Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Inventory Reset on Amazon.

In the past few weeks, we have been diligently working with Amazon to resolve some inventory management issues that has impacted access to purchasing Snake Sandbags™ for customers. On both ends, we realize there are discrepancies and it's challenging since it is always a moving target to reconcile inventory levels as more inventory is shipped, processed, and sold. Amazon's distribution system is extremely complex and shipments to customers do not only originate from one warehouse. Imagine tracking all inventory in multiple warehouses. It's mind-boggling. So, we have decided to do an inventory reset. What?! We have stopped shipments to Amazon and letting all the inventory sell out. Yes, it is intentional. Why? It's easier on both ends to start from zero. From nothing. From even-Steven. This way there will be less disruption due to conflicting inventory management issues moving forward.

How are we going about it? We will ship Snake Sandbags™ to Amazon once we verify that a specific length has zeroed out. What does that mean? Amazon tracks everything and we mean everything regarding inventory. If there is a shipment en route, they are tracking it. If it's sitting in one of their distribution warehouses, they are tracking it. If it's in processing ready to go out, they are tracking it. You get the idea. Not only does it have to sell out, we are waiting until it has cleared out completely on Amazon's system. From the tools Amazon provides us, we can see this info and know where we stand.

As of today, the six and four footers have pretty much zeroed out. We should be resuming shipments for the six and four footers within a day or two and Amazon should have them in their warehouses by the end of this week. Give them a few days to process the shipments and they should be available for sale once again early next week.

There you have it. An inventory reset - not sure if that's an industry term, but who cares. It describes what we are doing. If you have any questions or need to order any Snake Sandbags™ in the meantime, give a call at 317-721-1006. As always, we will do our best to make sure you are taken care of.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekly Giveaway - 2015 List of Winners

Here is the latest list of winners for 2015

Congratulations to everyone who has won!

Your name can be here Your State May 11, 2015 The one of your choice
Tyne Caouette PA May 4, 2015 5 foot Black
Brenda Guardado VA April 27, 2015 5 foot Black
Winner notified! April 20, 2015
Michelle Prudencio CA April 13, 2015 4 foot Black
Chris Struven IL April 6, 2015 6 foot Black
Nathanael Black MI March 30, 2015 6 foot Black
Winner Notified! March 23, 2015
Winner Notified! March 16, 2015
Milly Voskanyan NJ March 9, 2015 4 foot Black
Janice Pittenger MN March 2, 2015 4 foot Black
Winner notified! February 23, 2015
Joanna Reed CA February 16, 2015 6 foot Black
Alicia Simmons VA February 9, 2015 6 foot Black
Sohair Mohammed IL February 2, 2015 6 foot Black
Brandy Davis GA January 26, 2015 6 foot Black
Winner notified! January 19, 2015
Debbie Welchert NE January 12, 2015 6 foot Black
Stefanie Gladden NC January 5, 2015 4 foot Black

Click here to view 2014 list of winners!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Weekly Giveaway - 2014 List of Winners

Here is the latest list of winners for 2014

Congratulations to everyone who has won!

Winner Notified! December 29, 2014
Debra Warila CA December 22, 2014 6 foot Black
Barbara Klett CT December 15, 2014 4 foot Black
Kelly OMalley WI December 8, 2014 4 foot Black
Sara Mariotti NH December 1, 2014 4 foot Black
Lisa Santos MD November 24, 2014 6 foot Black
Tammy Dudley WA November 17, 2014 6 foot Black
Kathy Hanley NJ November 10, 2014 6 foot Black
Cheryl Rahkonen AR November 3, 2014 6 foot Black
Rosa L. Cruz CA October 27, 2014 3 foot Black
Elaine Jenkins WA October 20, 2014 6 foot Black
Anita Kennett FL October 13, 2014 6 foot Black
debbie icebergsewell MO October 6, 2014 6 foot Black
Darlene Wetzel NY September 29, 2014 6 foot Black
Colleen Maul CA September 22, 2014 5 foot Black
Judy Hayes AR September 15, 2014 6 foot Black
Christina Kelbel MD September 8, 2014 6 foot Black
Shawna Saunders NJ September 1, 2014 6 foot Black
Andrea Britt FL August 25, 2014 6 foot Black
Barry Simpson FL August 18, 2014 6 foot Black
Arlene Mccurdy MS August 11, 2014 3 foot Black
Dana Love NC August 4, 2014 5 foot Fluorescent Orange
Sandra Ventura FL July 21, 2014 6 foot Black
Teri Hilger NY July 14, 2014 6 foot Black
Colleen Thompson CO July 7, 2014 6 foot Fluorescent Orange
Shelton Rogerson NC June 30, 2014 4 foot Black
Kasha Pierce GA June 23, 2014 6 foot Black
Joanne Thompson NV June 16, 2014 4 foot Black
Cheryl Rahkonen AR June 9, 2014 6 foot Black
Tom Behrendt IL June 2, 2014 5 foot Black
Tansy Diaz NV May 26, 2014 5 foot Black
Kimberly Joy Williams IN May 19, 2014 6 foot Black
Blake Tanner IN May 12, 2014 6 foot Fluorescent Orange
Greg Chaney IN May 5, 2014 6 foot Fluorescent Orange
Paula Stewart SC April 28, 2014 6 foot Black
Teresa Sulyok NY April 21, 2014 6 foot Black
Lori Bahn CT April 14, 2014 6 foot Black
DONNALYNN LAPOINTE VT April 7, 2014 4 foot Black
Makhbuba Boltaeva NY March 31, 2014 6 foot Fluorescent Orange
Ej Bognear MI March 24, 2014 6 foot Black
Denis kelley MA March 17, 2014 4 foot Black
Todd Rumsey NY March 10, 2014 4 foot Black
Lois Karmel NY March 3, 2014 3 foot Fluorescent Orange
Wendy Wallach NY February 24, 2014 6 foot Black
Karen DeGraaf MI February 17, 2014 6 foot Black
Sonya Sparks AR February 10, 2014 3 foot Fluorescent Orange

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SOLD OUT - Black Snake Sandbags™ on Amazon.com

There has been a huge run on Black Snake Sandbags™ sold on Amazon.com in all sizes! Wow! Though we forecast and manage inventory for sales on Amazon, this has caught us by surprise. Don't worry, we are working furiously on restocking all sizes and Amazon should have them available for sale by early next week. We appreciate that word has gotten around and many people are finding Snake Sandbags™ to be a valued product. We are humbled.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Industry Standards

When buying sandbags that are not filled, it is the norm that the dimensions provided are for the length and possibly the width. This seems to be the industry standard. When doing our research before launching Snake Sandbags™, we figured it made sense since you get an overall context of size from those dimensions. We followed suit.

We have Snake Sandbags™ that come in three, four, five, and six foot lengths and even custom sizes. There are times when we have to explain to customers that the industry standard is to provide dimensions of the sandbags when empty, not when they are filled. We realize that is somewhat ridiculous. If you want want six foot Snake Sandbags™, you probably want it to be six feet, not six feet minus an inch or two when filled with sand.

So, we are bucking normal conventions and to hell with industry standards (We also recognize industry standards play an important role, but Snake Sandbags™ is not really similar to anything out on the market today.). We are now sizing all Snake Sandbags™ to make sure they are at least the length specified when filled with sand. Yeah, sure it hits our bottom line a little since we need to use more materials and we are not raising prices because of this, but it just makes sense, especially from our customers' point-of-view.

Our manufacturing specifications are now taking this sizing into account, but our current inventory is still mixed. For many, an inch is not a big deal. If you have purchased Snake Sandbags™ and it is an issue for you, let us know and we will make it right.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Uses/Applications: Melting Snow

It's been a rough winter here in Indiana and it's not even over yet. There has been lots and lots of snow and below freezing temperatures over long stretches that seemed like an eternity. I know many in different parts of the U.S. have even experienced worse, so we really can't complain. But, now we have multiple days of sun and warmer weather (above freezing) which gives us another issue to deal with: melting snow. Water. And lots of it.

Here are some uses we know about and others have shared with us in using Snake Sandbags™ during this time:
  • Keeping water out of garages. Even though many garage doors have gaskets at the bottom of the door to keep out critters and water, water still seems to seep into that small crevice. Block it before it gets close.
  • Keeping water away from other things in the garage. Okay, we may be a little late for this one. A few customers have told us they use their garage for storing other items and they need to keep the melting snow that ends up on their cars from causing water damage to those precious valuables. Though, in my case, I try to get all the ice and snow completely off the car and even out of the wheel wells before putting the car in the garage, I do tend to have experienced puddles of water the next morning. I can just imagine what others have to deal with. 
  • Directing water in the basement. Many homes in the Indianapolis and surrounding areas have unfinished basements and with it comes the challenge of water seeping from the walls. Since Snake Sandbags™ are flexible, they are really handy when you want to direct water in the direction you'd like, most likely toward the drain.
If you have any other suggestions that Snake Sandbags™ has helped you deal with the melting snow, leave a comment below. We'd love to hear about it!

New Section: Uses/Applications

We get comments how individuals are using Snake Sandbags™ and sometimes we are surprised, in a good way. We do like to hear how Snake Sandbags™are helping solve various problems and realize that we should share that information since someone may benefit from someone else's insight. So, we are starting a new section on the blog called "Uses/Applications". It may cover a certain industry, locations Snake Sandbags may be helpful, or even a certain situation that they may come in handy for. Our first post will be revolved around something we are dealing with here in the mid-west: melting snow. After all the accumulation, the temperatures over the last few days rose above freezing quite quickly. Well, instead of snow, now we are dealing with a lot of water... and potholes, but Snake Sandbags™ can't really do much for that. That post will be next.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Weekly Giveaway

We had a lot of fun watching out for our listings to be updated on Amazon (see more about that post) and the opportunity to give a Snake Sandbags™ of the winner's choice for those couple of days. We enjoyed the experience so much that we have decided to have a weekly giveway. Same premise: winner gets one (1) Snakes Sandbags™ of their choice (up to $40.99 in value). Look for it as we'll have the first weekly giveaway up soon. Some more info about the giveaways:

* When will each weekly giveaways finish? Mondays at 11:59 am. We like the idea that we can brighten someone's day or even week right at the beginning of the week.

* How long will we run this? We don't know. We'd like to run it all the time, but factors may change it up.

* Who is it open to? Anyone in the United States, 18 or over. We do not like the idea of excluding anyone, but there are certain legal limitations that prevents us from opening it up to everyone in the world.

* Do you have to buy anything? Absolutely not. We'll even incur the shipping costs to your legal address in the United States.

* What do I have to provide to enter? An email address or a facebook login ID.

* Can I enter more than once each week? No, we have methods to identify entries that are automated and/or duplicate entries and will disqualify those entries as we see fit.

* How can one increase their odds for the each giveaway? There will be ways to get additional entries for each weekly giveaway (e.g., be a Twitter follower, FaceBook fan, etc). We'll try to make it interesting and fun for other ways to get more entries.Have any ideas, let us know.

* What are the odds? The totally depends on number of participants and entries for each giveaway. Remember, we start from scratch every week. So keep trying every week.

* Does one have to manually enter every week? Yes, each week is a different giveaway. It starts over every Monday at noon. All previous entries are deleted.

* Where can I enter? It will be listed somewhere on this blog. You can click on the uses/applications link found under Labels in the right hand column of this blog. You can also visit our Facebook page, and click on the 'ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY' image.

Well, there you have it. Enjoy and good luck! Let us know if you have any questions and if you want to know more about the Snake Sandbags™ you may choose if you win, visit http://www.SnakeSandbags.com

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Amazon listings are up!

Snake Sandbags™ listings are now active on Amazon.com! Inventory is spotty and should be updated in a few days, so you can now take advantage of free shipping for Prime members and qualifying orders over $35.

Special thanks to Tracy Foot, author of How You Can Maximize Student Aid, and owner of multiple web properties, LatinAmericaFocus, KidsandMoneyToday, and TracyTrends, for providing a way to get listings up sooner. It just so happened that a few hours after implementing her recommendations, Amazon updated their listings. How fortunate!

What does that mean about the daily giveaway for today described in an earlier posting? We're still having it today. Will get the giveaway it on the blog, but for those of you on Facebook and can't wait to enter, click here to go to our giveaway page on Facebook. Remember, it ends tonight at 11:59 pm, so get your entries!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Interesting reminder why we created Snake Sandbags™

Last week, a competitor called. Okay, maybe they didn't see it that way, but they sold sandbags and they weren't Snake Sandbags™, so I viewed them as competition. The gentleman asked if a specific model number was part of our product lineup and I immediately knew it's not anything we provide. Rather than end the call right then, without hesitation, I asked him to give more information about what he is looking for. He gave me some info, I took his contact details, and told him I'd get back to him.  I think he was a bit surprised. When first starting Snake Sandbags™, we performed much market analysis and even competitive analysis (and that gentleman's company was part of that analysis) and if there was anything in our research that could help him out, why not share it.

The call, happened during a conversation  I was having with someone who is not affiliated with Snake Sandbags™. I felt rude that our talk was interrupted and wanted to explain that I took that call for so long so I can help someone out; even if it's a competitor. She mentioned she would take the same approach. I was humbled and honored to be in her company. I know many others see business a cut-throat, grab all the market share you can get even if you steal it from your competitors. Snake Sandbags™ came out of a situation to help someone stop flooding issues in their garage every time a big storm hit. We wanted to come up with a solution because we saw the impact on not only the physical damage, but the emotional one as well. It was never let's create this company that specializes in sandbags; there's a huge market for it. It was about let's make something that helped someone and out of that we realized we should make it available to those who can benefit from its use.

I do feel the universe (or whatever you believe in) provides an abundance of opportunities and selling sandbags is not a zero sum game. I also believe this applies to many other industries. I refer to a Trevor Blake-ism to sum up how to go about it: "Make a positive difference in someone's life, have fun doing it, and share in the material rewards that come naturally as a result". Snake Sandbags™ may not be a solution for everyone, but I know we can do whatever we can to help others when needed. This call was a nice reminder why we got into this business.

Anyway, back to the call. I responded to the gentlemen with some information, but haven't heard back from him. It may have been the case that he was doing his own competitive analysis. In between all this time, maybe I was looking at his organization in the wrong way. Maybe he's not a competitor, but a possible seller of Snake Sandbags™.

Okay, gotta go make a call....