Outsourcing Prices Rise

From Gene:

It's starting to be a struggle to see what's best for consumers.

Crayola recently sent us a letter letting us know that any products they have made outside the US will now rise in price by 7.5% to 10%.

Apparently rising labor rates, raw materials and exchange rates is having a marked effect on their products. It gets to be a lengthy of products.

So first prices were held stable and the company made more profits by having product made in China. Now they have to raise prices since their costs have gone up.

The thought of jobs eventually returning to the US is heart-warming. But are consumers willing to pay more so that those jobs return?


We still have some "clearance" items left in our warehouse. Click on the word "clearance" on our front page to see some great values.

On a lighter note, it's Friday, so it's Fish Fry night. If you're from around the Milwaukee area you know what that means. Every restaurant offers some type of Friday Fish fry with cod, haddock or perch (my favorite). We have a restaurant near our house that offers grilled salmon. Some have whitefish.

Friday Fish Frys are to Milwaukee what gumbo is to New Orleans. Or ribs in Memphis. Something to always look forward to.

I hope my perch aren't outsourced from China.



Back to Bloggin'

From Gene:

Back from of a vacation in La-La Land and settling in for the New Year.

First of all, Terri & I will both be posting blogs in the future. Hence the "From Gene" at the top.

The new year started out great with news that 4 schools that had used us in the past and went to competitors are coming back. We really appreciate their loyalty and look forward to working with them again.

We had to make a change today. Because of the high amount of fraudulent checks, we've stopped taking eChecks. We always thought this would be a great way for customers who don't like using credit cards. Unfortunately, we shipped a lot of product that never got paid for. And guess what? They don't respond to phone calls or emails. Go figure.

I'm getting ready to go back in for eye surgery in early February. I suffered a detached retina back in July of last year. The surgeries went pretty well but I developed a fast "growing" cataract that left me legally blind in the left eye.

Of course I had to get my driver's license renewed this month. They do a short, cursory eye test. "Read the top line" (I closed my left eye and read it perfectly). "Now tell us what side the light is on" (Gee, if I don't see it I'll just say the left side. But I did see it on the right side.) "Fine, you pass".

Let me be clear. I don't have any problems driving, just using the right eye. But you have to wonder who else is out there.

Anyway, the surgery should return my sight to close to normal. Looking forward to getting it done.

Back at work, we've changed our Homework Packs for this year. We're getting rid of all the "generic" products we've used and just went back to our core brand name products like Crayola, Elmers, Fiskars, Ticonderoga. It's been pretty clear that moms want quality for their kids.

Until next time. Gene