I know it’s Friday, but unfortunately, I have some more bad news to share. You may remember earlier when we raised prices on Sailor and TWSBI that I mentioned we’d have more to come. They’re here.
I know it seems like we just have more and more prices increases over and over, but we’ve been trying to do them piecemeal to hold off as long as possible, especially while we still had a bit of stock that may have been purchased earlier at a better exchange rate, and also still holding out hope that the CAD might bounce back. Most of that stock is long gone and we’ve been buying at an incredibly weak exchange for a while now. As a small business, it’s been absolutely brutal.
Earlier, I had mostly been focusing on the price increases where we purchase directly from American manufacturers, and we see the exchange right out of pockets, but of course our Canadian distributors also purchase in CAD and have their own exchange difficulties and most have had to increase prices on us as well.
Almost all of these prices below are increases passed along to us from our distributors.
Rhodia: Our Rhodia distributor has actually been increasing their prices every year. For example, when we first started in 2013, and the CAD and USD were about on par, the MSRP for a A5 Webnotebook was $22.69, and we sold it for $22. The price was raised in 2014, and again in 2015.
It is now $27, and while we’ve kept our price at $22 for the last two and a half years, we’re really taking a hit on absorbing this price increase.
Most Rhodia products are going to see an increase across the board, but these are the biggest ones:
A5 Staplebound Pad – from 4.85 to 5
A4 Staplebound Pad – from 8.75 to 9.50
A5 Webnotebook – from 22 to 27
J. Herbin Ink Bottles from 11.00 to 13.50
Kaweco – also some increases across the board but the big ones are:
Sport – from 26 to 28.75
Al-Sport – from 78 to 92, but we will now be including a tin case with every Al-Sport purchase
Regular Size Leather Traveler’s Notebooks from 58 to 64
Standard Lined, Grid + Plain Refills from 5.75 to 6
Passport Size Leather Traveler’s Notebooks from 52 to 58
Standard Lined, Grid + Plain Refills from 4.50 to 4.75
Preppy – from 4.90 to 5.75
Cool – from 53 to 62
3776 Century – from 220 to 266
Pilot Iroshizuku Inks from 35 to 40
These new prices will be taking effect on Friday, August 28, 2015. If you’d like to get something but won’t be able to make it to the shop before the price increase, you can always purchase online as an in-store pick-up, and we’ll have it waiting for you when you are able to make it in.
I’m sure you may be seeing similar price increases from small shops across Canada, and not just stationery shops but many independent retailers in general, and I know it’s tough. We’re letting you know about these price increases both so you have a chance to get what you need before prices go up, and also just so you know. We really appreciate it when our distributors give us a heads up about price increases rather than us just finding out by noticing it on our invoice when we get the goods in our shop.
But we’re also letting you know so you understand where our prices are coming from. The current US MSRP of J. Herbin ink bottles is $11 USD – we can’t possibly compete and stay alive if we keep our J. Herbin bottles at $11 CAD after our distributor has raised their prices to $13.50.
Especially compared to US retailers, who occasionally have price increases due to manufacturing or other costs, it seems like we have a lot or price increases, but of course the big difference is we have to see both the manufacturing costs as well as the exchange rate.
However, to keep things in perspective, our prices are still a bit friendlier than going across south, with such a terrible exchange. If you break out a calculator, you’ll see a lot of our prices are actually going to end up being better. For example, while a Webnotebook will now be $27 CAD from us, a $25USD Webnotebook will be $32.75CAD.
The only ray of bright shining light is that the Lamy prices, for which we had previously been anticipating an increase, are now being held where they are now by pure grit and determination and I think some negotiating or some other business-y moves from our Lamy distributor, LSF. Over here at the shop, it’s an understatement to say we are pretty big fans of Michael Pons from LSF right now. We might just have a big pink cardboard heart with his face on it. Just kidding, Mr. Pons. But not really.
In any case, please do a rain dance for the exchange rate. We sometimes feel like we’re really at the mercy of the Canadian dollar. We really appreciate your business and support over the last two years. And we’re hoping to stick around for a few more.