Preorders no longer allowed

We are no longer taking preorder of games until after Christmas.  This is to reduce confusion so that customers will be certain that anything they order now from the site will ship out to them in time for Christmas.

We have updated the site with the last quantity of games that we know will be arriving by Saturday, December 13 2008.  As such, anything you see available to purchase on the site right now can be purchased and will ship by Wednesday December 17, 2008 so as to arrive before Christmas.

After Christmas, pre-orders will be allowed once more.

Clearing customs – twice in one day

It’s true, we really did go through the border carrying a Pandemic. Both borders.

Today was a murderously long day doing transportation for games and other forms of work.  As most of you know, we have our major distributors in the US (especially since DoW went with Alliance.  Don’t even ask us how expensive it is to buy DoW from a secondary distributor in Canada).  So that means we have to figure out ways to get it across the border – either having them ship up directly (again, expensive especially since Alliance uses UPS!) or picking it up ourselves.

So down we go today at 8am in the morning.  Now, we can’t use the Peace Arch crossing but have to use the commercial Pacific Border Crossing as we are going down as a business.  It’s highly amusing to do a pick-up in a tiny little van when you are in line with humongous 18 wheel trucks.

Note for those of you who have never done a commercial crossing – get up early or be willing to wait.  And try not to go at noon – the shift changes then so you’ll end up waiting even longer.   And you might get x-rayed (well, your vehicle).  Driving to the border takes about 45 minutes generally.  Getting across the border ranges from an hour to two hours as they only have 2 booths open at any one time.  I am so voting for whichever politician is up for pushing for more booths at the border! The amount of wasted gas/fuel/time is amazing.

Once across the border this time, we drop by our mailing services that do all our receiving for us in Blaine and bring it across the border.  Generally, the entire time we are in the US is about 5 – 7 minutes.

This time, our boxes from Alliance hadn’t arrived.  At this time, it’s about 10am. And thinking we had to wait till 3pm (at worst) for it to arrive, we decided to call it a day and head up to Vancouver.

Then across the border again, doing Canadian customs and declarations.  Generally, this goes quite well and we can be done in 15 to 30 minutes easily.  For today, just as I’m starting up the paperwork, we receive a call from the mailing service.  Our games have arrived!

Yeah, I know – literally a minute or two earlier, we would have been able to turn around and just deal with the border once. A 30 minute wait later, we’re done with Canadian customs for our major shipments.

Sadly, since we are past the US border, we have to go through it again.  This time, it takes us another 30 minutes to get across the border with some quick explanations to the nice border agents.  And no sarcasm here – the US border guards were actually pretty nice about this and just waved us through once they checked us out.

Off we go down to Blaine and another 7 minutes later- and it’s now nearly noon so we grab some fast food on the way to Canadian customs where there is a huge line-up.  An hour later, we’re told to report to the back – our weird trips (or maybe it’s just the Pandemic!) has them doing a more thorough check of our contents and the vehicle.  Cue more waiting.

It’s finally 1.50pm before we are out of Canadian Customs, rushing up to our warehouse at Delta BC so that we can get the games in.  We aren’t going to be doing much shipping today!  And by the time we drop the car off after unloading/etc. it was 3pm.  After having what we had thought would be the fastest day of logistics yet this Christmas season.

Fundraising Through Games

The JW Inglis Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee and Starlit Citadel (www.starlitcitadel.com); an online board games store are working together to hold a fundraising evening of board games on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at JW Inglis Elementary School.

“This is a brand new fundraising venture for the school and one that we are very excited about.  We love the idea of selling games as a fundraiser as it is not only an educational past-time, but it also encourages family and social interaction,” said Jennifer Greenwood, Vice-President of the JW Inglis Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee.  “We look forward to seeing the children and their family members at this combined games night and bake sale.”

“Introducing board games to children encourages critical thinking and math skills at an early age.  Furthermore, it is an environment that emphasizes interaction and competition which an entire family can participate in;” said CEO Tao Wong of Starlit Citadel.

“Supporting the JW Inglis Elementary School’s Game Night is a great way to give back to the community through the introduction of these popular board games and the encouragement of this traditional past-time.  We look forward to working with JW Inglis and any other schools that would like to hold a fundraiser of this form.”

With over 700 board games available, Starlit Citadel supplies board games throughout Canada and has been in business since 2007.  The game night in Lumby is the first such fundraiser it has supported.

JW Inglis Elementary School in Lumby is part of School District 22 in the Okanagan region of British Columbia.  All parents & primary caregivers of children at JW Inglis are members of the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC).  The members of the PAC organize in-school programs such as the Call-Back Program and the Hot Lunch Program which run throughout the school year.  They offer fundraising events such as the yearly Family Fun Night, Game Night, the Spring Dance, and the Lumby Days Silent Auction.  As well, the PAC also provides support within the school and the community for many other events and initiatives.  The main goal is to enrich the experiences of children both at school and in the community.  The funds raised are used to support things such as (but not limited to):  swimming lessons, ice skating, field trips, technology, literacy support, fine arts, scholarships, and many other school-wide initiatives at JW Inglis Elementary School.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, you may contact Tao Wong, at 1-888-805 1737 or marketing@starlitcitadel.com

Welcome to the new site!

Well, the new board game site is up and running now.  We do hope you like it as much as we do.  Most of the customer information should be there – if you made an order recently, your order will not be present on the system nor your account.  However, we still have the old database and can access the information to update you on your order if there is a problem.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to import wishlists, e-mail notifications and reviews at the present moment.  We are working on ensuring that e-mial notifications are possible and that all reviews are parsed over.  However, in the meantime, please do start using the system to it’s fullest extent.  We will not be changing to a new CMS any time soon.

Thank you for your patience and once again, we hope you like the new site.

New site design – an initial peek

Just a little peek at the new site design and features that will be available.  As you can see, there’s still a lot to change including updating the banners/etc. but we’re hoping that you will be much happier with the new site design and the options including the ability to view all our games, filter them and a better, more robust search system.

We look forward to hearing from all of you.

The economy and exchange rate woes

As many of you know, the stock market and the economy has been taking a major hit in the last few weeks.  Worst, specifically for us, the exchange rates have been growing much worst.

When we first started Starlit Citadel, the exchange rates were at US0.85 to a dollar.  Once the exchange rates improved, we were quick to reduce the prices of all our board games since our costs were much lower.  Today, the exchange rates are at the same levels.

For the moment, we are going to hold our prices at the current level since we have some ‘old’ stock that was purchased at better exchange rates.  However, this will not last long (especially with Christmas around the corner) and at that time, we will have to decide based on what the exchange rates are like (and are going to be like).

That’s a long way around of saying – get your Christmas shopping done now while the going is good because chances are, there’s going to be a price spike soon!

Logistics and inventory update

Hi all,

Well, it looks like our new shipping and logistics center is working out beautifully. All our most recent orders that have been made are shipping within 24 business hours and are getting to our customers much faster.

I have updated the Shipping and Returns Policy Page as well as the Frequently Asked Questions page to reflect our speedier service and our new Local Pick-up policy. Specifically, orders should be paid in full before pick-up (no cash orders unless you are delivering the cash to one of us first!) and can then be picked up after 24 business hours between 10am-4.00pm Monday to Friday at the Logistics center in Delta.

Lastly, we do apologise about the delay in getting our new stock-up. There are a number of pre-orders that are waiting on this new stock to go out (which excludes any Agricola orders that have yet to arrive obviously). Alison was in a bad accident early this month (she’s okay other than whiplash issues) and the van is no longer in commission so we are having to scramble to get the order shipped up. Hopefully, we should have it in-house by the end of the week.

Logistics changeover completed and new shopping cart

Hi all,

Well, two major changes. After 8 hours of solid work, the entire inventory of board games and role-playing games has been completed and shifted over to our logistics company. We’ll be posting more information on this soon including their address for local store pick-ups.

There was a little hiccup during the move that damaged a few games. They are now added to the ‘Promotion’ bin as a discount. If you do receive a game that was damaged that we missed, as always, do inform us and we’ll make it right. The damaged games are

Also, there’s a new shopping cart in place. Do look it over, see how you find it. We’re hoping it works better and more smoothly for all of you when you are ordering your games.

Tao