Sunday, December 26, 2010

The holidays

Hi all,

First off, I hope everyone had a good holiday season, regardless of their faith.

My mom ended up coming to NYC this year, but left early because of the impending snow storm. Wow, I just walked out in it to come to my favorite place to get away and write, and it's pretty spectacular. Depending on who you read or listen to, we could get 10 feet of snow, or 10 inches. Or less.

I read somewhere that it costs the city upwards of $1,000,000 per inch, to clear it from the streets. Since I've lived here, which is pretty much since forever, I can say that the sanitation department does an excellent job of snow removal.

Soapier did quite well this holiday season, thanks to all of you.

We are working on a re-structuring for next year, so we can stay open. We'll have more news on that next week.

On Christmas Eve, my girlfriend and I splurged on dinner out at Harry's Steak House, on Stone Street in NYC. Very good food. The service was good, too. If you find yourself down there, try their sweet potato mash. Oh my god.

Normally, my gf and I cook dinner. We go grocery shopping in New Jersey to save money, and have a rotating set of dinners we cook. We'd been saving up for this dinner for a long time, and it was sooooo worth it.

We'd also been saving all of our change, you know, that we accumulated, and made a special dinner on Christmas day. That was scallops.

Now, I have never ever ever never been a fish eater. But over the past year I have branched out to both salmon and scallops. Maybe next year I'll try some others.

It was a good holiday, though I was sorry I didn't get a chance to see my mom. We were supposed to go to a Swedish restaurant tonight, but alas, that didn't work out.

I'll see her some time in January.

My sister goes to the doctor on Tuesday, to determine when she'll need surgery. They found an aneurysm in her arm, so it might have to be two surgeries. We'll see on Tuesday.

Other than that, we're very happy the way the holiday season went. My mom got a flight back, after changing her flight via jetblue, and they didn't charge her extra because of the snow storm, so that was good. She said she got in at 2:30 in the morning, got home and has been spending her day relaxing with Petey, her dog.

I've been semi-stuck in the house, watching football, relaxing, eating leftovers, and generally just being an online nuisance.

I hope all of you had a great holiday. I hope you got to spend it with your loved ones. I wish you all the best.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

This does not happen with our soaps...

I don't know what is in Ivory soap that it would do that... but our soaps don't look like The Blob coming at you when it's in the microwave.

Ours is kind of boring. It just melts... and then reforms into something resembling a puddle... which is kind of cool... I guess.

Soapier's 2-day sale

All gift baskets are now $15. We only have a limited supply of them, so get them while you can!

Also, all of the Christmas soaps (except for Santa's Nog) are discounted:

Under the Tree and New Ornaments are now $3 a slice. Once they're gone, that's it.

The Christmas Works of Art soaps are now only $5 each. Once they're gone, that's it.

This sale goes on until Friday at Midnight. We'll get all of these orders out by Monday.

We're offering this sale as last minute gift ideas. This sale is not meant to be taken retroactively.


J @ S

Also, I've updated the site so that it reflects soaps that we have in stock, and I'll be doing my best to keep up with orders, to make sure things that are out of stock from here on out will be reflected on the site!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sales, stock, Canada, internet cafes, and more

Well, it's Friday, December 10th. 15 days until my favorite holiday, besides my birthday, which should be a national holiday only because nothing too exciting happened on August 3rd.

Wow, what are the odds that Germany would declare war with France in WWI, AND Hitler would take command over all of Germany, both on the same day in history?

I need to change my birthday. Sheesh.

Ok, so, let's get back to a more cheerful subject.

Christmas is coming soon! Yay. I've always enjoyed Christmas. I don't remember it so much when I was a little kid, but when I hit 10, let me tell you, brother, my sister and I hit the jackpot!

So, my parents divorced when I was 9 or so. It was sad, sure, but these things happen.

Check this out.

Christmas Eve, we would go to my grandparents house, on my mom's side. Always a crazy Christmas. Huge amount of food, huge amounts of presents. It was awesome.

We'd go home, sleep, and the next day, Christmas, was a marathon of gift giving and receiving. First, we had home gifts from mom. Awesome. Then my dad would pick my sister and I up and drive us to our other grandparents, where we got gifts from all of our aunts and uncles. Insane. THEN we'd get my dad's gifts.

We made out like bandits, truly.

I think I get two gifts these days... feels like I'm in the k-hole of gift karma, but so be it. I enjoy giving more than anything else.

Yeah, right.

No, really! Go away.

My dad passed away a long time ago, almost fifteen years ago. I haven't had much communication with his side of the family since, and it's a shame, but we kind of drifted apart. I always got along well with his brother and sisters. I'll have to give them a call this year.

Christmas now-a-days is all depending on how much money has come in, and how creative I'm feeling. I love giving gifts. I have an idea of what to get my gf, we'll see if I can make that happen.

Even though it's a bit early to say, sales have been pretty good this year. We were hoping more people would have purchased the Soap of the Month club, but it's something we'll keep all year round.

We sold out of Alien soaps and Envelope soaps, bacon, trollface, and some Christmas soaps, which is great.

In other news, we'll be, hopefully, opening up a Canada annex of Soapier, starting in January. We'll see what happens.

Other than that, folks... things are things. We're so very thankful for the customers we have, the holiday orders we received, and that my sister is out of the hospital, taking it easy, and doing much better.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting us. I wish you all a fantastic holiday season.

John @ Soapier

Oh, I was writing this at an internet cafe, with no coffee. So there.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Soapier and Wikileaks

Hi all,

In light of the recent development between Amazon and Wikileaks, we've decided to take down our products from Amazon.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "You had products on Amazon?"

Yes. Yes we did.

Amazon was, by far, the biggest headache of our company. Or, I should say, for me, personally. Setting up the products was a big problem. We don't have UPC codes, so we had to hack our way in, with the help of the Amazon team. It only took six emails to them, and then finally said 'oh, yeah, you're quoting our policy, we'll take care of it. No need for UPC codes on beauty products'. Sigh.

Then, I went through the arduous task of putting up our products. It took no less than five minutes per product, to list them on their site. The first round, I did it over the course of four hours, only to find out I'd made a mistake. Had to go into each of our 50 products, fix the mistake.

Then, we waited. And waited. And waited.

And when we got our first order, well, it was exciting. For all of two minutes.

The first order was for four bars of soap. Pretty cool.

The thing is, Amazon charges a flat shipping rate, per product, for products they do not fulfill. That means, our customers were being charged $4.99 for each product they purchased, of ours. So that 4 bar order turned into a $44 order, instead of a $29.95 order.

We refunded the shipping difference, but we found that we weren't getting any orders, and now we could understand why. The shipping charges were turning people off.

We tried to get Amazon to fix it, but that's another policy.

So, over the course of 1 year, we received 21 sales, and with each one, had to refund shipping charges.

We don't want to take advantage of some policy, just to make a couple of extra dollars. Shipping already costs an arm and a leg.

Don't get us started on the commission amount that Amazon was making per order. It was high. Almost 45%. This made us raise our prices to $6.95 on Amazon.

We kept it going because it was just another outlet for us, and we didn't have to do much self promotions on their site.

So, after the recent news about Amazon and Wikileaks, we've decided to sever our ties with Amazon. No great loss to us, surely no great loss to Amazon, but we felt it was important, especially since we donated money to Wikileaks earlier this year.

You know what was awesome? Julian Assange actually replied to some emails I sent him. His replies were campy and fun. Here's my first email to them:

Hi Daniel,

Well, February came and went and I wanted to let you know that we sold 102 bars of soap for Wikileaks, for a grand total of $250, to be donated to this great website.

Truth be told, I was kind of hoping for more... Blah! But, I hope the money helps, and I think this will become an annual thing for Soapier and Wikileaks. February will be Wikileaks month at Soapier!

Julian's reply:

It's great. I suspect soapy types are not too aggressive but WL is inherently combative... "All your files belong to us is" fantastic, but perhaps "Scrubbing corruption away one file at a time" and similar might work better for women, who I assume buy these products...

I followed it up about four months later, after the Collateral Murder video was posted:

I just wanted to let you know that the video you posted was simply unreal, and I'm so glad that Wikileaks is around to continue the fight for more transparency within the world's governments.

It's quite unreal, the lengths the Pentagon went through, saying that Wikileaks was a threat to national security, and all of the harassment that followed. I'm so sorry you all had to go through that. I hope you're coming out the other side, and in good condition.

I wish you all the best of luck, and continued support throughout the world.

His reply:

thanks. we'll scrub our troubles away for sure.

We'll see what we can do with some of these other companies that are going out of their way to put on a good face, but the fact is that using our wallets to express our distaste seems to be the only way to get things done, any more.

I downloaded the Insurance file that Wikileaks uploaded. We'll see what happens when Assange gets out of jail.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We're running out of stock!

Just like the headline says, we're running out of stock on stuff, people.

We're officially out of the Reddit Alien in:

Chocolate (Big Heart)


Winter Awesome

We're also out of the Pillow Talk gift basket.

Get your orders in quickly!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday orders at Soapier

So, we got slammmmmmed by Secret Santa, and we're getting the orders out, but to make sure that we get all of our orders out for the holiday rush, we're capping holiday orders after December 12th. This way, we can guarantee US orders get to their people on time.

International orders, you're going to want to place your order by the 6th. After that, we can't guarantee that they're going to get to you on time, since international shipping takes so long.

So, get those orders in ASAP!



Thursday, December 2, 2010


Hi folks,

So, over the course of the last five days or so we've received quite a few orders, both for the holidays and for Reddit's Secret Santa.

Reddit Gifts is the brain child of one of Soapier's staunchest supporters, Dan McComas. He's promoted our site, our product, our message for over a year. Not only is there a Reddit Secret Santa, but the community decided to make another gift giving holiday for Redditors called Arbitrary Gift Day. Dan promoted the hell out of us then, too.

So, this year, I would really like to give back.

Dan is trying to get some money for schools in Alameda, which have been closing left and right, not to mention budget cuts are cutting out school activities that you and I were lucky enough to enjoy when we were young.

Donating even $5 would be an enormous help to this cause. Soapier is already planning on donating a portion of sales we get this year to help out, but we thought we would shed some light on this particular opportunity.

We've done some good over the past year with various organizations. Dan's been so good to us, we can't stand by and not help him and his community in their time of need.

You can visit the donation page here. Dan and his wife don't make any money on the Reddit Gifts site. They do it out of the kindness of their hearts. It would really make a great Christmas for them if they made a significant amount of money this year for the Alameda school system. Reddit donated over $500,000 for I think Reddit can get $5,000 together to help out Alameda.

Thanks for reading.

John @ Soapier