Summer Update

JULY 12, 2010

BAMBOO BROKER UPDATE
SUMMER 2010

All,

This year’s bamboo will be available for shipping out of Seattle by early August at the latest. I am sorry for this long delay; our container of poles have been in Seattle since June 20 but the USDA is causing huge delays right now and we can only stand aside and wait. There are a few changes regarding the new bamboo so please read on.

This year we are NOT dividing the pole sizes into standard (2” – 2.25”) and extra-large (2.25”+). All sizes are bundled together. Therefore any bundle will have sizes ranging from 2” – 2 3/4”. This was done to ensure a greater variety of sizes in each bundle as well as the fact that many of our “XL” bundles from last year contained poles that did not measure out above 2.25”.

The 2010 prices for our standard Rod-Makers cane is:
1-4 bundles $225/ea
5+ bundles $200/ea

The bamboo this year is closer to the cane we imported a few years back. As I have often described, my observation is that year to year, the poles I select veer toward either the “lighter-weight/pretty” side or the “heavier power fiber/more cosmetic marks”. This year is more of the latter. This is good cane but not the best for blonde rods.

There is one new category this year as well as the AA poles. Both of these have a very limited number of bundles available to please let us know soon if you are interested in any of this bamboo.

THE MARILYN POLES
These are very pretty poles with ample power fibers. These poles are just a small step down from the AA poles as they will usually have some small blemishes here or there. But for larger rods, light colored or blonde rods, these are the best bet. Supply is very limited.
10 pcs/bundle
$320/bundle
Limit 1 bundle per person

AA POLES
The best we can do. These poles combine a rare and wonderful mix of near-cosmetic perfection as well as thick layers of abundant power fibers. Perfect for masters of the craft or for those of you who want a few poles to set aside and use for a presentation or other special rod.
2 or 3 pcs/bundle
$45/pole
Limit 3 bundles per person

-Andy
—–
MARCH 30, 2010

All,

We’ve had a couple of false starts to spring here in the Northwest but it’s back to the cold and rain for now. At least this helps our mountains fill up with the snow that was missing all winter.

We have suspended shipping out new orders through May. We are completely out of all 2″ and 2″+ poles. I will be in China most of April to select more cane for this year (this was the trip that was supposed to replenish our supply by February but was delayed due to wet weather in China over the winter). This means that I will NOT have any A-grade poles to ship before late May at the earliest (that is when the next container should arrive). We do still have a small batch of the AA poles that we can ship (3 pole bundles, $40/pole) when I return from China at the end of April.

You can call or write at any time to get on the short wait list for bamboo that should be ready to ship out around June 1.

I will have bamboo available at the Corbett Lake gathering on the last weekend of April. Much of that material has been spoken for so if you are a Canadian rod maker in need of cane and if you will be at that gathering, please contact me. Another note for Canadian makers I am working to find a way through the new fumigation requirements (read the previous entry below for more info). Hopefully we will not have to go through the extra fumigation work/fees by June. More news soon.

That’s it for now. As always, please contact Julie or I if you have any questions or need anything from our end. Thank you much.

-Andy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FEBRUARY 23, 2010

Gentlemen,

A few important notes here. I’ve got updates to report pertaining to ALL rod-makers and then one each for makers in CANADA and EUROPE.

ALL-
I am out of 2″ poles. I was to have more in by now but El Nino has caused crazy weather patterns all over the world and the Guangdong Province in China has seen a tremendous amount of rain this winter. This is usually the sunny and dry time of year so this much rain is unheard of and it is delaying my travels. I have to wait until the bamboo has seen enough sun to dry as well as to turn it’s familiar straw-yellow colour. By now, the cane is dry but they are waiting for more sun over in China before I begin my selecting work. I now plan to be in China in mid-April meaning that this year’s batch of poles will not be in Seattle before late May.

I try to only hold a year’s supply of poles in the Seattle warehouse and thus, we’ve exhausted the 2009 supply of 2″ poles. The good news is that we do have the XL (2.25″) poles on hand and there will be more 2″ poles in the coffers soon. In the meantime, all other poles are on SALE. From now until I replenish the supply, prices are:
2.25″ poles 10/bundle – $220 for 1-4 bundles
$200 for 5+ bundles
AA poles 3/bundle – $120/bundle

CANADIANS-
I think the CFIA got pissed about the hockey score and have decided to make us US bamboo importers jump through a few more hoops. The CFIA has recently mandated that all bamboo orders coming into Canada from the US must have what is called a Phytosanitary Certificate. This is a US Department of Agriculture certificate declaring that the bamboo has been fumigated in Seattle before shipping into Canada. This is a secondary fumigation since the bamboo has already been fumigated in China. In the past this single fumigation has sufficed but now there are new regulations in place and we have to play by their rules.

What this means is that customers in Canada will now have to pay for this re-fumigation as well as the certification process (a USDA representative has to witness the start and finish of the 24-hour fumigation). This will cost an estimated $350 for an order of 1-3 bundles (I am still working on getting estimates for larger orders). In any event, I am sorry to say that getting cane into Canada just got quite a bit more expensive.

Note that I will bring a load of Tonkin up to the rod-maker’s gathering at Corbett Lake in April for Canadian makers. I do not know what my costs will be to cross the boarder or if I will have to go through this fumigation/certification process so I can’t tell you the cost delivered but it will be cheaper than a standard order (of course you have to get the bamboo home from Peter’s). Please get in touch with me as soon as possible to discuss an order. I can only carry about 20 bundles and I’ve 3 ordered thus far.

EUROPEANS-
I do not plan to make a large order direct to the EU this year. I will wait until 2011 to make the next large shipment to be distributed throughout Europe. Therefore, if you would like to make an order this year, please do so direct through me and we’ll ship from Seattle (in most cases the shipping is not so much more than when we ship from a central hub in Europe).

ALL-
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. THANK YOU!

-Andy

——————–
NOVEMBER 2, 2009

Okay, so it’s been a while since I posted one of these…. I’m not too fast at the web updates.

But there is not a whole lot to report from this end. Wet winter is coming crashing in to the Northwest as our blackberry vines are getting tramped down into the mud and we’re in the dark long before dinner time.

The bamboo from last spring continues to delight rod makers across the world. We finally completed what became an incredibly arduous, multiple-customer order over in Europe. Despite the best efforts of the shipping company to thwart our dealings I think most everyone ended up with their orders.

And now we have a surplus of AA poles in Seattle. This is the first time that this has ever happened because these poles are usually very few and far between. But now we have a few extra so we’re trying to clear them out of the warehouse. For now, there is NO limit on the purchase quantity of these poles. Note that these AA poles are packed two per bundle at $100/bundle.

Also, we are now working with a new shipping company. Most shipments are going out for about $100 – $120 based on your location (commercial addresses). Trucking companies have been hurting for business so the rates are pretty good these days. Disregard other various notes regarding shipping/charges on these pages.

That’s about it for now. I am gearing up for another trip to China at the end of January so we should have more cane in around March 1, 2010. What we’ve got now should last until then.

Bundle up, get that fire started and we’ll connect soon. Write or call with any questions or comments. Thanks again to one and all!

Best,
-Andy

—————–
FEBRUARY 28, 2009

Gentlemen,

We have finally started shipping cane. Last week I sent out our first several orders, a trial run if you will. The bamboo has been ready to ship for a couple of weeks now but I’ve felt less secure about the shipper’s ability to handle our orders. Again, in brief, our main shipper, Yellow Freight is undergoing a transformation while they merge with Roadway Corp. This really should not affect our actual shipments per se but while these two trucking giants merge, they have had to modify the way that their shipping documents are created and how things are done by the customer. The reason I am telling you all about this is because it has a direct impact on our shipments.

First, because of the new shipping-paperwork system, I was concerned to ship out too many orders because of the “screw-up” potential. I’m glad I went this way because every single order got reversed in the trucking company’s system; meaning that everyone who wanted the 2″ poles were sent the 2.25″ and visa-versa. Luckily we caught this while the freight was still at the trucker’s Northwest terminal and I was able to go straighten out the orders (hence a short delay in these first orders). Now it seems that the paperwork/ordering system is ready.

The second major headache has been the shipping rates. Several weeks ago I asked the representative from Yellow Freight to get me the most up to date shipping rates so that I could let everyone know what their shipping costs would be. At that time the rep told me about the merging trucking companies and that she would get me the rates as soon as possible. After a couple of weeks of back and forth she finally got me the rates which I forwarded on to this list. Now… I’ve come to learn that the rates she gave me were not correct.

The GOOD news is that the actual rates are a bit lower then what I sent out last week. The awkward news is that they are low enough that I have to change our “Same Price Shipping” deal once again so that it will NOT include shipments of one bundle. I am happy to explain this to anyone interested but I’ll leave out the details in this update. Instead I will simply post the shipping rates here. If any of you want to know more about this (or)deal, please call me and I’ll happily discuss it with you.

So, without further ado, here are our (corrected) shipping rates to business addresses from March 1 – June 30, 2009. These prices are a total per order (NOT per bundle) and good through June 30. Note that these prices DO include a 12.5% fuel surcharge which will vary from week to week so these prices will fluctuate slightly through the months.

1 bundle to CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA: $105
1 bundle anywhere else in N. America: $125
2-5 bundles (anywhere): $125
6 bundles: $150
7 bundles: $165
8 bundles: $190
9 bundles: $215
10+ bundles: Call for a rate quote.

The bamboo is ready to go. I will send out our next shipment on Friday, March 6. I will send out shipments once per week. Let me know if you’d like to place an order or if you have questions about anything. Thank you!

-Andy
—————–
FEBRUARY 18, 2009

How the world turns! Two big notes here.

Okay, we’re still on track but I am going to hold off on starting our shipments for a few days. The main reason is that the company that handles most of our shipments, Yellow Freight, has just undergone a bit of a transformation with another major shipper, Roadway. This won’t mean much for our orders but it does mean that I am working with a new shipping representative who knows nothing about our bamboo and our traditional ways of shipping. So, instead of trying to get a large number of orders out the door on the same day that the new rep and I are supposed to meet, I will spend tomorrow acquainting her with the intricacies of our needs and do everything I can to be sure that all of our shipments go as smoothly as possible. That means delaying a couple of days so that we are on the same page as Yellow Freight.

We will unload the container tomorrow and commence shipments early next week.

Next up is this “Same Price Shipping” thing. I am sticking to it but there are a couple of important things with this. I started this offer in order to try to equalize the shipping expense for people around the country. Two things have come up that is making me adjust this offer so that it only is in effect for orders of 1-9 bundles.

First of all, about 85% of my orders in the past have been for fewer than 10 bundles. That was my target audience with this offer. Now, for many reasons I imagine, there are a few groups of rod makers across the country going in on orders of more than 10 bundles. In short, if I cover the difference in shipping 10+ bundles all across the country, I start losing money very quickly. Also, I finally got most of the shipping rates today and the rates that I’ve seen increase by about 5% each year since 1995 have increased THIRTY-FIVE percent this year over last (I estimated that our minimum rate would be about $100 and it is up to $132). Meaning that when I made this deal I thought I’d stand to eat $15-$90 on most orders and now that amount has increased dramatically.

I will stick to my guns here on this offer but I’ve got to call it off at 10 or more bundles. I will extend the offer to one-bundle orders.

Here are the shipping rates for every business delivery on a major shipping route in North America (note that this includes a 12.7% fuel surcharge which changes every week so these numbers should only be used as a guideline, they will shift $5-$15 throughout the year).

The amounts in the parenthesis are the normal rates to the East Coast. That will be the approximate shipping rate after June 30, 2009.

1-5 bundles: $132 ($250 for 5)
6 bundles: $150 ($318)
7 bundles: $165 ($362)
8 bundles: $190 ($405)
9 bundles: $215 ($455)
10+ bundles: Call for rate quote.

This offer extends to Canadian customers but standard boarder-crossing fees will still apply.

I am busy getting in touch with folks about their orders. I’ll be at the warehouse most of the day on Thursday the 19th but if you’ve you’ve not heard from me you should by Friday or Monday. Thank you again!

-Andy

FEBRUARY 17, 2009

Our ship has come in!

I will be unloading this container into the Seattle warehouse on Thursday, Feb 19. I will start shipping orders that same day. I have delayed taking confirmed orders until now because I’ve not felt safe to do so until the container was actually released from US Customs. Now we are ready to go. I am working to get in touch with everyone who has been in touch with me over the past year to order bamboo. Go ahead and give me a shout if you’ve not heard from me to confirm an order. I’ll be sending out an email with an “order form” for folks who’ve not ordered from me in the past to fill out.

Note that I will have plenty of cane in the warehouse after this week so there will be no Wait List and there isn’t any need to rush an order. I’ve learned my lesson and don’t plan to run out of cane again!

Thank you all again. We’ll be in touch soon!

-Andy

FEBRUARY 5, 2009

Gentlemen,

The cane is close. Our container is due into Seattle on about Feb 10 and I expect it could be to the warehouse as early as the 18th (though it could get delayed by the USDA for up to two additional weeks).

I am now in the process of connecting with many of you via phone and email to discuss orders and shipping. This process will take about two more weeks. I will post something here when I know our actual start-date for shipping.

THANK YOU!
-Andy

JANUARY 18, 2009

Great news from the land afar. I have just finished sorting through a great batch of cane and as of yesterday, the poles are en route to Seattle.

It was a relief to get back to China and drown in a mountain of bamboo after having nary a pole since last spring. We have been blessed with nice weather here which is great when they are drying the poles. Too much of one element or another can turn recently harvested cane too wet, dry, green, yellow or mottled and it seems that we hit a good combination this time around so the poles are looking good. The biggest surprise to me is the large cane. As in the past I’ve separated the 2″ standard size from the 2.25″ big stuff. The big stuff is usually not as clean in appearance as the 2″ cane but this year, by-and-large, the bigger poles look super. There was also a healthy batch of the splendid “AA” poles that combine an impressive mix of power-fiber depth and great cosmetics (two things that usually do NOT go hand in hand).

I am in the process of updated this web site so expect some changes here in the future. For now, this “Update” section will be the best source of news.

I will be back in my office within a week and will promptly begin to get the site set up and ready to take orders. It will be the middle of February before I start actually setting up shipping. The most important thing to note is that there are plenty of A poles (both 2″ and 2.25″) to get everyone moving. Prices will be as follows:

Standard 2″ A poles (10 pcs/bundle)
1-4 bundles $200
5+ bundles $180

XL A poles (2.25″+, 10 pcs/bundle)
$250/bundle

AA Poles (3 pcs/bundle, limited quantity, two bundles max. per order)
$150/bundle

SHIPPING NOTE

Due to the fact that I was out of cane for about a year I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out the best way to get bamboo out to all those who’ve been waiting. I’ve decided to try the following:

Same Price Shipping!

No matter how far from Seattle you are, the price for shipping will be exactly the same as local deliveries. I will determine the cost of shipping to local destinations and that is the price everyone will pay. Meaning that shipping to Oregon will be the same as Colorado, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, etc. My guess is that this will be about $100 for an average order (plus fuel surcharge). This offer will be extended to:
-Anyone with shipping addresses on the major shipping routes (I’ll get the details)
-Orders for more than one bundle
-Orders made from Feb-May of this year.

Shipping larger orders will also be discounted in a similar manner; whatever locals pay, you pay (plus fuel surcharge). Note that these rates will be based on my “regional” price structure which breaks North America into regions and my “base rate” will be based on my cheapest region (about $100 these days), it will not be based on what we’d pay for a delivery in Seattle (about $80). In any rate, it should save tons of money on shipping charges to those of you who are not on the West Coast.

That’s it for now. Please stay tuned for more updates very soon and we should be able to start getting shipments on the road by March 1st.

Thank you all for your continued patience and support through all of 2008. I am working hard to get the best bamboo possible out to everyone.

Best regards,
-Andy
Labels: What we’ve all been waiting for.

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