The individual boxes had to be hoovered and assembled.. around 800 of them initially and as I said this was a lot of time and effort more so than I had considered initially … so if there is a next time I will implement plan B!
As promised the following week the blocks arrived, but that is actually only part of the story.
China told me that they were shipped on the Tuesday and gave me a tracking number. On Wednesday the online tracking told me it had still not been picked up, Thursday was the same… so I chased China to ask why?
It would appear that once they had the tracking number, there appeared to be no urgency to call the carrier to collect! Basically they gave me a number to imply everything was shipped. Glad I chased.
On the Friday I could see movement on the tracking, with delivery due on the following Tuesday with me.
Saturday I get a call from the carrier. “Could I have your EORi number please?”
I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about, so they sent me a form that I had to complete and required to provide the EORI number to them. They agreed they would release the goods on this occasion as I willingly paid the VAT on the shipment there and then, but they told me that I had to provide them with this EORI number within 25 days or future shipments would not be allowed in.
On Sunday I get another call to say the goods are now held in customs at Stanstead Airport and would not be released until I provided the EORI number!
After a number of calls they again agreed the goods would be released.
There were 15 parcels shipped from China … 14 arrived mid morning.
Again after a number of calls They traced the 15th package which turned up an hour later at my door from another depot.
So here I am with 15 boxes that weigh around 20Kg each… with nothing to indicate what’s in each box!
The tops were due to arrive the day after and so I again tracked and ensured that I would receive them on time… more on this later.
So the work began opening and unpacking each box. My goal was to check and wrap each block in a sheet of black tissue paper.
Now fortunately I had done a lot of pre thinking and planning with the packaging. I had purchased from the internet 2 large packs of black tissue paper and asked a local printer to chop them into four.
I had purchased gold, silver and black dots for the boxes to indicate on each box what was in each box and I had non slip material that I spent hours cutting into little slips to cover the blocks shelf.
So each gift box was stuffed with a single sheet of black tissue paper … this would give the blocks a cushion and cover the bottom of the box. Then I dropped in the box, a single non slip mat for the blocks shelf, carefully rolled and folded another sheet of black tissue paper around the block and placed this in the box. Finally I placed a small marketing slip which the local printer did for me on top of the box.
Find out what happens next after I pack the stock in Part 9 – From Sketch to International Distribution… in 5 months!