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[GZG] From GZG, latest situation update....

From: Ground Zero Games <jon@g...>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 18:39:34 +0000
Subject: [GZG] From GZG, latest situation update....


This is a heads-up to everyone that we have MAJOR changes afoot - the 
main one being a long awaited complete re-vamp of our online store! 
We've been trying to do this for a couple of years now, but it never 
seemed to be the right time, there were always problems about it that 
we couldn't easily resolve, and so on. Well, now finally IT IS 
The new store will be a completely different format to the old one, 
hopefully easier to navigate and use, and it will have all the 
features that are expected these days but that the old store lacked - 
including instant online processing of customer card payments, 
integrated Paypal payment option, calculation of shipping costs at 
time of order (so you know exactly what you'll be paying before you 
make the final clicks), the ability to check the status of your order 
online, and much more. Eventually there will even be more product 
photos (when we can get them added, so don't expect 100% of these 
immediately!), and much better integrated galleries of pictures.

Now, at the time of writing we are still struggling under a 
significant backlog of orders - though we've been working flat-out to 
clear them as quickly as possible, they are still coming in as fast 
as we can get them out - if there is ever a lull for a day, it is 
followed by a deluge the next day! This also means that we can never 
seem to get ahead, as we can't re-fill the stock bins while we're 
having to cast stuff on the fly to fill the orders that have to go 
out. So, I've had to make a decision that I've been putting off till 

stock replenished, outstanding orders cleared, new items moulded and 
cast, and the new store up and running. I would hope that we will 
re-open with the new online store NO LATER than the beginning of 
April - if we can get enough done before that, we may make it sooner.

What will happen is that the checkout stage of the old online store 
will be turned off on March 1st, so that you can still browse our 
product ranges but won't be able to actually place an order. The rest 
of the website, including the news page, will remain up for info and 
updates. We will not be accepting any orders from then until we 
re-open with the new online store up and running. Once we know a firm 
date for the activation of the new store we will post it here.

During the March hiatus, we will be working as hard as possible on 
clearing all orders placed up to the end of Feb, as well as 
completing and moulding the NEW items that we've been trying to do 
for ages, and returning out stock levels to a reasonable state ready 
for the mailorders to re-start with the new store going online - 
hopefully then when we re-open we can once again offer a quick 
turn-round time, something that has slipped horribly over the last 
few months!

Those if you who have been customers of ours for a long while will be 
aware that we have not actually had any significant price changes to 
most of our ranges for something like TWELVE YEARS. In that time, the 
cost of metal has spiralled by something like 300%, and virtually 
everything else has gone up as well - but we've held our prices 
stable on existing codes, absorbing all these changes despite being 
squeezed onto lower and lower margins with every increase in our 
costs. We've even so far absorbed the recent 2.5% VAT increase as far 
as our UK and EU customers are concerned while passing on the extra 
saving to all our US and other non-EU customers!
Sadly we just can't do this any longer - some (not all) prices simply 
HAVE to go up at last to reflect realistic materials and running 
costs, and the revamping of the webstore provides us with the most 
practical opportunity to do this. So, when the new store opens for 
business, there will be price increases on some items - mostly on 
older codes that have been the same prices for many years, but also 
on some newer items where materials cost increases have hit 
particularly painfully. We will be keeping the effects of these 
increases to the minimum that we possibly can, and trust that you 
will still find that we offer exceptional value for money.

While the webstore is being overhauled, we will also be DELETING a 
number of older items from the store - mainly codes where moulds are 
reaching the end of their useful life, and sales are too low to 
warrant re-moulding them at this time. This is simply a continuation 
of the process we started quite a while back, as there are a number 
of old models in our ranges that are now getting very difficult and 
time-consuming to cast to an acceptable standard. Please note that we 
are not actually disposing of any moulds unless they are completely 
worn out and effectively useless, and most of the items that are 
being deleted from the store WILL still be available to special 
order, time and other circumstances permitting. If, when the new 
store is up, you find that something you wanted has disappeared - 
then please contact us and we'll see what we can do for you.
We will also be re-organising some of the many special packs and 
fleet deals that we offer, changing the contents of some and 
replacing some older deals with all-new ones - full details will be 
on the new store.

We have a significant number of new releases sitting here on the 
workbench almost ready to go, but the sheer volume of orders has 
prevented any chance of getting production moulds made for them yet - 
as explained above, this is one of the things that we plan to catch 
up on during March, so that we have a good batch of NEW items ready 
for the opening of the new store, and then even more ready in time 
for SALUTE in April! Keep checking for news posts here during March, 
as even though the store is shut I will be posting teasers and 
progress reports on the new stuff so that you know what is coming.

A lot of you received February discount vouchers from our pre-Xmas 
promotion - and I know that a large number of you have been patiently 
waiting for us to release the promised NEW items before the end of 
Feb, so that you could include them with your voucher purchases. As 
explained above, I've now had to accept that the new releases won't 
be ready, as there is simply not enough time left now to get them 
So, for those of you who still have vouchers to spend, we are 
offering a choice:
EITHER you can use your voucher as originally intended, by the end of 
this month, on placing an order for existing products that we will 
get dispatched to you during our March hiatus; OR, if you have been 
specifically waiting for new products to be released, you may DEFER 
using your voucher until JUNE this year (we can't make it any 
earlier, because we'll be too busy with SALUTE, TRIPLES etc to cope 
with the rush!). The voucher will then be valid for its face value 
discount on any order placed from the 1st - 30th JUNE 2011 - so it 
simply becomes a Summer discount rather than a Winter one!
Now, this is important - if you wish to take up the second option of 
deferring your voucher until June, you MUST email me directly (to 
jonATgzgDOTcom), give me the ID code number of your Feb voucher, and 
request the deferment - I will then send you back via email a NEW 
voucher code that you can use online in June; we have to do it this 
way because by then the new store will be up and running with its 
online processing facilities, and the way in which we will have to 
handle discount offers will be different.
I hope this all makes sense, and one way or another it should keep 
MOST people happy.....!

IN MARCH! This includes postal AND telephone orders, as well as 
online ones; we are CLOSED in March for all intents and purposes, 
though we will be working away like crazy "behind the scenes" to have 
everything ready to re-start very soon.

Jon (GZG), 20th Feb 2011.
Gzg-l mailing list

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