Frequent visitors to our store know that we very rarely offer discounts. Today, on Cyber Monday, theannual day of online discounts, might be a good time to explain why. We'd love to hear your thoughts at the end of this post.
Generally, I understand why discounts sound great (You: more products; us: more sales), but I don't feel it's the best solution for either of us in the long run. First, being against discounts doesn't mean we're against low prices. We regularly turn products down because we feel they're too expensive. And we offer many items below the suggested retail price.
But discounts are different. Many of them are foolish because items are marked up, just to be marked down again. Other discounts force somebody to eat the margin. Often the quality suffers. Other times it's a compromise in the way things are made, one that affects both humans and environment. (e.g. by producing in countries where standards for both of these are low)
Looking at the bigger picture makes it also hard for me to understand how constantly lowering margins through discounts can be good. I want to be able to pay the people that are working for me, as well as my vendors, at a fair rate. If everyone earns less, how are people going to pay for the products companies want them to buy?
Vendors sometimes apologize to us when they partake in flash sale sites or similar promotions. I'd feel horrible if someone would have to apologize for the products I buy or sell.
We want to support makers and value their effort of making products on a high quality level. Quality is what's most important to us. Handmade manufacturing steps increase costs. But they add a personal touch and important human element to a product. Paying full price gives appreciation to this process. And through enjoyment of a good product this price pays back multiple times.
Don't think we're naive. We know the production and shipping of our products consumes energy and produces waste. Many of our US made products contain imported materials. But we believe that art and craftsmanship can prosper while environmental and ethical standards for production improve. We take many efforts to have our vendors improve quality, source locally and better the environmental friendliness of their products and packaging.
We're far from perfect, but we're in motion. And with our small size we're only at the beginning of what we hope to accomplish as we grow. We're on the quest to offer and discuss the very best products we can find.
We welcome you all to come along for the ride. But we hope you understand that we won't be doing it at a discount.
Sebastian & the KM Team: Alexis, Brian, Cass, Lauren, Nathan, Pras and Sharokh
By the way... I like the products. See them here, DJK
Nine years and 19 million YouTube views later, Steve Jobs's commencement address to Stanford University's graduating class of 2005 has achieved iconic status.Jobs, the Apple visionary who died in 2011 at age 56, delivered a speech that resonated far beyond the Stanford audience, with a masterful mix of personal anecdotes, sparks of insight and universally applicable pieces of wisdom. Each year, especially around graduation season, people discover and rediscover Jobs's speech and its messages for those who seek meaning and purpose in life and at work. - Carolyn GregoireNote that Steve Jobs originally asked Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin to write this speech: Sorkin was not available. - DJKFull text of Steve Jobs' commencement address to Stanford University 2005 "I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college gradu…
Dinner Is Printed
By A. J. JACOBS - New York Times
THE hype over 3-D printing intensifies by the day. Will it save the world? Will it bring on the apocalypse, with millions manufacturing their own AK-47s? Or is it all an absurd hubbub about a machine that spits out chintzy plastic trinkets? I decided to investigate. My plan: I would immerse myself in the world of 3-D printing. I would live for a week using nothing but 3-D-printed objects — toothbrushes, furniture, bicycles, vitamin pills — in order to judge the technology’s potential and pitfalls.
I approached Hod Lipson, a Cornell engineering professor and one of the nation’s top 3-D printing experts, with my idea. He thought it sounded like a great project. It would cost me a mere $50,000 or so.
Unless I was going to 3-D print counterfeit Fabergé eggs for the black market, I’d need a Plan B.
Which is how I settled on the idea of creating a 3-D-printed meal. I’d make 3-D-printed plates, forks, place mats, napkin rings, candlesticks —…