And the magic date is… May 11.
This was the quarter when we got schooled in international inventory management. After all, Flatbike takes pride in timely customer shipments–typically seven business days or less from order to arrival.
But the latest shipment was different. It all started when we got potential customer requests for newer items not in inventory. Got empty frames? Nope. Got the higher end 612 mountain bike? Nope, but we’ll look in to it for you!
So in early January, we ordered a mix of 612 mountain bikes, road frames, MTB frames, and 702 commuter bikes…and talked in social media about “the March shipment” from CHANGE Bike. That had potential customers thinking, “Yay! Bikes and frames in March!”, while the manufacturer was thinking, “We sure hope we can get these produced by the end of March!”. Big disconnect.
The “March” shipment has now left the manufacturing facility, will be leaving Taiwan on April 24, and will be arriving in Tacoma on May 9. Give it a couple of days to clear customs, and we’ll be shipping bikes out as early as the 11th to the US and Canada.
In preparation for this arrival, we’ve built an ordering page for the 612 mountain bike, with the 733 road frame and 633 MTB frame pages coming in the next day or so, even though the bikes aren’t in yet. This streamlines ordering and helps make sure that we don’t collect more paid orders than we have bikes. (This shipment of 612s is already 2/3 sold out. We’ve got another on the way, but don’t want to hype this until we’ve got real dates.)
In our order that arrived earlier this month (AKA the “February” order), we also got some interesting components like another type of pop-off pedal and super-lightweight carbon water bottle cages that don’t get that grey aluminum dust all over your fingers. We hope to build out those pages soon too.
But for now, the real story is that the long-awaited shipment is just three weeks out, and we’ve learned our lesson about announcing early and setting fast international expectations. If there’s anything you’d like special-ordered from CHANGE bike, let us know, we’ll put it in this month’s requisition, and you’ll get it free of shipping costs by…August?
Good things take time.