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 Post subject: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:54 am 
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I would like to get into modding, but wouldn't have a clue what are the best tools and materials, and where to buy them. People on the forum have so many different ideas on what works best, that perhaps it would be good to run a poll of for the best tools and materials in each category, then Sandy can sell these directly on the site without novices asking stupid questions, hunting around on the forum to get a concensus view, then searching on Google for local suppliers.

As people seem to spend a lot of money on this stuff as one of the main hobbies on this forum, perhaps this would be a great chance to support Sandy for doing such a fantastic job on the site...

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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:57 am 
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I can tell you a great place to get those Japanese fingernail files! :lol:
Hairbands from the same place. :wink:
Hmm, I know a wholesaler for those really cheap toothbrushes you get from the hotels too. (they work really great for cleaning old dirty puzzles without scratching)

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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:00 am 
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katsmom wrote:
I can tell you a great place to get those Japanese fingernail files! :lol:
Hairbands from the same place. :wink:
Hmm, I know a wholesaler for those really cheap toothbrushes you get from the hotels too. (they work really great for cleaning old dirty puzzles without scratching)

I meant more specialist materials, like aluminite and Omoo, etc., or whatever they're called. In any case, it would be great to get our complete modding shopping list from this one site, right?

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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:03 am 
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The expenses would get a bit high I think.
Just look what people use and recommend. Then buy it of a website that sells it.

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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:43 am 
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It's already on my list, Kelvin! Rather than do an open poll my plan was to directly ask a few of the most experienced builders for an itemed list of their gear and the supplies they buy.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:52 am 
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Location: Europe
In that case, make sure you get some plastic sheet. I would love to buy some, but most online sites don't take small orders or charge an extra fee for them. The questions of where and what thickness to buy have been popping up all over the board.

(P.S.: If anyone can help me buy a sheet or two of black 0.06 inch plastic, please PM me.)

One more thing, when I first put some items in my shopping cart and tried the shipping estimate I got about $9 for a reasonable 1-2 weeks airmail. Then the site crashed and when I did the same later it went up to $35. What's up with that?


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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:28 am 
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Sandy wrote:
It's already on my list, Kelvin! Rather than do an open poll my plan was to directly ask a few of the most experienced builders for an itemed list of their gear and the supplies they buy.

Makes complete sense - I'm sure you know who they are by now!

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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:39 am 
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Alex wrote:
One more thing, when I first put some items in my shopping cart and tried the shipping estimate I got about $9 for a reasonable 1-2 weeks airmail. Then the site crashed and when I did the same later it went up to $35. What's up with that?


If you've arranged the exact same order it has to do with my recent adjustment of box & packing material weights after it turned out that some of my initial estimates were way low. On one order the products weighed ~400 grams and I had estimated that the box and packing materials required to ship it would weigh ~300 grams for a total of ~700. Turns out the box and packing material weighed 1 kilogram, making the total closer to 1.4kgs. This pushed the total weight over a cusp (1kg for Small Packets) and I ended up paying the extra $20 out of pocket to ship the products via the method the customer had rightfully ordered.

That's not sustainable, of course, so I took some very careful measurements and updated the tare weight of various box sizes. I've been keeping careful track of the before and after weights of every order to further hone the average weights of boxes and packing materials. Since I have changed my estimates, most shipping charges have been exactly right (which is sorta eerie, actually), and in two cases it turns out I over charged by less than $3. I am attempting to charge exactly what Canada Post charges, so this is an indication that further refinement is in order.

Speaking of which, I have been reusing cardboard boxes to keep costs down. What do you think of that? If I go out and buy a bunch of boxes, the cost will be passed on to the customer (one way or another). Do people prefer to save $1 per order, or to have their stuff arrive in brand new boxes?

(BTW, if anyone wants to become a millionaire, invent bubble wrap filled with helium. The bigger the box, the less it'll weigh!)

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:48 am 
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Sandy wrote:
BTW, if anyone wants to become a millionaire, invent bubble wrap filled with helium. The bigger the box, the less it'll weigh!

That's a hilarious (but actually very good) idea - I will have to think about this one...

EDIT: Unfortunately the economics don't seem to work out ...

http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Helium_20Bubble_20Wrap

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Last edited by KelvinS on Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:58 am 
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Location: Hong Kong
REUSE THOSE BOXES! :lol: Dave and I had a box that we passed between each other at least twice. I've sent boxes from Hungary to Florida, and from California back to California!

Don't we waste enough paper and packaging as it is? Why buy new boxes to send out puzzles?

"TwistyPuzzles is environmentally friendly! We RECYCLE! boxes to save you money and help reduce landfill buildup" How's that for a shop motto?

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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:18 am 
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Location: Europe
I agree, reuse the boxes. I don't send many puzzles out, so I mostly use my boxes to collect old newspapers for recycling. After a box is full, it ends up in the recycling bin anyway. I always feel horrible when I do that with a brand new box :(

On the matter of shipping fees, I tried purchasing two Rubik 2x2x2's. One weights 0.067kgs (say, 70 grams), so you can see how I was surprised to find that shipping to Europe would be $34.34 :shock: Is Canada Post simply that expensive (I remember it cost quite a bit when I ordered from rubiks.com a couple of years ago)? Or does it have something to do with the address? We don't have a State/Province part in the address, but that field was mandatory, so I've just used the name of the city twice. Maybe the shipping estimator now thinks it's sending things to the Moon :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:46 am 
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katsmom wrote:
REUSE THOSE BOXES! :lol: Dave and I had a box that we passed between each other at least twice. I've sent boxes from Hungary to Florida, and from California back to California!

Don't we waste enough paper and packaging as it is? Why buy new boxes to send out puzzles?

"TwistyPuzzles is environmentally friendly! We RECYCLE! boxes to save you money and help reduce landfill buildup" How's that for a shop motto?

I just use my collection of Meffert's boxes. They're the perfect size for sending out 3x3x3 size puzzles.


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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:50 am 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Alex wrote:
On the matter of shipping fees, I tried purchasing two Rubik 2x2x2's. One weights 0.067kgs (say, 70 grams), so you can see how I was surprised to find that shipping to Europe would be $34.34


You can leave the state/province blank now. Someone else mentioned that, so it is no longer mandatory. When I estimate shipping for two Rubik's Mini Cubes to what I suspect is your country (IP lookup), the cheapest/slowest option I get is $15.08. I get the exact same quote when I enter giberish in the State/Province field, so for that country, it doesn't seem to be using the State/Province field at all.

Recycled cardboard boxes it is... as long as I don't mind the overhead required to gather them. I was indeed planning on writing up a "Recycled Cardboard Box" leaflet. A lot of things like that get pushed aside when the website design is a disaster!

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:47 pm 
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Alex wrote:
On the matter of shipping fees, I tried purchasing two Rubik 2x2x2's. One weights 0.067kgs (say, 70 grams), so you can see how I was surprised to find that shipping to Europe would be $34.34 :shock:


See here.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: TP site to sell modding tools and materials?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:11 pm 
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I'm sure you're right that it would be cheaper to buy direct from each of the different suppliers and manufacturers but, personally, I wouldn't know where to look, can't be bothered to find out, and would much rather pay a bit extra for the convenience of buying everything I need from my favourite site. Same reason local convenience stores can charge more, because people are willing to pay for the convenience. Besides, Sandy may even be able to negotiate a bulk discount and pass some of this on to loyal customers on this forum while keeping enough profit to make it worthwhile...

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