STOP PRESS: Due to production problems the Blundstone 331 and 335 styles will be unavailable until at least early 2008. I recommend as alternatives the Blundstone 172, Redback Bobcat, Rossi 700 or SteelBlue Hobart .
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International currency rates have been all over the place in the last few months but the general trend is that the Aussie Dollar is gaining ground on the US $ and with little sign of slowing down. This is making it VERY hard to keep my US $ prices as low as I (or you if that's what you have in your pocket) would like.
A few price rises have been necessary and I won't promise there won't be any more but I'll do my best. If you want to save I would not wait, if I were you! The links I have provided to US based sellers are well worth checking out as my advantage over them is not as great as I would like!
Blundstones have made their move to produce all their leather boots offshore in India and Thailand. There are still some Aussie made boots in stock but as they go they are replaced with the new imports.
The good news is that this will help a little to stabilise prices and also VERY IMPORTANTLY there is NO drop in quality. The original lasts and machines from Australia have been moved to the new plants and quality control is very high. Blundstones know as well as anyone that any drop in quality with the move will be commercial suicide so they are being very careful.
So far, the imports are totally indistinguishable from the Aussie products. Only time will tell if they can keep this up but I am sure they will as their whole future is riding on doing so.
Don't forget, though, Blundstones aren't the old brand I sell so if you want to buy Australian made products I still have them!
Please don't leave it too late for your Christmas and New Year orders. Production levels struggle to keep up at this time of year and Blundstones are already a bit behind due to their production move.
With the best will in the world, I always have great trouble processing and filling orders as the rush approaches. Shipping slows down as all the planes fill up with freight and mail and the mail deliverers start to wilt under the pressure. Aussie boot factories traditionally close for maintenance over the Christmas break so what I can't get by mid December I often can't get until February so, sadly, every year I have a few disapponted customers whose plans to fill their loved ones' Christmas stockings with a new pair of boots don't work out as hoped.
Please do yourself a favour and get those orders in as early as you can and try to be a little flexible (and patient - I do my best!) - if I can't get the exact style you want try to have a plan B in the wings for an alternative style or brand.
I have recently launched a new site which I hope will, one day, be seen as a valuable resource to the online footwear buying community. It is called Shoe Junction (www.shoejunction.com) and my intention is for it to be a 'one stop' resource for anyone wanting to learn about buying footwear online and find links to the information they need. Go visit and, if you like the concept, keep coming back - what you see now is only the first phase - I have plans to add much more. Tell your friends if its usefull - tell ME if it isn't.
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!
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.
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!