Thursday, 16 March 2017

10:00 – When I took Colin out around 0745 it was 14.1F (-10C) with a light breeze. I think our forecast multi-day blizzard is over now. We ended up with about 1/4″ (~ 6mm) accumulation. We depend on Ray’s Weather for our forecasts. He’s based in Boone, an hour or so down the road, and he gets it right more often than anyone. He missed it this time, but it’s notoriously difficult to forecast weather, particularly for folks like us who sit on top of a mountain range.

I increased our science kit prices across the board yesterday. Our last price increase was in the summer of 2014, and all of our costs have been increasing since then. Until now, we’ve just been eating the difference, but things were getting out of hand. We try to keep our prices as low as possible to make these kits affordable for homeschool families, but it was starting to get ridiculous.

For example, in 2014 it cost an average of $11.08 to ship a kit. For 2017 to date, our average has been $13.19 in postage per kit, an increase of about 19%. A couple bucks more per kit may not sound like much, but all of our other costs have shown similar increases. Chemicals in particular have skyrocketed, but everything from bottles to labware has also increased significantly. Overall, from summer 2014 until now our costs, excluding labor, have increased about 21% while our prices have remained the same. All of the labor is done by Barbara and me, so we’re not actually out-of-pocket on it.

So I increased kit prices yesterday by about 10% across the board. Our standard Biology kit, for example, went from $199 to $219. I hate to do that, because I know that many homeschool families are on very tight budgets, but we really needed to do something to bring our revenues more in line with costs.

More work on science kit stuff today.

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