Site Server Move & Errors

We were down for a day! As many of you might have noticed, the website was down and not working properly for most of the day yesterday. Unfortunately, this was due to a server move that was required to ensure that we were ready for some upcoming security updates that would be needed. While we did everything we needed to ensure that the site move would go smoothly, thing’s didn’t go well.

There are still some problems with the site. Certain images are missing for our products are missing. Certain functions on the backend are not working properly any longer. In addition, some customers who placed an order between Tuesday and Wednesday might find their orders missing in the backend and account as these orders were not imported properly. However, all products can be purchased and the site is working fine right now.

For those on our newsletter, we recommend checking it as we’ll be sending out a quick flash sale for those inconvenienced by the site going down.

Summer Promo: $100 Free Shipping Treshold

Free Shipping at $100!Now that Summer’s pretty much here, we’ve decided to lower our free shipping threshold in Canada from $175 to $100. Yes, that’s right. $100.

What’s the catch? Our usual free shipping policies apply.  The $100 threshold is per order and is calculated after discounts but before taxes and shipping is calculated.  Furthermore, if your order has pre-order / backorder items on it, we will hold the entire order till all items in the order are ready for shipping.

Of course, at the new $100 level, you should be able to split your orders quite easily to ensure everything that everything that is in-stock is in one order and everything that is a backorder on another.

Once again, this promotion is running for all of Summer and is scheduled to end August 31, 2016.

Happy Ordering!

 

 

Update to Pre-Order Policy

We have now changed our pre-order policy to streamline our processing by charging all customers with pre-orders the entire cost of the order immediately.  There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that we are already doing the same for PayPal customers and now, it’s the same for all orders.  This creates a much fairer environment for all concerned and makes it easier to keep track of what has / has not been charged.

In addition, the change in policy reduces the backend hassle / updates / inventory tracking that we are doing for all pre-orders. We no longer need to worry about charging customers for orders held for over a month with in-stock items and will speed up our processing of pre-orders when the pre-orders being to arrive.

Obviously, from a business perspective it also improves our cash flow for our business. We no longer have to ‘float’ the in-stock product with our funds and for pre-orders, we have a guarantee on the number that we need to bring in at the very minimum, which will allow us to increase our pre-order numbers.

If you have any questions about the policy, feel free to comment here on just contacting us direct.

 

 

2015 – A Year of Change

2015 is going to be an interesting year for Starlit Citadel. We are undertaking a large number of changes in the business and I thought some of you might be interested in reading more about it.

Firstly, Kaja our Manager and co-host of the video reviews has left Starlit to pursue self-employment as a teacher in her business Valkyrie Martial Arts. Kaja has been with us for over 3 years (since mid-2011) and has seen the company grow through a significant number of changes and has been instrumental in ensuring the growth has been as smooth as possible. Among other things, she’s the reason we have some of the most up-to-date and well-written processes and procedures I’ve ever seen. Like, seriously – we have better documentation for our processes than multi-million dollar companies I’ve worked for before do. And of course, she’s been the ‘face’ of our video reviews for years.

Kaja’s leaving prompted us to review the video reviews and it’s place in our business and finally, our decision to cut them from our core business activities. While each video itself takes 20 – 30 hours to shoot, there’s also countless hours managing the various platforms and replying to viewers. With over 116 videos shot, we’ve decided that it’s time for us to move on and find better uses for the funds.

With the new funds, we’d like to review new channels and promotions. Perhaps one of our best forms of marketing have been our infographic and game app. However, they are now a year and a half out of date (only a year for the gameApp) and need updating, so we’ll need to fix that as well. We’d love to expand that further, potentially developing the app directly into the site.

Lastly, our second business Fortress Geek has begun to pick up significantly. It’s taken us a while to figure out the marketing and inventory for it, but now that we have we expect to see significant gains in sales – which will require more time dedicated to it by both the staff and myself.

Overall, I’m looking forward to 2015 but expect it’ll be a little rough in the beginning as we all settle down to the new changes.

The Game Wizard

We’ve been working hard on this behind the scenes and it’s now ready to release.  Our Game Wizard is an interactive version of our infographic.  We’ll be updating with more questions and games, but since it’s taken so long to get done, we wanted to share it right away.

Check it out, let us know what you think and if you have branches and games to recommend; we’d love to hear from you!

Server Migration Problems

Thought I’d make a quick post to let people know about the server migration that we had last week.  You might have noticed a bit of a hiccup last week as we migrated servers.  We do apologise about that but hopefully the new site is both faster and has less problems for everyone.

So, potential issues you might have run across include:

  • SSL not found (fixed)
  • Site not available – 404 errors (fixed)
  • Missing orders (should be fixed – look for your new order numbers!)

Our apologies on this, the migration was not well handled on a number of sides including ours.  We apologise for any problems.

And for those who read this for the business perspective – always keep your developer updated.  They can / will save your life if things go down.  Or – and backups are good.

Store Hours – Opening on a Weekend

We’ve decided to run a pilot program of opening once a month on the last Saturday of each month for a few hours.  If we have enough interest, we’ll definitely be extending the hours; but we’re going to run a limited test for now.

The Details:

When: February 22, 2014 and every last Saturday of the month
Where: The Warehouse at 61 West 7th Ave, Vancouver, BC
When: 1 – 5pm
Description: Local pickups, open gaming and shelf browsing!
 

The Explanation

Starting February 22, 2014 and for every last Saturday of the month after that, we will be open from 1 – 5pm for both Local Pickups and browsing & purchasing.  We will not be charging a local pickup surcharge during this period, so you can just browse games, talk to us and even try out some of our games from the game library.

This is a pilot program to see if there’s interest in us hosting this event.  If there is, we might even expand the program further. Do spread the word, we’d love to see you all out.

Payment Methods: Bitcoins & Visa Debit

Two new payment methods have been added to the site recently:

Bitcoins

Bitcoins are now being accepted directly on the site. Due to the way Bitcoins work, we are not able to take pre-orders for games without taking payment (same as with Debit / Interac / PayPal).  As such; all orders placed with Bitcoin will have payment taken immediately.

Secondly, since we do not actually ‘keep’ Bitcoins and due to the volatile nature of the exchange rate, if you do require a refund you will receive a refund via store credit only.

As an FYI – Fortress Geek does so too and was our test case for it 🙂

Visa Debit

Visa Debit is now available on the site.  Like Interac, if you pay with Visa Debit you will be debited immediately for any order placed on our site.  You may pay using Visa Debit using our Visa / Mastercard payment option on the site.

Random Amusement of the Day – Spam

Following is our spam statistics (number of spam comments stopped by the automated system):
3021 Spam stopped in 2013 – October
449 Spam stopped in 2013 – September
41 Spam stopped in 2013 – August
52 Spam stopped in 2013 – July
45 Spam stopped in 2013 – June
68 Spam stopped in 2013 – May
106 Spam stopped in 2013 – April
143 Spam stopped in 2013 – March
191 Spam stopped in 2013 – February
228 Spam stopped in 2013 – January
181 Spam stopped in 2012 – December

New Features: Gift Registries & the Wishlist

At the request of a customer and because it’s been bugging me for some time, we’ve added a major new feature to the site.  Actually, 2 features.

Permanent Wishlist Link

The first is the inclusion of a permanent Wishlist Link available for sharing on various social websites.  It can be founder under your Wishlist page and will be individual for each customer.

Note that due to a limitation in the way the Wishlist works, if an order is placed from the Wishlist link, it will not remove the product from your wishlist.  As such, it is a possibility to get more than 1 copy of the same game.

Gift Registry

To deal with this issue, we’ve added a new feature entitled ‘Gift Registry’.  You can create Gift Registries for:

  • General (if you don’t want to specify)
  • Birthday
  • Christmas
  • Weddings

You will be able to dictate which (or how many) gift registries you wish to create when you access the page in your ‘My Account’ folder on the site.  Other major features on the gift registry include:

  • Add gifts to registries and move them between registries;
  • Indicate gifts priority;
  • Leave comments for each gift;
  • Share gift registries with potential gift-buyers;
  • Indicate the date of event and address for shipping the gifts;
  • View the list of gift buyers associated with the purchased gifts and wishes left;
  • Search for gift registries;
  • Add gifts from other customer’s gift registries to theirs;
  • Track item’s status and view which items are Pending;

Limitations on the new gift registry system:

  • The database for your Wishlist and your Gift Registry are separate.  There is currently no way to port gift information between the two databases (sorry!)
  • Customers can only purchase items on the gift registry when placing an order.  There is currently no way for a giftee to purchase an item that isn’t on the gift registry on the same order.  It’s why we recommend everyone add ‘Gift Wrapping‘ to their registry just-in-case.
    • we are looking into fixes on this, but am uncertain when / how this could be fixed

I actually really like the Gift Registry system and would recommend you keep the Wishlist as a personal reminder, while using the Gift Registry as a ‘public’ place for products you’d actually like to buy.

Let me know if there are more registries you’d like for us to make.  We have the option of creating as many registries as we wish.