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Late August Update! - Recent Changes & Forecast

August 31 2015

It's been a while since I've written a new blog post! Things have been quite busy around here lately. We've been running at maximum capacity the last two months and it's been exhausting! With the changes we're currently undergoing we are hoping to have turnaround to a 2-3 day average by the end of September, just in time for the Holiday season rush! 

So we've added some new things to the website - 

  • New Logo has been tossed up. We love our new logo! We hope you all like it too :)
  • Detailed Lab Results have been added on each of our product pages. You'll find the button in the bottom left on each juice's product page. We're going to make sure that all new flavors undergo testing prior to release, that way we can have the lab results ready on launch. 
  • Bitcoin is now an available payment method! We've gotten a few emails lately, and we're happy to support the currency. Now if only I could find my old bitcoin wallet from 2011 -_- 
  • Product Pages have been reformatted to make more sense. We moved some stuff around to make things easier for first-time customers. Everything from before is still there, just shifted.

Now here's some stuff coming soon - 

  • New labels! This has been long overdue, but we're almost ready! Our main goals on these were to increase waterproofing, eliminate wrinkling, improve readability, and of course a cleaner/slicker overall design. We are going to be using a much better material for these, and also a different method for marking nicotine & pg/vg levels which will be easier to read. Plus the new marking method will save a lot of time in order fulfillment allowing us to get more orders out.
  • New promotional material! After the new labels are in production we'll be releasing new business cards, juice menu cards, stickers, t-shirts, and hats. The menu cards, business cards, and stickers will be sent with every order. Our top 50 customers over the last year will be receiving a free t-shirt on us, we'll email you guys & gals when those are ready to get your preferred size. Don't worry, we'll make sure the t-shirts are something you can wear in public, we won't be plastering "voop life" all over them lol. 
  • Sample packs! We're working on launching these right after the new labels are put into production. The sample packs will need to be pre-mixed in order to provide a much lower price per bottle discount. This means we'll only be offering a couple pg/vg concentrations, however all nicotine concentrations will be available. 
  • Better phone-support! So currently we don't have anyone dedicated to answering phones, which means it's usually me answering when I'm not in the production area which is pretty rare during business hours. We're adding some new hires soon and plan to have a dedicated customer-service member strictly answering emails/phone-calls/texts/etc. In the interim if we don't answer the phone just leave a voicemail or send a quick text, we'll always get back to you. We get a lot of telemarketers on the number currently, so if you don't leave a message we have no way of knowing you're a customer. The new phone # will fix this issue, but sadly the original number is too far gone to fix the telemarketing lol. 
  • FAQ Page! We want to make things easier for first-timers or new vapers, we're planning to have this added as soon as next week. We'll cover a bunch of basic e-liquid topics alongside questions about our operation specifically. 
  • New "Testers" Area! So we've hit a bit of a lull in our closed tester group, as such we're going to be opening up a new section on the site to everyone where we'll have our latest new recipes that we're working on. Our hope is that those who are brave enough try the new recipes before they become part of our "signature" line will provide feedback on them so that we can get them in the best shape possible for release. We're planning on offering a bit of a discount on testers. 
  • New Facebook Group / Opening Subreddit! We're looking for dedicated supporters to help us run our new facebook group we're planning on opening soon. If you're interested shoot me an email. We'll be opening the /r/tbdliquids subreddit as well when the new Facebook group is up and going. We plan on doing weekly giveaways on both Facebook & the subreddit, and sharing updates/news there as well. We'll make an announcement when those are both open. 
  • New Website (Coming January 2016)! We're planning on sticking with Shopify, but looking to hire a designer & developer to build us a new Shopify store from the ground up. We're wanting to improve a bunch of stuff on our site which is quite basic at the moment. Mainly we want to improve order status tracking, account management, add categorized sections (Fruit, Dessert, Koolada, etc.), rewards program, and better flow/speed overall for the site. 
  • Apple Pay Support! We're working on adding support for Apple Pay soon, ideally by the end of next month. We think Apple Pay is a very secure way to pay online and would love to support the payment method. 
  • More Hardware & Supplies! We're going to continue adding new atomizers, and also plan to bring in some high quality regulated mods. We want to keep the prices on these at-cost to support our awesome community. We would add cotton/wire, but honestly it's readily available at a very low price on Amazon :p We will also be bringing in some new DIY Supplies that are hard to find on the main DIY shops. 
  • Changing to a US Nicotine Source! Currently our nicotine is sourced from a US company (Vaperstek) generally regarded as having one of the smoothest nicotine bases by the DIY Community. Their nicotine is EU sourced and works great, but we're always on the look out for a smooth nicotine base made with US grown tobacco. We're currently testing some new suppliers, one of which is Ameri-Nic recently founded by Universal Group (Largest tobacco supplier in US). We are going to try a few others as well and decide who has a smoother base than our current source. Should none of them be an in improvement we'll continue our search until we find the perfect nicotine base from US grown tobacco. As always we want to make sure we have the best quality ingredients at a fair price. 

Hope you all have a great September! Be sure to let us know what you think of our recent changes :) 

- John Fitch

john@tbdliquids.com

 

 



 


    About Recent USPS Shipping Issues - Delays, Lost Packages, Lack of Tracking Updates

    March 14 2015

    As of the last few weeks, many of our packages that we've sent via USPS First-Class and Priority Mail have had issues.

    Here are some of these issues -

    • Package tracking never updating or being scanned at all. This will make it appear as if a package has been stuck in one city for over a week+, or that the package was never even received at all.
    • Tracking showing that it's been delayed for a long period of time. 
    • Ultimately package taking up to 3-weeks to be delivered. 

    There was a recent front-page post on the ECR claiming that the changes to first-class has caused the above issues many are seeing with USPS. Here is the actual USPS release regarding these changes. A package should never take over 1-3 weeks to be delivered, even if it is first-class.

    "Overall, the time it takes First-Class Mail to reach its destination will increase slightly from an overall average of 2.14 days to an overall average of 2.25 days."

    We've seen an equal amount of issues with the priority packages we send, the above change simply cannot be the explanation for why packages aren't being tracked and are seemingly "lost" for over a week. 

    So what gives?

    After doing some research, I believe the main issue stems from the "restructuring" effort, in other words the closing and consolidation of many processing facilities. You see, USPS at the start of the year closed and consolidated many of their processing and sort facilities. Source 

    So what are we going to do?

    USPS doesn't consider a package lost until it has been missing for 21 days (3 weeks). We will consider a package "lost" and re-send the order after seven days without a tracking update. 

    We have seen many packages go "missing" for over a week, and then suddenly show up in the mailbox without any tracking changes to notify you that it's been located. 

    Overall, we ask that you're patient with us during these issues with USPS. Please understand that the most we can do is place a claim on a package which we'll have to wait 21-days to do, or resend the order. Calling USPS sadly leads to no resolutions or answers, and only ends with more frustration due to the time wasted.

    We are looking into adding either FedEx or UPS shipping options by the end of the week. The price will likely be a few dollars more, but at least with ground shipping the tracking will properly update. Customers near or in California might see packages actually delivered quicker via ground shipping. 

    John

    Further Discussions on USPS Issues - 

    http://www.reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette/comments/2yxjqn/anyone_having_trouble_with_usps_tracking_this_week/

    http://www.reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette/comments/2yuunt/my_package_has_been_in_the_air_for_3_days/

    http://www.reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette/comments/2ykum8/what_is_going_on_with_usps/

    https://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/questions/discuss/16088700/page/1

    https://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/questions/discuss/16088844/page/3

    https://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/questions/discuss/16103502/page/5


    Discontinuing Glass Bottles

    January 17 2015

    Hey Everyone!

    With the addition of 50ml and 15ml plastic bottles, we've decided to discontinue glass bottles. Around 95% of our orders are for plastic bottles, and from the customer feedback we've received on this decision has so far been in favor of adding more sizes, rather than continuing to offer glass bottles. 

    Plastic is generally regarded as easier to use, safer to use (no problems if dropped), and less likely to leak. If you feel like we should reverse this decision, please send me an email - john@tbdliquids.com and let me know that you would like us to continue offering glass.

    Note: The plastic bottles we use are #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) which make them BPA free and not prone to leaching. They are also easier to squeeze, resistant to high heat (80 °C continuously and 95 °C for a short time), and have an excellent amount of resistance (no reaction / leaching) to alcohols, acids, bases, or esters. LDPE plastics are commonly used in laboratory equipment, and also used in actual orange juice cartons / milk cartons. We recommend that like with any bottle, you do not leave them out for extended periods of time (12+ hours) in direct sunlight as no plastic or glass bottles are completely resistant to UV light. 

    We will also be adding new bulk bottle sizes such as 4oz (120ml) and 8oz (240ml) bottles by the beginning of next month. We have a few new flavors on the way that will be added over the next few days :) 

    Thanks for supporting us! All of the Holiday orders should be out, and the current orders in the system (up to #1694) will be shipping either today (saturday) or monday (1-19-15)

    John


    Holiday Schedule

    December 23 2014

    Hi everyone! We wanted to let you know that we will be returning back on Monday (12-29). Juice should start shipping out again immediately on that Monday, with batches made over the weekend so that they ship out immediately Monday, morning. 

    We want to apologize for the delay in shipping, normally packages are delivered within 2-3 days from shipping, though we're finding around the holidays that it's been taking 5+ days to arrive. 

    We hope everyone has a happy holiday week!

    John


    Added Shipping Calculation Based on Weight / Pricing Changes on Glass

    December 09 2014

    I finally got around to weighing out all the juices for precise weight based on if they're in plastic or glass bottles. So first class will cover anything up to 13oz (~5 Plastic Bottles, or ~2-3 Glass). First class costs roughly $3.00-$3.50.

    Anything over that would be Priority Shipping, and generally ends up being about ~$5-$9.00. I set priority at a flat $5.50, I will cover anything over that myself :) So for you guys/gals ordering 6+ Glass bottles, you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for shipping :)

    Because of switching to child-proof droppers, I'll be raising the price of glass bottles to an additional $0.75 charge. The droppers themselves cost about $.65 a dropper, not counting the bottle costs and with the volume of orders I'm now accepting I can't continue to cover the additional costs of the child-proof droppers. 

    Update: Glass prices have now been changed to charge $0.75 extra to cover additional costs for child-proof droppers.


    Order Schedule

    December 04 2014

    Hey everyone!

    As many of you know, the Thanksgiving and Black Friday sale last week was an awesome success! It really is exciting to see all of the new people trying my juice for the first time, as well as a lot of returning customers coming back again. I want to thank you all for participating in the sale and hopefully being patient while I work around the clock to get all of the orders out. There were so many orders over that 48 hour span that I needed to cancel Cyber Monday's sale! 

    Right now I have it estimated to have all of the orders from the sale out by the middle of next week. I am just getting to the early 1300s (Thursday December 4th) and averaging about 20-25 orders daily. If you need your order quicker, say you're running low on juice or were just expecting it earlier, please send me an email and I can add an extra order to the mixing schedule. I really hate not having a 2-3 day turnaround, but during a big sale its just impossible for me to do all of the orders as fast as some of the bigger guys. 

    Keep in mind the juice goes through a speed steeping process here right when mixed. This ensures the juice is ready to go when it gets to your mail box. It adds quite a bit of extra time to the mixing process, but I believe once your juice arrives at your home it should be ready to vape right away. Juices will still change a bit over time, but you will not have to wait week(s) for my juice to at least be enjoyable. 

    As always, let me know if you have any questions at all. Also I'm looking for some fresh new testers for the tester group! Shoot me an email at John@tbdliquids.com if you're interested in being a juice tester :) I have some delicious new flavors in the works that I could really use some more testers for!

    John


    Aftermath of the Halloween Sale / Studies on Vaping

    November 01 2014

    Hey everyone!

    So here's what things are looking like after the big halloween promotion we just did. All orders should go out between 2-3 days after you ordered. If there's any reason for it to be delayed further than that you'll be promptly contacted. Its a very small operation here so I am working around the clock to get your orders out in a timely fashion. 

    That being said, the halloween promotion went great. We have so many new customer's trying us for the first time! And also many customer's trying us for their second or third time. I'm excited about both new customers and repeat customers. My goal has always been to build a niche of clients who truly enjoy my juice. 

    If you ever need anything, feel free to contact me via email or phone (text/call). I make sure to get back to you right away. 

    Also there have been some interesting articles/studies lately that I saw on reddit. I figured I'd share them with you here if you didn't see them yet. It really shows that e-cigs are a good thing, and this is something I'll be forwarding to my local city council as they're working on new legislation for e-cigs specifically in Santa Rosa. I invite any of you to do the same, just take a minute to check your city council's website and search "electronic cigarette" you should get something and be able to find out what changes they're considering. You can see who is the proposing councilman and email them directly.

    I'll be sharing the following with them - 

    Video - "The Most Significant Advancement in health care since modern antibiotics" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rYSFiyZhwQ

    Study - "Effectiveness of the Electronic Cigarette" - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25358095

    Video - "Are E-Cigarettes Safe?" BBC - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5RzMPCnWbc

    Study - "Does E-Cigarette Consumption Cause Passive Vaping - http://meetingdocs.alachuacounty.us/documents/bocc/agendas/2013-12-10/500347c5-b7d5-423c-b645-0860dc047067.pdf

    Study Article - " E-Cigarette Regulations Hinder Public Health Goals" - http://humanevents.com/2014/09/29/studies-e-cigarette-regulations-hinder-public-health-goals/

    Study - "Effectiveness of the Electronic Cigarette" - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25358095

    Video - "Are E-Cigarettes Safe?" BBC - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5RzMPCnWbc

    Study - "Does E-Cigarette Consumption Cause Passive Vaping - http://meetingdocs.alachuacounty.us/documents/bocc/agendas/2013-12-10/500347c5-b7d5-423c-b645-0860dc047067.pdf

    Video - "The Most Significant Advancement in Health Care Since Modern Antibiotics" - 

    http://humanevents.com/2014/09/29/studies-e-cigarette-regulations-hinder-public-health-goals/

    Study Article - " E-Cigarette Regulations Hinder Public Health Goals" - http://humanevents.com/2014/09/29/studies-e-cigarette-regulations-hinder-public-health-goals/

    I urge you to take a few minutes out of your day to defend vaping from being regulated too heavily. I am on-board with some regulations such as child-proof caps, etc. But regulation preventing you from vaping on the sidewalk in front of your house, or in e-cigarette shops themselves, that is what I'm worried about. 

    Hope you all had a great Halloween!

    John


    A Busy Weekend

    October 20 2014

    Hey everyone,

    Things have been quite busy around here!  We've done a lot in the past week and I'm glad we could give you all one hell of a deal this weekend. Coupon codes have be re-enabled now as they were disabled for the weekend sale. Anyhow I figured I'd outline some of things that were accomplished this past week, and where were looking to head from here. 

    First off, we launched three new juices in the past week. I know a lot of you have already ordered them, and I can't wait to hear what you think about them. I put a lot of work into each of them over the past couple weeks, and I'm just happy that I was able to get them to a point that I feel is good enough to offer publicly. I couldn't do it without help from my tester crew. They offer up some great ideas and excellent feedback, couldn't ask for a better group of people to help me build our juice line. 

    Next, we launched our Facebook and already have a lot of you following us already. You can find our facebook at - www.facebook.com/tbdliquids. We plan to do giveaways there as well so be sure to follow us. I will be posting regular updates there which should be a nice and easy way to keep up to date on new deals/features/juices/etc. 

    We had a record breaking weekend sale. We've never moved so much volume so fast, and it makes me incredibly excited, but also anxious to get everyone's orders out as fast as possible. As some of you know, this is a one man show at the moment. I will be working diligently over the next few days to ensure your orders get shipped quickly. I'm going to be putting in multiple 16 hour days over the next few days. 

    What's on the Horizon - 

    A delicious new tea vape. After some work and some help from my friend Robert, I was able to nail down a delicious tea. Its an excellent blend of green tea, with peach, and a nice crisp dragonfruit. Its a lighter tea vape, as a lot of my juices tend to be on the lighter side to ensure vapeability by everyone. Honestly I love it. I've tried a lot of tea vapes from other juice makers, and I couldn't handle them. Just not my cup of tea (lol sorry). But this, is by far one of my best juices yet. I have a little bit more testing and tweaking to do, but expect to see this vape up by mid/late this week.

    I've been wanting to create a more "professional" label for a while, as the one we use currently is one I just designed myself. It was never meant to be a permanent label. The current label I feel is good, but its not great. And that's what I strive for with everything I do here at TBD Liquids. If you're a designer, or know one who might be interested in doing some freelance work, feel free to let me know. I will be looking around for a designer to work with on creating a "great" label. 

    I have more things I could talk about, but I think its time to get back to mixing. I'll be sure to keep updating this blog as I have time to keep you all informed on the newest things.


    Update: Orders 1036+ Now Shipping

    October 13 2014

    Hey everyone,

    Sorry for the delay due to the bottles being delayed. All current orders will be caught up on this week. Orders are beginning to ship out starting tomorrow. You will receive a shipping notice via email when the label is printed and your box will ship out the next morning. 

    I hope you all enjoy the juice! 

    -John


    New Features Added

    October 12 2014

    Hey everyone!

    Added some new features today. Now that a lot of you have tried us and decided to purchase more in the future, I wanted to try and give something back to those of you who are deciding to bring us into your juice arsenals :)

    I've added the following deals - 

    • Free 30ml "Sampler" *Upgrade with Orders over $40
    • Free Shipping on Orders over $45

    I plan to add more features which rewards those who decide to regularly purchase from us, as well as rewards for referring friends to us. These are coming in the future along with other updates.

    Thanks all! :)


    Update: Further Delay On Orders #1036+

    October 05 2014

    New Update (10/07/14): Apparently the bottles we ordered over a week ago hadn't shipped until today. Because of this they won't be here until Monday of next week. We are offering full refunds to those who request them.

    However, for those who are willing to wait the additional amount of time we will be upgrading your samples to 30ml bottles on us. You can expect a special gift with your orders as well. Once the bottles get here, I'm planning on busting out as many orders as I can in as short of time as I can. Honestly I feel terrible about the whole thing, and I want to make it right. The good news is with this order of bottles we shouldn't run out for months to come as your orders allowed us to afford a good backstock of them to keep us going for a while.

    -----

    Old:

    Hey everyone,

    Just wanted to give you all a heads up that were delaying mixing orders #1036 and on, as we're out of glass and plastic bottles. We ordered plenty more replacement bottles last week and they should be here Tuesday or Wednesday. Once received we'll work overtime to get orders out on hopefully the same schedule as they would have gone out had we not had to delay orders for a couple of days.

    If this is an issue please let me know and I will do anything in my power to try and resolve it. Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause to anyone. 

    Thanks for understanding,

    John


    Almost Caught Up on Orders / Looking for Testers

    October 02 2014

    Hey everyone!

    We're almost all caught up on orders from last weekend and the ones that trickled in this week! It's been a lot of work here since we make every bottle to order, even the sample bottles are made by themselves. This is why we can offer so many different options. The only downside is that making each bottle to order and having them all packaged up takes a little while longer than a "bigger" vendor might take. 

    We average about 30 bottles a day, from creation to packaging for shipping. We're hoping to step that up as we grow so that we can have juice ready to go before you order, that way we just package and ship. However, for now we will continue making all juice to order until we can reach that level of growth.

    If you're at all interested in being a "tester" for new juices, shoot me an email at john@tbdliquids.com. We need a few new testers to try some new juices we're working on. 

    Thanks again for all the kind words you guys have been saying about the juices!

    John


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