Thursday, 27 June 2013

08:40 – It’s been a week since Barbara’s dad died, and things are gradually returning to some semblance of normal. Barbara went out to dinner with a couple of her friends from the library last night. Colin and I stayed home and watched Heartland re-runs.

I got another kit order from the UK yesterday, the second this week. I always explain that we can ship kits only within the US and then refund their entire payment. We take a $0.30 loss on each refund, but it’s not worth trying to explain to the would-be buyer why we’re refunding them $0.30 less than their original payment.

I’ve actually thought about using Bongo to handle foreign shipments, but it’s unclear to me how (or if) that would work since our kits include materials that the IATA defines as dangerous goods for shipping purposes. If it worked, it’d be ideal. I could simply accept orders as usual and ship kits as usual to Bongo’s Connecticut facility. They would then forward the package to the buyer in whatever country, charging the buyer for the shipping and handling fees and taking care of all the customs stuff.

We’re also getting an increasing number of queries and orders from schools, public and private, as well as virtual schools and distance-learning programs. I got us set up yesterday as an approved vendor for a virtual school program run by a small-town school system that supports 200 to 300 distance-learning families. The interesting thing about this arrangement is that the school system coordinates things, but which curricula/kits to use is up to the individual families. Each family decides which curricula/kits they want to use, and lets the school system know. The school system then orders and pays for the materials, which are shipped to them. On a specified day, the families all show up at the school to pick up their materials. So at this point I have no idea of how many kits we’ll sell to that group. It could be 20 or 30, or 2 or 3, or even none at all.

Work continues on building more science kits.