Mystery Shopper Gets Boxed In | Bullseye Glass Co. | Bullseye Glass Co

Mystery Shopper Gets Boxed In

You may have noticed that Bullseye’s launched an eCommerce site where you can buy the full line of Bullseye Glass and Other Stuff online…yes, from the privacy of your own home, office or iPhone (I suspect that only Cynthia is capable of THAT particular feat).

It’s still in the “soft launch” stage as the IT people fine tune the software, but I couldn’t wait. I don’t care about software (ignorance is indeed bliss). I wanted to find out what the packaging was like! So I ordered up a bunch of stuff. And unpacked it.

Dan is used to finding inedible stuff on our dining room table. This lot beats all.

I wanted to see whether a) the sheet glass would arrive intact, b) it would arrive in a timely manner, and c)  I could find something WRONG with it.

OK, all arrived without a single crack, chip or dent, beautifully packed and fast.

But I thought some stuff was overpacked. So I’m going to take it back and complain, oops, “offer constructive criticism”.

Seriously, the line between well- and over-packed is certainly a fuzzy one. And I’m an Olympic-caliber nit-picker. I hope I don’t demoralize anyone in shipping. Honest, it WAS terrific, just a few wraps too many.

How about anyone else? I’d love to hear from anyone who’s actually bought anything from the site. Any feedback – good or bad – will be hugely appreciated. OK, how about rewarded?

FIRST PRIZE: for the most helpful feedback from an online buyer (at BE…Circuit City doesn’t count): a Bullseye T-shirt (your choice style & size)

SECOND PRIZE: Two Bullseye T-shirts (your choice style & size)

All entries must arrive as COMMENTS to this blog….before noon Dec 5, 2008.

Jurying (by moi) with awards announced by Dec 6.

19 Responses to Mystery Shopper Gets Boxed In

  1. amy says:

    I just happened to drop by the site today looking for something — imagine my surprise when I found the new online store. It’s beautiful and looking to be easy to navigate and use. Awesome!


  2. Bert Weiss says:

    Not from the Ecommerce site, but I have gotten shipments cross country UPS. This is a tough regime, because at every stop during the week of transit, the box of 3mm glass sheets will be dropped off of a conveyer belt. Every box arrived intact.

    For a glass guy, getting all that foam packing is a windfall. It is all reusable. Maybe hobbyists will toss the stuff, but anybody who ever ships glass will utilize it all.

  3. I love the” Night Owl” ability to work in the studio all day and order my wish list at night. I love it. Thankyou for this wonderful new great opportunity for us all. Have already used the system and although a few glitchs for Canadians , it is still fantastic.

  4. CAN you overwrap glass?

    Seriously neat site, though. Already sent suggestions but here are a couple more: A “Clearance” or “Specials” section would get a lot of attention, particularly if furious glass was on the list. And even though I suspect this is more of a site for those who don’t have the BE Resource Center handy, it would be nice if one of the shipping options was “Will Call” or “Pick Up,” to allow locals to place the order to have it wrapped and ready when they get down there.


    P.S. Yup, you can register, browse and put stuff in the shopping cart using an iPhone. Had I the aforesaid “Will Call” option I suspect I would have been able to pay, too. ;-)

  5. Lani…….why does the Second Prize winner get two t-shirts and the First only one?

  6. Lani says:

    Just to see if you’re awake. (Although I was accused of trying to encourage mediocrity with that little antic)
    ;-) L

  7. Lani,

    Since places like Delphi started selling to the stained glass market there have been lots of rumblings that online competition is putting the brick and mortar stained glass retailers out of business — and that, in turn, has left the stained glass industry with fewer and fewer people evangelizing the field and creating new customers.

    I don’t have data to prove or disprove this (perhaps you do) but I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you see as the role of the small studio – and what Bullseye sees as the market drivers will be for the kilnformed glass “industry”.

    For anyone who reads this and thinks it is a veiled complaint from a brick and mortar studio, it really isn’t. The uncommon competition we have for Bullseye product in Austin has already driven prices well below what most people will get from the new online store (at Helios our standard pricing is 35% off BE list) so Bullseye’s online store isn’t much of an issue for us.

    It seems to me, though, that we are the exception and that a lot of independent studios will feel undermined that they now must compete with their supplier.

    - Paul

    P.S. Thanks for your parenthetical response to Judith’s t-shirt question. Big smile.

  8. ……………..and I appreciate it, too! I once rather forcefully explained to a man who was my “boss” for a very short time “I have never seen any reason to strive for mediocrity”. His jaw just dropped.

  9. I haven’t ordered from the online site yet, but occasionally from the BE Connection. I remember my order, that came right after your instructions on proper packing when sending work to eMerge, ie NO STYROFOAM PEANUTS. You explained how everybody hates peanuts and what a PITA they are to deal with.

    Soooo, guess how the kiln shelf arrived ? Packed with a gazillion peanuts!

    I don’t see any peanuts on your dining room table, so this doesn’t seem to be a current issue – but I’ve waited seven years to vent about this :) Thanks for the opportunity.


  10. As far as comments that are actually trying to be helpful – work on ways to make the shipping costs less painful.

    How about postage paid labels to send the boxes and packing back when making the next order, and a deduction from the packing cost on that second order?

    I did go to the online site to get a couple of small tools recently. The shipping cost was more than the product cost – so I just couldn’t bring myself to place the order. Maybe make sure the shipping cost is no more than 50% of the cost of the products?

    Occasional “sales” with free shipping?

    I don’t know enough about the economics of shipping – but these costs are a real deterrent from online ordering in general.


  11. Speaking of packing !!!( in behind the packaging on the table is this a Klaus Moje wall piece.)! Dark yes! but I see something of interest.!!!
    No really, because I am far away and in the Mountains of British Columbia, everything costs alot to be shipped here. BUT then the gas to drive to Portland, would be more . So for me this is a win win! I love it very much. Les

  12. lmcgregor says:


    Yes – as far as I know – we’ve eliminated the PITA peanuts.

    As for reducing shipping costs, that’s tougher. As/If we grow (with your help ;-) ) we should be able to pass through the greater volume discounts we get from UPS.

    And bottom line, we can’t give this stuff away. We ARE a small business. Operating without benefit of bailouts.

    Hey, I just got an idea for YOUR business: how about cutting back on anesthesia during surgery? I bet you could save a bundle.

  13. lmcgregor says:


    Good eye! Yes, that’s a Moje behind the cardboard mountain

  14. jenn says:

    Is it possible that your order was over packed because they recognized the shipping address=)?

  15. Last night,on returning home, I found an email announcing the online store. I was delighted, particularly when I found the T-shirt I have been lusting after since I saw Judy wearing it this fall.

    I’m pretty faithful to Vitrum. For the reasons you discuss in your next post, Lani. It’s always a pleasure to run into people I know while I’m there, a delight to schmooze with Judy and Kevin. (Judy started me on this path a long time ago.) And it’s the perfect place to go when I want to talk through possible solutions. I can’t imagine not shopping at Vitrum. They know what new things I am going to love and point my way in that direction first thing when I come in the door.

    On the extremely rare occassion that they have not had what I was looking for, I have ordered from BE directly. I imagine I will still do so. But, if I were far from a metropolis where there wasn’t a studio carrying the FULL product line, I would have been doing somersaults last night. Nothing is better than accessibility, whatever form it takes.

    I’m chiming in after the very sage Cynthia and Steve to echo some of their sentiments. I would love to see a special things page – where I could occasionally find special runs, curious glass or colors in testing.

    I’d like to see the shop by color tweaked a bit. I can only select shop by color when I am on one of the product pages and then it will only pull up the colors in that product style. For example, I’d like to be able to see all of the green sheet glass (both opal and trans) and frit and rods and billets at once, rather than having to go to each page to pull the green ones up.

    Love that you added the wishlist. Gonna put one together and send to St. Bruce. My one suggestion is that I didn’t see a place to order gift cards or gift certificates. I think they would make a nice addition, particularly now. People could even arrange to have the card send or emailed to the recipient directly.

    Okay one more suggestion: New product. Like the heat and color teaching tool, can you do an annealing chart that’s durable and can be hung on a studio wall?

    Bullseye fills my life with color. Thanks for all you do.


  16. Jeff C says:

    I recently ordered some glass via the website. As far a feedback goes, here is what I can come up with . It took me a while to pick out the various products. When I had added an item to the cart and wished to continue shopping ,(that link always sent me back to the very beginning of the selections. I would have liked it to go to where I had last been shopping. I only figured out (late in the process), that if I just clicked back it took me to where I previously was shopping. Nearing the end of my ordering I tried to delete an item and also compare shipping options (UPS ground vs. 3day) …and I crashed my order. It went into limbo land. Having done this in the early morning (central time) I had to stew about this for a few hours, before portland staff came into work. …A few phone calls back in forth resolved my issues. Thanks to customer service. … the boxes arrived last Thursday to Kansas City. I had noticed there were a couple of gnarly gashes on one of large sheet cartons. Upon examination of all the cartons, I found nothing broken and everything in good shape. I didn’t think they were over packed. It all seemed to work out. I do appreciate that you offer a $50 return credit for the large cartons. I patched up the gashes and will send them back. Why not on the 1/2 sheet carton? Is it not cost effective? As far as I know, the only place to get Bullseye glass, in Kancas City doesn’t carry a full (or even great partial selection) of your glass. There has been a few times lately that I could not get a full sheet of white or tekta 24×24 without special ordering. Thanks again Jeff

  17. carrie says:

    Having seen a UPS driver literally THROW my box of glass at my apartment door in Chicago- I don’t think the boxes are over packed! I also save the boxes and packing material and use them for storage and shipping elsewhere. Some of them have now traveled back and forth between cities numerous times!

  18. Hey!!! where is the drum roll. Dec. 5th has come and gone and well ; who came in 2nd place as it was worth more than 1st. !!!!!!! Just kidding aside, I recieved my order in perfect condition and for the duties fellows at the border who like to open things and never put them back in the same format, this package is A plus. As for the environment, I will re-use; and the next person will re-use; over and over again. Leslie

  19. I just stumbled upon your blog today, and I just wanted to tell you, the e-commerce site is nicely designed! I just had a conversation with someone the other day who told me that you should figure on any shipped package being dropped from three feet above ground, so like the other poster said, I don’t think it’s possible to overwrap glass! Anyway, I thought it was interesting that a partner in a company placed an order just to check on how their items were packaged, to see how their customers would receive their items. I wish other companies would do that, as many would be surprised to view something from a customer perspective. It’s nice to see there are still companies out there who still care!

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