I am writing this as a blog post to save me having to repeat the contents via email and twitter etc.
Currently, due to covid / lockdown / quarantine / common sense, I am unable to go out to the Post Office to post parcels. This means I am unable to send any orders out, so have closed the Tindie store for the time being. I hope to reopen in the future, but that is likely to be many months away.
I am sorry I cannot provide the service you are after. If I could, believe me, I would. Cutting of my main source of income is not something I choose to do lightly, if there were a way to continue it, I would be doing that.
I get a lot of 'well I received something last week and it was fine'. That's not really helpful I'm afraid. I have tried most if not all of the options for getting parcels out, and I am not happy with any of them. I spent a great deal of time and money trying various courier collection services on the two occasions that I reopened the store. In both cases I had to deal with lots of extra paperwork (e.g. a 12 page customs form to send a Minstrel kit to Russia) and the fallout from pickups not happening, parcels getting lost or delayed or returned, prices differing wildly from quotes, or additional charges being imposed after delivery. When I worked it out, on the first occasion being open for a week and then a further couple of weeks dealing with problems, I think I just about broke even. The second time I tried it, I made an overall loss after two very busy weeks work. So yes, I have tried, and no I will not be trying again until things change.
I have tried sending a few orders with pre-printed postage, but these are untracked, and one got lost and the buyer got refunded, so that wiped out the profit from everything else I had sent recently, so no more of those I am afraid.
Given courier services normally get busier during November December anyway, the added impact of lockdown means these are likely to be even more stretched. There is also the potential problems after December 31st which are likely to make it a lot more difficult for a very small business like Tynemouth Software to continue to buy and sell outside of the UK, and unfortunately the majority of the parts come from outside of the UK, as do the majority of my customers.
In the mean time, a selection of my kits are available from The Future Was 8 bit.
They have been very good with this. They are taking the risk buying in stock that may take time to sell. The range they carry is understandably limited. If the thing you want is not included, I am sorry, please do not keep asking me. It's not my decision. Many of the things I sold were very customisable, with lots of variants. That does not translate well to the arrangement with TFW8b, so only the more general items are included, only one build option with the Minstrel kits etc.
The courier issue also applied to the few outstanding repair jobs I have here. Whilst it is annoying if a courier loses a Minstrel kit, I can build another and hopefully claim some of it back, but I would not be happy sending back an irreplaceable computer and for that to be lost or damaged by a courier.
In the current situation, it knocks me back every time someone asks for something I am unable to do, or wants to buy something I am unable to sell to them, so I would appreciate if everyone could hold back on those requests for the time being.
And please consider that you are talking a human being. It seems a lot of people do not realise the impact an offhand negative comment can have on someone who cares about that they do.
Thank you for your patience,
Dave Curran, Tynemouth Software
And still the requests come. What do I have to do? All blog posts have now been removed. All items in the Tindie store have been removed. The more of this stuff I have to burn on order to get some peace and quiet, the less likely it is that things will return to normal, so please accept things are closed for the moment.