Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why do I even bother

 For any of you considering the joys of being self employed, or what you end up spending so much time on? Consider this from this mornings e-mail dump:

On 30/10/12 2:12 AM, Cam L wrote:
Am I missing something or am I supposed to be an idiot for ordering from you?  I am not trying to be rude but I really do not understand!!!!

You keep talking on your site on how this is made in Canada and is made to be affordable......  Then when I go to order the price is 47.46 including HST (I am in alberta  and do not pay HST!).  And then the price is $36.00 for Americans!!!!!

Should you not  be saying that it is made in The USA as it certainly seems you are trying to KISS American ass and screw over your countrymen!

What am I missing?


You are in fact being amazingly rude.

I take it from your references you are referring to Viking Game?
Normally I would just blow this kind of comment off - but you should understand  a few things:

Made in Canada?
- The piece of canvas is likely woven off shore some place. I do purchase the boards, which are cut and the edges bound, by a small company in Kitchener Ontario.
- The board printing is done by a local business near my home in Dundalk Ontario
- The glass counters are likely made off shore (Europe I think). I do purchase these in bulk from a supplier in Georgetown Ontario.
- The king piece is made here in my own workshop.
- I have the rule sheets printed at a different local business in Dundalk.
- The main offshore component is the bag. Sorry, I just can not even get the bags even made locally, much less made, printed both sides. Ordered from a US company, work done in India. The bags account for about 15 % of the cost of production.
- The pieces are all assembled into the finished games by myself.

The government requirement for 'Made in Canada' is that at least 50% of the wholesale value needs to be applied in this country. My estimate is that a minimum of 75 % of the wholesale value is from Canadian sources.

Made to be affordable:

Reality check please.
- All the other commercially available versions of Nefatafal retail for *over $50*. My version retails at almost *half* that amount - at $28.
- As the primary sales of Viking Game are not retail, but are in fact wholesale to museum gift shops, consider that normally I only get $14.50 for each game produced. Do the math. Dealing with all those other small local suppliers, how much do you think * I * get to keep?

Unless its produced in *China* and sold via *Wallmart*, I absolutely defy you to find another game of this type in the same price range.

But I see your REAL problem is not with the cost of the game itself?

Shipping cost of $14

Blame Canada Post - not me!
- I set the shipping cost  based on what I actually get charged by Canada Post to send one game, in a padded envelope (which also needs to be paid for). Since I have to cover all of our country, I use the raw cost (rounded up to the closest dollar) I get charged to send something from central Ontario to Vancouver.
- I do not include anything for the time to pack the order.
- I do not charge anything for the time and gas cost to drive the 20 + km and back into the closest Post Office. 
I freely admit the cost of shipping is horrible - but *I do not control this*

HST of $5.46

Blame Revenue Canada
- not me!
My *legal instructions from Revenue Canada* are:
-  As a business in Ontario grossing over $30 K per year, I am *forced* to collect HST.
-  All products or services originating in *Ontario*, then delivered within *Canada* must have HST applied.
I do *not* determine this.
(I absolutely HATE the HST system. Did you know I am forced to spend hours keeping accounting records on the sole behalf of Revenue Canada - for which I get *absolutely no* bennifit of any kind?)

'Suck up to Americans"


1) HST is not applied to any product shipped outside of Canada (Revenue Canada)

2) It costs LESS to ship one game to CALIFORNIA than it does to ALBERTA (Canada Post)

Now, you are bitching to me about all the aspects of fixed costs over which I have absolutely NO CONTROL WHATSOEVER - which are in fact IMPOSED on me by the GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

 If you are feeling 'screwed over' - you had better direct your displeasure at those responsible.

To make yourself feel better, go to Walmart (and American Multi-national company well known for screwing local businesses) and purchase something made in China.
Or better, try to order something from the USA and see what happens to your shipping costs.

with no respect at all


Anonymous said...

In my capacity as passing stranger, I can fully support you on the oddities of Canada Post; it's a little better than a couple of years past (when Canada to Argentina cost less than Regina to Winnipeg for a parcel 10cm on a side) but it is still slightly Kafkaesque.

...and I'm very happy to live in a part of the country not yet gripped with HST; it seems a misery and a half. I wish you saner days and more empathetic correspondence.

Anonymous said...

We have one of your sets, and it's one game that's lasted for years and been enjoyed for years.

We live in the US, and I was delighted to find your rendition of the game.

Hope this offsets the crank mail.

Kind regards,


Anonymous said...


All of us who smith in Alaska are in your corner. A great many in our smithing association make a living as blacksmiths, farriers, cutlers, or foundrymen.

We understand what it is to work hard at this trade, and how hard it is to run a business and to be self employed.

We also suffer fixed costs that make our products costlier, shipping being among the worst. With the world's 4th busiest air cargo hub in Anchorage, we are at a loss to explain why shipping costs are outrageous here.

We feel your pain. We admire your remarkable skill, your lifelong dedication, your accumulated expertise, and we are all very grateful that you share your know-how via this excellent website.

Don't let the bastards grind you down!

The Alaska Blacksmithing Association.


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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