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Archive for July, 2008

Customers and friends, we need your help. How should we charge for shipping?

For the first two years of our webstore, we charged by weight. This is terribly tedious to maintain during postal rate increases and still sometimes overcharges customers because the weight on the item is for a one item package. Order more than one item and the actual combined weight is less than the straight sum because they share packaging.

Recently we switched to a per item charge. This is easier to communicate to customers (see our Easy Ship page) and easier to change when postal rates increase. However, if a customer buys three or four lightweight accessories, they get charged for each one and end up with a huge shipping charge. We always refund overages, but that’s tedious too and probably turning customers away.

There is one more option that we haven’t tried – charging for shipping based on item cost. We could do this either as a percentage of sale or rate such $5 for orders up to $20, $7.50 up to $40, etc.

We want to hear from you: What kind of shipping charge do you prefer?

By the way, we have no plans to change our most popular coupon – ‘freeship50’ gets Free Shipping on orders over $50!

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Take care of your lips naturally with Jess’ Bee Natural Lip Balm, just added to BayingHound.com! This all natural made in the USA balm protects from wind and sun damage, soothes cracked lips, and come in two refreshing flavors. Choose peppermint or tangerine for only $3 each!

Bonus Offer:
The first 10 orders received in the month of August will receive a FREE lip balm.

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The perfect Ice Cream bowl

As a reward for being brave at the doctor today, I offered to give our daughter some ice cream. She wanted to eat on the front porch, so I was looking for a non-breakable bowl when I gazed upon our squishy bowls. Perfect, I thought!


Indeed, the squishy bowl was easy to eat from and insulated so the ice cream did not melt quickly. When there were drips at the end, Lillian just folded the bowl like a taco and sipped them right up.

I like the arrangement so much that I just listed an ice cream set of squishy bowls and microbites utensils for just $16.75 + shipping. That’s 20% off buying them separately!

(If you are curious, the ice cream was Ben and Jerry’s Imagine Whirled Peace. Delicious, though not as great as my local favorite, Jeni’s.)

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Ellie Merrit, a local Columbus OH news reporter, taped a segment on BPA free kids bottles at my friend Alissa DeRouchie’s home office today. Alissa invited me to bring over a SIGG and Klean Kanteen for demonstration. They aired the segment at 4 PM. As soon as I get a link I’ll post it here.

Ellie also posted on her blog about BPA.

It’s great to have more press on this issue!

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Follow me on Twitter

Ok, enough people have told me about it. We’re part of Twitter now.

Follow Rachel’s every move at www.twitter.com/bayinghound and Alex is www.twitter.com/baying_hound

Adding online addictions is good for our health, right?

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Last week we took a few trips around the state for mini vacations, all the while communicating with customers and stopping home to package orders.

This week it’s back to work. So far, we:

*accounted for new Klean Kanteens in stock, including the 40 ounce bottles and stainless steel tops.
*changed statutory agent address with the secretary of state
*filed sales tax (and changed address there too)
*edited website to take out more SIGG items as they’ve sold out
*placed an order with Jess at BeeNatural Lip Balms. More details coming soon!

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After much work and html editing, the metal bottle comparison is finally here! We compared the three major manufacturers of BPA free metal water bottles and condensed their benefits and features into this comparison.

Baying Hound Quick Picks

Alex’s Favorite: Klean Kanteen 27 ounce with Loop Top

Rachel’s Favorite: SIGG Butterfly Dreams with Loop Top for around the house, SIGG Red Touch 0.75L for when cycling, hiking, or carrying wine to an outdoor concert.

Lillian’s Favorite: SIGG Little Cat

Best Baby Shower Gift: Klean Kanteen Sippy

Best for Car Commuters: SIGG Metro Mug or Guyot Designs Commuter

Best for Backpacking: Guyot Designs Backpacker

Best for those who like it hot: SIGG Hot and Cool double walled stainless steel bottle

Best for Those who like it cool: Klean Kanteen 27 ounce filled with ice

Size and Fit

SIGG: 0.75L and smaller bottles fit in most car cupholders and backpack pouches, but larger sizes do not; available in 10 oz /0.3L (6”h x 2.5”w), 13.5 oz / 0.4L (8”h x 2.5”w), 20 oz / 0.6L (8.5”h x 2.75”w), 26 oz / 0.75L (11”h x 2.75”w), and 34 oz / 1.0L (11”h x 3.25”w); 0.75 L fits into bike cage

Klean Kanteen: Smaller bottles fit in some car cupholders and backpack pouches; available in 12 oz (5”h x 2.75”w), 18 oz (7”h x 2.75”w), 27 oz (10.5”h x 2.75”w) and 40 oz (10.65”h x 3.5”w) sizes; must use Klean Kanteen specific bike cage

Guyot Designs Commuter fits in car cupholders, others fit in Nalgene sized bottle pockets; Available in 24 oz Shorty (5.7”h x 3.2”w) or Commuter (7.6”h x 2.55”w), 32 oz Backpacker (7.6”h x 2.83”w) or 38 oz Standard (7.6”h x 3.6”w); none fit in bike cage

Material and Weight

SIGG: Made of aluminum with a superthin baked on epoxy liner and smaller polypropylene tops, Aluminum SIGGs have the lowest empty weights per volume, from 2.8 – 5.9 oz. SIGG thermos bottles are made of double walled stainless steel and weigh more than any single walled bottles.

Klean Kanteen: Made of unlined thin stainless steel with medium sized polypropylene tops, Klean Kanteens come in next with empty weights from 4 oz – 11 oz.

Guyot Designs: Made of unlined thin stainless steel with super durable polypropylene tops, the Guyot Design series weigh the most per volume, from 7.9 oz – 12.9 oz.

Ease of Cleaning

Guyot Designs: Extra wide mouth bottle allows for simple hand washing; can be put in the dishwasher (tops should be hand washed to retain leakproof nature)

Klean Kanteen: Medium mouth bottle allows for easy hand washing with a standard bottle brush; can be put in the dishwasher (tops should be hand washed to retain leakproof nature)

SIGG: Small mouth bottle needs special brush to be hand washed or use cleaning tabs; can be put in the dishwasher (tops should be hand washed to retain leakproof nature)

Opening for Ice

Guyot Designs: Extra wide mouth perfect for all sizes of ice cubes

Klean Kanteen: Standard ice cubes fit in medium mouth

SIGG: Specialty long thin ice cube tray must be used to make ice cubes fit

Manufacturing Sustainability

SIGG: Aluminum bottles are made in Sweden for 100 years by well paid and trained workforce. Cleaning agents and paints are environmentally friendly.

Guyot Designs: Sustainably made in China; materials approved by FDA. Each bottle carries 100lb or more of verified greenhouse gas emissions reductions, making them carbon negative.

Klean Kanteen: Sustainably made in China; bottles are randomly tested in US to ensure there are no hazardous substances such as lead.

Sipping Lip

SIGG: Internal threads with well designed lip at top. No splashing and easy to drink right from bottle.

Klean Kanteen: Small depth external threads with rolled lip at top, can splash because of bigger opening.

Guyot Designs: External threads, performs like nalgene bottle. Splashguard available.

Tops

Klean Kanteen: Best child’s sippy top – no leaks, easy to replace spouts, no dust cover. Mediocre sports top – low flow, makes squeaky noise during use, hard to remove cap. Satisfactory Loop and Flat top.

SIGG: Mediocre Kids top – easy to pour from when open but conveniently attached dust cover. Very Good Active Sports Top – easy to use one handed with decent flow rate and dust cover. Satisfactory Loop and Flat Top.

Guyot Designs: Top comes with cord to stay attached to bottle, durable and leak proof.

Style

Klean Kanteen: Stainless Steel or Colors available

SIGG: Wide range of colors and designs

Guyot Designs: Stainless steel only

Durability

Guyot Designs: Stainless steel is most durable in our anecdotal tests. Top is heafty and durable.

Klean Kanteen: Stainless steel is most durable in our anecdotal tests. Unpainted versions stay looking like new longest, as colored ones can scratch. Gasket on top may degrade over time.

SIGG; Aluminum bottles will dent if dropped. Finish scratches are hard to avoid. Tops and gaskets are durable in our tests, dust cap is easy to break.

Thermal Properties

Guyot Designs: Single walled with no insulation, but you can cook in these bottles. Cannot be frozen or welds will break. Obviously the bottle will be very hot if you cook in it so use proper tools to handle bottle after heating.

Klean Kanteen: Single walled with no insulation, but neoprene sleeves are available. Cannot be frozen or welds will break. Can heat over flame in a pinch but smaller top means heating will be uneven. Obviously the bottle will be very hot if you cook in it so use proper tools to handle bottle after heating.

SIGG: Single walled versions have no insulation. Cannot be frozen or welds will break. Double walled 0.5L bottles and thermoses are available. Cannot cook in SIGG bottles.

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