Beat The Peak! Important information about shipping times and our pre-holidays sales in the COVID era.

Hello there Kaiser Cats, Vincent signing in for some Public Service announcements. I wanted to pop in the for some important news about our end of year sales, the volume of package post and the enormous impact the global pandemic has on our operations and your planned orders during the holiday sales.

I’ve spent the past few weeks talking to our suppliers, who are warning us that we may see sharply increased wait times for all products and packages through the end-of-year season. The reason is quite simple: The additional stress the second COVID wave is placing on international shipping comes on top of the usual end-of-year crunch for both postal service and the companies making our items.

As most of you know, Kaiser Cat Cinema runs a Print-On-Demand webshop partnered with two American manufacturing companies. This means we are too small to afford having a stock of items, and every item you buy is produced the moment of buying. As we are bundled with thousands of other small webshops, this means a dramatic increase in volume around the end-of-year period, along with postal delays.

For a closer examination, here’s a graph I made

Generally speaking, the postal and product making system is built to manage the peaks around july 4 and the end-of-year sales, but no more than that. In a pandemic world however, workers are falling out and sorting centers may shut down due to infections and stay-at-home orders. This comes on top of a massive increase of volume due to many businessess moving to online, pushing the curve into overload.

We already saw the first postal overload in march, with about 10% of orders experiencing problems and order delays reaching up to 7 weeks after ordering. Things quieted down around July and are back to normal, but now we can expect them to get spicy again.

For that reason, I decided to set up this page with cutoff date information for everyone who is planning on buying christmas and EoY gifts on our webshop. As a general rule of thumb, expect long waiting times around Thanksgiving and Christmas – any order not placed before dec 1 may not arrive in time for christmas, so it is best to start ordering early.

Here is an image outlying expect wait times during the end of year crunch. As you can see, ordering as early as possible will give you a much better experience:

To get ahead of this crunch, I have decided to structure our end of year sales quite differently this year.  Our usual Halloween sale will turn into a full week-long, Beat The Peak Sale. You are all encouraged to do your end-of-year shopping right now and make sure you have all your packages well in time for christmas. Notices on the webshop will warn everyone during the EoY period that their packages may not arrive in time. Instead of that, we will promote our Gift Cards during the holidays: instant, digital cards that can be sent to friends and loved ones, so they can pick out their own items at their leisure.

That is all for now. Thanks for your time, and I hope I convinced you to do your merch shopping a little early this year! I hope to see you all on the webshop soon. Stay safe, maintain distance, and Beat The Peak!

Oh, and don't forget that our short film is releasing soon, so make sure to join the premiere!

I'll see you for the next one!