E-Bikes & Bikes Customised to You
September 26, 2020
Hey guys, Dustin here, CEO of sixthreezero. Today, I want to talk to you about pre-orders.
Many of you probably know, a lot of the products on our website are available for pre-order. In fact, most, if not all products are available for pre-order. And very few, and depending on what day or what time you come on the site, maybe none are actually available for the current order.
This is sort of an industry-wide phenomenon right now. There is a shortage of bikes just in the marketplace based on demand because of COVID and other things happening. Everyone wants to be out riding bikes. As a result, we are offering pre-orders and allowing people to buy their bikes in advance of them arriving.
Now, this has created a lot of confusion, frustration, and also a lot of questions around, "Well, how do I get a bike if I want a bike? So I want to walk you through a couple of elements. Number one with pre-orders, what can go wrong with pre-orders, what to expect with your pre-order, what to expect around shipping dates, things of that nature.
When we offer a product up for pre-order, we are basing the estimated arrival date on assumptions that are given to us from the factory. Unfortunately, these dates are not exact dates. We do in fact, add some additional time to the dates that we advertise to allow for give and take, to not let people down on receiving their order.
Now, I know that's definitely happened, and refining the pre-order process has been something we've been working on because up until this year, our orders and our sales were probably only maybe less than 5% based on pre-order. This year, we've gone through a whole different change where we've just been limited on inventory and the demand has been high.
So we receive this date from the factory saying, "Okay, we believe this product will be ready on this date." Now, then we add a few weeks and give that to the customer. However, with the current state of the economy and the world, there's been so many factors that have been delaying these shipments that we're starting to figure out, but again, things can change in a moment's notice.
One, ocean freight. As a result of the economy and stocking up on home products, actually getting products here from overseas has been very challenging and expensive in the current time. Ocean freight liners have been fully booked or there have been delays.
That's one reason for shipping delays. Another reason is the actual unloading at our warehouse. There's been a lot of back-ups. Lots of products are coming in right now, so the warehouses are adding an additional two to five days to just unpack the products from the container, get them offloaded, and get them available to you guys so you can ride.
Backtracking to the factory now, there's been a huge amount of pressure on the supply chain, and because of COVID-19, which is a global situation, things are changing honestly, monthly in terms of what's open, what's closed. So a factory may be open one week, closed another week based on sanctions or positive tests or things of that nature. Different ports have been opened and closed.
So we've been doing, and I don't think originally we did a great job of communicating this is, we're giving you what we believe to be our best estimate. We believe with about 70 to 80% accuracy that's going to be roughly your date of arrival, give or take five days either direction. However, there is that 20 to 30% chance that something goes wrong. Unfortunately for some of you, that has happened.
Again, there are so many moving pieces involved in the whole supply chain to the customer process and with just the current state of the world, lots of factors that are affecting these arrival dates. Factors that again, never came into play in years past. So we're figuring out how to deal with them and estimate them and do things like that.
Now, with that said, if you do buy a pre-order from us, we will 100% certainty ship your bike. We are also sending out email statuses to keep people up-to-date on changes, what's going on. We haven't given as much transparency as I'd like to, and we're working on it into the reason why, but we also don't want to sound like we're making excuses for that.
However, there are many issues that are out of our control that does cause these delays, which is why we're trying to give the most accurate day possible to all customers. But again, it's a fluid situation and the bike industry, in particular, is under pressure like it's never been in the last 60 years.
That kind of sums up what can happen from point A to point B. There are things that can happen at the supply chain, from the parts manufacturers to the actual bike factory. I think that's another important thing to share with everyone is that where the bike is made is not where all the components are made.
The bike factory that's assembling the bike is working with potentially, anywhere from 20 to 30 suppliers for just one bike. There's the seat supplier, the spoke supplier, the handlebar supplier. They then all send everything to the bike factory, which manufacturers the bike, assembles it, boxes it, gets it onto a container, and ships it to us.
If you think about that, you've got 20 to 30 suppliers. If one supplier has an issue or a delay, that will affect the production timeline of the entire bike. We are doing things proactively to try to find additional suppliers. However, we've selected our components based on the quality and the value to the customer. It's not super easy to just change out a handlebar, and sometimes we would get a last-minute notice from a handlebar supplier that, "Oh, we shipped you the wrong quantity." Or, "They're too small."
Again, the error rate has increased even more right now because the volume has increased. It's been more difficult to manage things to an exact science, as everybody's had to scale up their systems to account for this.
Now, with that said, we've put things in place on the front end. We're trying to do a better job of communicating, getting out emails, and keeping people up-to-date on the situation. I would just ask that everyone knows it is a fluid situation. We are doing much better now, so when you get a date or see a date, again, I would say that the actual date should be within a week of either direction, either sooner or later. I've seen that we're getting more and more accurate as we start to understand all the different delays that can happen and the time delay caused because of these different situations.
Yeah. With that said, our intention is not to withhold any information. We're still dealing with an increased volume, but again, no excuses. We scaled up our team. We are still scaling up our team, still refining the processes, still refining the pre-order process. There's a lot we can do to improve. I expect every week, every month, we're going to continue to get better at it and deliver everyone's bike according to the schedule that we tell them.
I hope that's helpful. If you have any additional questions about pre-ordering or how to pre-order, things like that, you can always put a comment below or email us. But actually, I just thought of something else before we cut out. A lot of times people will ask questions like, "Why is this bike not available for pre-order?" That's a great question.
We only put bikes for pre-order if we have at least some confirmed date from our factory, and then we would enter it for pre-order. For bikes that don't have an available pre-order, there are either two things. One, we either haven't set it up for pre-order yet, so we haven't logged that new shipment, which sometimes can take maybe a one to seven days between us selling out of the last offered shipment.
The other reason is we may not have an additional shipment on the way at this point. At that time, we can't offer it for pre-order. Keep in mind too, pre-orders and orders are happening in real-time. Our system doesn't automatically replenish the pre-order quantities with the next shipment. That is a manual process where our team checks ... When a batch ships out or sells out, we have to add the new batch. So there is downtime.
So if you do see a product that you're having an issue pre-ordering and you're interested, send us an email. We can get back to you. You can comment on this video. We can get back to you that way, but there is likely some reason or something going on. We're moving through that as fast as possible to keep everybody as up-to-date and make as many products as possible available for pre-order.
With that said, at this point, about 90 to 95% of our inventory is being sold under pre-orders. Most people are pre-ordering to ensure that they get their bikes, so I would encourage anyone that if you are particularly interested in a bike, please get in a pre-order. Waiting for it to come and stock is not your best option. I'm not saying that to make sales or from a sales perspective, that is really the reality of the bike industry. I would say, wherever you want to buy a bike, whether it be from sixthreezero or a bike store if you can pay and get in line for that pre-order and you really want a bike, that is the absolute best way to do it.
If you want to wait till they come available, it's going to be a free-for-all. Just as an example, we have some extra quantities that are available for a normal sale. When we ship out all the pre-orders, we may have a quantity of five or 10 or 15 left. Generally, those sell in maybe 20 minutes to two hours, because a lot of people have signed up for notifications and when we automatically put inventory back, it will send an automated email, and people jump on and purchase. So it's best to do the pre-order.
Other people have also asked me, "Why do you take my money for the pre-order and why do you hold it?" Quite honestly, it allows us to do better planning. So if you pay, it locks in your spot in line, and then we can count on the fact that you're going to take that bike. It makes it easier for us to manage, and it guarantees the sort of like a slot number in line. So it's a more organized manner of doing it. If it was just to notify everybody, I don't want to, or we as a company can't hold the positions on the premise that you may or may not buy. It's too hard to organize the inventory and to keep everybody happy. So paying for it now keeps you in line and keeps the system better organized and allows us to execute better.
With that said, at any point, if you have a pre-order and you to be refunded and jump out of line, please contact us. We will refund you immediately when we get that request. We don't want to hold your money unless you want to receive that product and we're not in the business of wanting to keep your money without obviously, getting you a bike. Our goal is to get people peddling, so we're not keeping your money to hold that over your head. We're just doing it because it makes the system work better for everybody and keeps it organized, and we're doing the best we can to navigate through what is unprecedented times for the bike industry.
I would encourage anyone to just Google, bike industry sales. You can find many articles in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times. This is something that hasn't just affected sixthreezero, but it's affected the industry as a whole. So we're doing the best we can with our systems. We're always open to suggestions. I would love it. You can comment below, send us a message. Anything you want to know, questions, ideas, thoughts. We'll do our best to get back to you.
That's it for pre-orders. Thank you for listening. If you're interested in pre-ordering, don't forget, we have a body fit quiz on our website. You can take that quiz and we'll help fit you to the bike best for you and your body and riding needs. Don't forget, we have a three hundred and ... sorry, 365-day test-ride-your-bike policy. If 365 days you don't love your bike, you can send it back. No questions were asked. So hit the subscribe button below, and don't forget, it's your journey, your experience. Enjoy the ride.
DISCLAIMER: The 365-day return policy mentioned in the video above is no longer valid. Please refer to www.sixthreezero.com/pages/30-day-test-ride for the updated policy.
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