For our first several years in business we priced our graphic tees at $25 and included "free shipping" with every order, regardless of order value. Although our costs have increased (especially with postage) we have not passed those costs onto you. Sadly, this left us in an increasingly less profitable position and did not enable us to do some things we'd really like to do. And no, I don't mean jaunting off to some beach on the French Riviera or buying our own yacht. What we want is far more modest and more reasonable, and I think (hope?) you'll agree. Basically here's why this price increase is necessary:
When online stores advertise "free shipping" it's not really free. Shocker, I know; I'll wait here while you pick yourself up off your fainting couch. What they really mean is the cost of shipping is rolled into the product price. Shipping still costs money and those costs have to be paid for somehow.
We mostly ship via USPS and USPS has increased the cost of shipping every year since we've been in business. This means we've been making less money on orders every year since our prices stayed the same. If you really want something to be mad about, I think you should know that part of the rate increases from USPS are because American consumers, who buy postage to mail things around the U.S. and internationally, are subsidizing rock bottom shipping for Chinese merchants. To add insult to injury, Chinese merchants are the largest sellers of counterfeit goods on the internet. So yeah, my shipping costs are going up so people in China can steal my art and sell cheap, ugly, low-quality, and even dangerous knock-offs of my work. I hate it, you hate it, but this is the world we live in. Write your member of Congress if you think this is bullshirt!
While you're getting mad at people who aren't me, let's have a wag of the finger at everyone who gives us invalid shipping addresses. We get packages returned to us every day because the shipping address provided on the order wasn't valid, or it was an old address that was lived at two or three moves ago, or because people only empty their mailboxes once a month and USPS got sick of cramming stuff in and ended up returning the older mail to the senders. That causes us to incur more shipping costs when we have to re-ship those packages — again, also on our dime. Booooo!
2. Better Customer Experience
We sell sized items, and although we try our darndest to help everyone pick the correct size with detailed sizing charts and fit guides on each product page and all over the site, the number one reason we get returns/exchanges is because of issues related to fit. Although mailing a return or exchange back isn't wildly expensive, it's still inconvenient and costs a few bucks. To put an end to this headache we're introducing FREE exchanges. To defray the cost of what can amount to the cost of THREE separate shipping labels on a single order, prices must go up.
If you order a single shirt and exchange it for another size and we cover the cost of shipping you the original item, shipping the original item back to us, AND shipping the new size to you, it ends up costing us around $11 in postage for all that shipping! At a $25 price point we just can't do it.
3. Better Quality of Life for the Boredwalk Team
We want our customer service crew to be able to make customers happy. We believe offering free exchanges will make this easier for them. We hate when customers yell at the crew; it makes them sad. Better customer experience = better team experience.
Beyond that, we want the budget to offer more benefits and higher wages to our whole company. Everyone says they want to live in a world where people earn living wages and get paid healthcare and paid time off. This means spending a few extra bucks on our products so we have the budget to do that. If you want to support an ethical business that prioritizes delivering a great customer experience and living wages, shop with us.
We have raised prices slightly, but the modest price hike will create a better customer experience and better wages/benefits for our team. Even with this price hike our tees are still cheaper than dinner out for two, a movie date for two, or happy hour drinks in most metro areas. Unlike movies, dinner, or drinks — which are only good for a few hours of fun — our shirts are good for years of fun. If you wore your Boredwalk tee once per week for two years that's less than 27 cents per wear, which is a pretty damn good value if you ask us. Plus you get the benefit of supporting better American wages and independent artists creating unique graphics you can't get elsewhere. (Unless you're getting them from counterfeiters, but please don't. The finished product won't be of the same quality and it's just a shitty thing to do. Support artists, not crooks!)
If our modest price hike is enough to put you off of shopping with us we'll be sad to see you go, but we believe most of our customers are the kind of people who can understand the reasons for this decision and still get behind supporting what we're doing. Whether you stick around or bid us farewell for slightly cheaper pastures, we've appreciated your support up to this point!