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bootsaustralia blog
Tuesday, 10 April 2007
Shipping Charge & Price Changes

Over recent months the exchange rate between Australian and US Dollars has been steadily moving (the wrong way from my position!) and I have been receiving less and less cash in my bank for US $ sales. 

I have absorbed these losses for as long as I can in the hope that the trend would reverse itself.  However, to my surprise (and that of almost all the 'experts') this hasn't happened and the Aussie Dollar is now at its highest level against the Greenback for many years and is stubbornly hanging on there.

So, I have been forced to make some price adjustments on my website to ensure that I can still continue to serve all my clients - many who have been buying from me for years.

I have kept as many prices as I can steady but there are a few rises.  I  have also adjusted the shipping fees for larger orders as my previous 'flat fee' shipping was becoming unviable due to the combination of recent postage rises and the currency rate changes. 

My rates are still bargains compared with almost anywhere else you might look though and I hope to be serving all my loyal customers for a long time yet!

Mick


Posted by Mick at 4:12 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007 4:13 AM EADT
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Sunday, 18 March 2007
Buy Blundstones in America!!

This may seem strange coming from me but, between changes in currency exchange rates over the last few years and the relentless effect of competition from me and others in Australia, finally at least one US based seller of Blundstones has got the message and started to reduce their prices to near reasonable levels!!

They still don't match my prices and they have a smaller range of styles available but I know some customers, particularly newbies to internet shopping, feel more comfortable buying from a seller in their own country.  (There's no need to be cautious but I can understand the thought process).

Anyway, I like to look after my readers and, if you don't feel comfortable buying from me in Australia, I would at least like to point you towards some sensible prices. 

They are not so cheap if you live in Hawaii or Alaska as they add extra shipping and they won't send to Canada or any other countries so don't bother asking! 

They don't sell Redbacks, Rossis, SteelBlues or Baxters either but you can't have everything.

Where can you find them?  CLICK HERE and check them out.

HOT NEWS!  If you are quick there is another North American (Canadian based) seller with some great short term specials on Blundstones - CLICK HERE -  and go to Clearance Items to save a bundle before the Special Clearance Sale ends.

 


Posted by Mick at 3:25 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 4:40 AM EADT
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Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Redback News
The popularity of Redbacks is increasing by leaps and bounds (no surprise to those 'in the know') and the move towards offshore production by Blundstones can do Redbacks no harm at all - unless any increase in demand comes at the cost of reliability of supply (supply has been a bit slower than usual this year so far - hopefully a temporary situation as they catch up from their traditional Christmas/New Year shutdown).

Redbacks do use some imported items though - most of their leather comes from New Zealand where the cattle grow strong and healthy in that country's famous lush pastureland.

Redbacks are giving customers some challenges though. Due, it seems, to pressure from their US distributor they have advised their Australian distributors that they will no longer be able to obtain supplies of the popular black USBBK Safety Bobcat style which has been a big hit with, amongst others, fire fighters (worldwide) as a versatile Station Boot.

All supplies of this style will, in future, go to the USA where they will be sold for higher prices than those I and others have been offering. Aussie customers and others round the world who order from me will just have to miss out on this excellent boot!

So - what to do if you want some?

First, get in quick as I can still supply most sizes but once the current stock go that will be it.

Second, consider if the steel toe cap is really necessary as the regular UBBK Bobcat is not only still available but cheaper.

Third, ask yourself if your boot really HAS to be black as the claret (very dark brown) USBOK is in plentiful supply and looks very similar to the black USBBK in many cases - and apart from the color is identical.

Fourth, have a look at the lower cost USBBL Safety Bobcat - this is also black and structurally the same as the USBBK. The difference is in the type of leather used - it is a polished black (unlike the USBBK which is semi-matt when new and requires some effort to get a shine up) but with a dimpled 'pebbled' surface (sometimes called rambler) on the leather. The leather is very tough but, to be honest, not quite as high quality - hence the bargain price.

BUT, if none of those do it for you and you want a top quality steel toe capped (complying with US standards as well as Aussie ones), comfortable, black pull on boot then I have just the thing - the STEELBLUE HOBART (see my main www.bootsaustralia.com site). It costs a bit more than the Redback but it is money well spent as the quality is superb - and still works out cheaper than buying the USBBK from an 'official' US source.

SteelBlue's even come with an official manufactuer's COMFORT GUARANTEE so if you don't find them comfortable - send them back (some conditions do apply but they are very fair).

Guess what - no one has sent me a pair back yet!

Posted by Mick at 5:33 PM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2007 3:56 AM EADT
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Big Changes at Blundstones
For those who haven't heard the news - Blundstones are making some big changes to their operations during 2007.

A large part of their manufacturing effort will be placed offshore in Thailand and India in order to take advantage of lower production costs in those countries. Some styles will still be made in Australia though. See http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21069849-921,00.html for more of the story.

What does this mean for the loyal Blundstone buyers round the world? I guess time will tell. Blundstones, for some years, been importing some of their parts (such as steel toe caps) and some leathers and Blundstone management maintain that the move will not only allow them to remain cost competetive but also enable them to improve on the features of their boots at lower cost whilst maintaining the quality of their products.

Blundstones sales (which easily top a million pairs a year) have struggled domestically and internationally with cheaper imported boots.

However, people in the industry who have been dealing with the company for years have long bemoaned the lack of efficiency and slowness of supply they often encounter - often resulting in lost sales and switches of brand loyalty to competitors.

The industry perception is largely that this has often been due to the company producing more styles than they could comfortably manage with many 'small run' niche styles getting in the way of efficient mass production of the better selling lines in their Hobart, Tasmania, Aussie factory. An earlier culling of some of these styles and a better understanding of the opportunities presented by the iconic nature of their brand (and sheer brilliance of their traditional product compared to most of the competition) would maybe at least delayed the current draconian move.

Will the consumers care? Who can tell - in today's Global Village economy it will probably be no surprise that your 'Aussie' boots are made in India - after all, the 'Ugg Australia' brand has made a fortune for their US owners since they moved production to China but sold hard on the Aussie image (you can't actually buy Ugg Australia products in Australia - let's hope Blunnies don't ever go the same way)!

Which lines will be lost in the move offshore is yet to be confirmed but one thing is for sure - if you want to be sure of a genuine Aussie made Blundstone boot you'd better get your orders in soon!

Posted by Mick at 4:49 PM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2007 3:57 AM EADT
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Tuesday, 6 February 2007
Welcome - The Start

G'day!

To those of you who have found your way here from my website - welcome! 

To those of you 'old' customers (nothing personal) who have been patiently waiting for Newsletters from me - my apologies for the l-o-n-g gaps between issues. I'll try to do better with my Blog.  Getting the Newsletters together was always a job that seemed too big until I actually started but I could always find an excuse not to start!  I am hoping the blog will be less of a challenge.

To ALL of you - please keep coming back - just click on the link on my www.bootsaustralia.com site or bookmark this page in your web browser. 

I actually suspect many of the email Newsletters that I did manage to send out went straight into spam filters never to be seen again or just got lost in the sea of junk email that we all seem to live with.

There are lots of very interesting changes going on in the Aussie boot scene that you will want to know about.

Come back here soon and learn about it all.  You'll kick yourself if you miss the news!

Mick


Posted by Mick at 3:59 AM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 14 October 2007 4:42 AM EADT
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