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EEW Newsletter – March 2024

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots

March 01, 2024

Foldable eSpinner Brainstorming

I have been thinking about a new eSpinner that would be priced between the EEW Nano 2 and the EEW 6.1.  The bobbin size would be 4 ounces (100g) and it would be designed to have my fastest flyer speed (smaller design, but same motor as EEW 6.x).  It can also fold flat to make it ultra portable and to make removing the bobbin easier.  I’m also considering a few other features like a 4 digit screen to display the RPMs of the flyer.  Please watch the video and provide some feedback in the video’s comments if you haven’t already.

EEW 6.1 Update

I released a new quick getting started video for the EEW 6.1 which should be shipping in May.  A huge thanks to Vampy who filmed it.  I also set up this page for it on my website.

If you are interested in tracking the container/ship it’s through Pacific Star and the B/L number is TBOS24010640.  I’ll keep you updated in this newsletter though.

Return Policy Discussion Results

Last month I sent out a survey asking for feedback.  77% of you thought I should limit returns with one return being the most popular option with 61%.  About 80% of people didn’t think I should be refunding or paying return shipping.  There was also a lot of great feedback.

Many of the comments were that people were concerned about refunds for defective products.  I didn’t explain this well in the poll, but that doesn’t apply because I always send out replacement parts for defective or damaged items for free during the longer warranty period.  However, I do sometimes get people saying they want to return defective products instead and what I find is well over half the time I check the products aren’t defective.  Instead of defects I suspect the people just aren’t using the item correctly, which is understandable.  Spinning can be difficult for some and it’s hard for new spinners to know if it’s a defective item or a technique issue.  My point here is that it’s difficult to explain an item isn’t defective to someone who said it is, and I don’t want to get into arguments with people about what defines defective.  The same desire to avoid arguments applies to defining a product as used or defining valid reasons for a return.  There were also lots of suggestions about doing returns per item category, but that adds a lot of complexity (see my restocking fee after the first return which helps with this).  In the end I decided to try to keep my policy as simple as possible without a lot of judgement calls by me so I’ll be allowing one free return just like before.

Could my policy be more fair if I made it more complex?  Yes, it probably could be.  However, explaining a more complex policy so customers would understand it would lead to confusion sometimes.  Also implementing a more complex policy would take more of my time.  So I decided to keep it simple.  I think the changes I’ve made to my return policy actually make it simpler than it was previously and also more fair, while likely costing me about the same as my previous policy.

There were many people who thought only one return was too strict so I’m going to change that.  Instead of limiting returns to one I will charge a restocking fee for returns after the first one (first return still has no restocking fee).  It will be 25%, but I’ll still be losing money.  However, I think this will help stop people from abusing my return policy multiple times because it will result in them sharing some of the loss with me.  I won’t need to change any of my prices to cover this since this kind of event will be very rare.

I tried to discuss this with paypal and unfortunately they won’t provide any feedback on my return policy.  They have their own refund process that is separate from mine (credit card companies also do this), but these policies do result in paypal taking funds from my account.  I agree to this so it is fair considering I opt into their service.  So if someone really wants to abuse my return policy and then take it to paypal they may still get the refund, but this is exceedingly rare (only happened to me once) so I’m not going to worry about it.  This is a time consuming process to file these claims with paypal so I suspect nobody will do it too many times.  I just need to let such things not bother me and remind myself when the occasional person does this it’s ok and just part of my cost of doing business.

To all those who said they were sorry for this being a problem, there is no need for that.  I’m super lucky to have a successful business doing what I want.  I am so fortunate that I don’t get many returns and I’m just trying to put together a system here that is as fair as I can make it given the constraints of my small business.  I see the average return rate on Amazon is estimated around 10% which is much higher than my return rate.  Certain categories like clothing have a 40% return rate there which is mind boggling to me.  I’m so fortunate to have such a great community.

I’ve updated my official return policy on my website with these changes.

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW 6.1 – May 2024

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone who wants them.

– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)
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