had any actual education, you would know that there's no such thing as true "randomness". But I wouldn't expect any of you to be able to grasp that.

vegassprky said...

HighSpeedTrouble maybe you should let Peter run this the way he wants after all it's his place and his rules, time for you to move on. JMHO

HighSpeedTROUBLE said...

Yeah. It's always better to reward LAZINESS and INATTENTION than those that are diligent enough to check here for sales often.

Unknown said...

HighSpeedTROUBLE ,What about the Atwood lovers who have jobs and can't sit in their mom's basement all day playing video games and keeping an eye out for PPT posts?

Tyler said...

a fair and reasonable system. Thanks for taking the time and energy to be responsive to your customers.

The whiners should be more self reliant & competitive rather than blaming the 'system' as being unfair & wanting the system to change to make accommodations for them. oh the irony... but i digress.

thanks again for such great products.

Peter Atwood said...

See Mr Trouble, even YOU got a second chance. :p

HighSpeedTROUBLE said...

"The whiners should be more self reliant & competitive rather than blaming the 'system' as being unfair & wanting the system to change to make accommodations for them. oh the irony... but i digress."

Gee, THAT IS WHAT I WAS SAYING ABOUT YOU WHINERS THAT WHINED AND CRIED ALL DAY ABOUT MISSING A SALE BEFORE! I guess you all just whine, piss, and moan until you get your way, huh?

HighSpeedTROUBLE said...

Right. I didn't sign up for this one. After losing too many times to keep track of and not winning a single time, I don't sign up for these stupid things anymore.

Tool Amour said...

Thanks Peter and Jenny! I appreciate the chance to get an Atwood!

I've gotten 2 emails, but since there was no link attached, I'm assuming that I wasn't one of the lucky few selected to buy?

Better luck next time, I hope you continue to run the sales this way!


elfan888 said...

I partially (and respectfully) disagree with the statement that "Everyone has the same chance"

Although this flash-sale does equalize chances once you sign up (so kudos for that!), it still penalizes those who don't
have software advantages or Facebook alerts.

Under this system it's even less likely for me to be able to sign up (there's an even shorter window of opportunity for a random page-refresh to catch the announcement)

My suggestion would be to combine the SUS and flash-sale models. Have a long sign-up period, say 12 or 24 hours. Then have a very specific deadline for when the 15-minute email window will open and close for the randomizer-chosen winners.

This way 1) everyone who's interested (and not just the software-enhanced or the incredibly-lucky-refresher) has a reasonable chance to jump in the lottery, 2) no-shows or forgetfuls or scrambling-to-funds are still booted with fair warning*.

*If you know you won't be able to answer an email at the given time, even given a reasonable amount of time to plan ahead, then don't bother signing up up

I could be wrong, but I do think this hybrid system really does make things more truly "fair" while still reducing the headaches & work for Peter.

Peter Atwood said...

I will still have longer period SUSales for some items but this is just a THIRD option.

Peter Atwood said...

Elfan, no you don't get it. Instead of a 5 minute window until they are sold out I'm giving you a 30 minute or 45 minute or 15 minute window. I could make it 24 hours if I wanted but wading through 1000 responses is a pain to do. That's still better than a 5 minute window any day. So yes, it definitely is much more fair than the same guys who ALWAYS get in there first because they are running software. Some people don't like fairness because then they don't get their way.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Atwood, you are a good soul for making this effort at increasing fairness. Unfortunately, for those of us whose lives do not revolve around the internet, no system with a window of less than several hours changes anything.

Another idea would be to announce a day or a week in advance when the window would be, allowing folks like me a chance to participate. However I suspect that would just introduce as many or more problems as it solved.

The obvious solution is to double, or triple, your prices. Then at least I would be choosing not to buy them, rather than failing the buying game.

Alternatively, dectuple your production. Though perhaps you have no desire to work ten times as hard...

Anonymous said...

Mr. A you yourself sound a little irritated with those who successfully game your system. How about a lifetime maximum purchase count of say one less than they have already bought? Hahaha just joking.

elfan888 said...

ok Peter, I see what you're saying. I was looking at it from the SUS side of things, and not from the "standard" (post announcement & link is up until they're gone) sale side.

In comparison to the "standard" sale then yes, the flash sale is incredibly more fair.

I still think that what I suggested in comparison to the SUS style of sale is still valid. But yes, I didn't account for the fact that wading through 1000 responses would still be a massive pain :-)

Was just trying to offer some constructive suggestions in a respectful manner, unlike certain other trolls who have commented on this post

Anonymous said...

Life ain't fair.

I wish I could sit and track sales all day, but I can't. That is why I'm the proud owner of exactly ZERO Atwood tools. Sucks for me, don't it?

But I fail to see how *my* personal circumstance could possibly be Peter Atwood's problem.

What I *do* see is Peter and Jenny putting time and effort into solving a problem that isn't theirs. Thank you, sir and ma'am.

Unknown said...

You are doing a hell of a job across the board. I always miss the "standard sales", but I am also not running software or have ninja spies. You are doing the best you can. Anyone who doesn't like the way Peter does things needs to remember that he is the captain and this is his ship. You don't like it because you cheat the system, you can walk the plank.

LynchMOB said...

This is just gonna cut down on Mr HighSpeeds flipping profits.

Peter you own it, run it the way you see fit... if they dont like it they can move on.

HighSpeedTROUBLE said...

You last two, make sure you take a dose of your own medicine there and tell yourselves that EXACT thing next time you "miss" a standard sale.

I am getting a little tired of being accusing of "running software" or otherwise "cheating". Some of you people are apparently lucky enough to "win" multiple SUS. Some of us happen to catch a regular sale when it's up.

DEAL WITH IT. It doesn't mean we're "cheating" or "gaming the system" as several of you are trying to claim.

Unknown said...

How about a back order list where we prepay?

Then you have an exact amount demanded.

Chris said...

I have been visiting your site for about 6 months (was lucky to get a ghost in April) and have been having a blast trying to catch these sales! Really like the new format as well - it was very exciting, unfortunately no luck for me this time.

Have you ever thought of holding one or two pieces from each different lot (during the year) and have a "mystery" sale at the end of the year? It would be neat to have a second chance to pick up something you missed the first time around.

David Megnin said...

I've seen another system used to sell high demand items. Some members of BF will be familiar with a "Ganza". This would not necessarily solve any problems, but is a lot of fun nonetheless. It goes something like this EXAMPLE:
The seller announces (maybe hours or days in advance) that the sale will start SOMETIME between say, 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM on May 1.
At around 9:00 PM on May 1 people start watching the blog and perhaps posting good natured comments in anticipation of the impending sale.
Then at some minute between the two hours the seller posts a "GO" message with the sale link in the usualy place and sets the time limit.
This eliminates the software advantage completely.
It also fosters good natured competition and friendly communication.
On BF, all as part of the fun, some members will post FAKE "GO" messages and then, of course, be called out and poked fun at, but that wouldn't be as [ill]effective here where member posts go into comments instead of the blog where the real "GO" message from the seller goes, but it would still be fun, IMHO.

Jhonnyb said...

Join the Zero Atwood club!

I'm pushing 3 years of not scoring any Atwood since i started following this blog. Zero Nada Zippo Zilch.

Nobody wanna work twice as hard to earn the same amount money!

Kemtitec said...

Thank you for not only all the wildly cool tools you create but also for the entertaining comment section. It does provide great all around examples of truly fine fans and the occasional nitwit.