We use the postal system a bunch. For most of the years we have been doing this, the relationship has gone pretty well. We would pay them to ship packages for us, and they would deliver them with a pretty low loss rate mostly on time. The on-time part would get strained around the holidays, but people get that.
Things are different today. On-time still happens, but not nearly as much. And, not on time can mean a couple days, or a month late. That unknown shipping time is very difficult for everybody. And, that former low loss rate has gone up, quite a bit.
And, if you’ve ever dealt with trying to make a claim on postal insurance, they are usually denied, very time consuming, and as much fun as doing taxes.
So, what have we done to deal with all of that? A few things:
Shipping Protection through Lakeline LLC, an easy to work with insurance for your shipment that protects against loss or theft of your order during delivery. The cost is $5 additional. In concert with offering shipping protection, we no longer will replace packages lost in transit for customers that didn’t purchase shipping protection. With Shipping Protection, contact us if there is a problem and we will make sure you get your order. We just can’t afford to do that for free with the current postal service levels.
Other shipping options. We have added Priority Mail, and UPS ground giving us a total of up to 7 different shipping options on orders over $50. Both cost more than First Class Mail, but have some advantages. Priority mail includes $50 in postal insurance and UPS is liable for loss or damage, at no extra cost, for up to $100.00 for each domestic package. UPS has been more reliable than the postal system, although they are not immune to weather and holiday delays either.
We still have low cost, $3.49, shipping. Although with the increases coming, that may not be quite that low for long. For orders over $50, we still offer free shipping. Both of those options, without shipping protection, the customer assumes the risk of loss in shipping. We don’t want to take options away from people, so will continue to provide options that allow folks to balance, risk, speed, and costs and allow us to continue to be here to serve.
On top of Covid, shipping issues with USPS, and all the other excitement, fraudster have been busy. Many people don’t realize that the credit card companies don’t suffer when there is fraud on their, rather insecure, payment system. They just take the charges out of the seller’s account.
So, to be able to stay in business and still offer good pricing, we’ve had to implement a slew of fraud prevention measures on our order and payments systems. I get it that people want to leave as small of a footprint out there on the inter-webs. So, people may use an alias, or an address that is not theirs, etc. to minimize exposure on the web.
The problem with that is when we don’t get clear, verifiable information with an order, it starts to have very similar characteristics to a fraudulent order, where the card holder’s information has been taken.
So, even though I expect we dislike having to have a system that is more particular and even having people use their time to review some orders, it is just another unfortunate reality of the business right now. It is an inconvenience for everybody. Hopefully payment processing will evolve to something a little more secure and easier to use soon.
Things were actually going along fairly smoothly at Lakeline LLC in early 2020. Then, it became, well, exciting. That’s the word I’ll use to describe the year it has been.
With Covid, came a bunch of new challenges. The good, orders went up! People are shopping from their computers and between the election, riots and Covid, it seems interest in firearms went up. On the other side, getting things built became a challenge. Not only were we busy, but everybody in firearms is busy. Just getting inventory, and new products out and built, became a challenge with everything taking longer than it would normally.
We had to figure out how to even stay operating safely early on in Covid and then how to continue moving the ball forward.
Still, we’ve introduced a bunch of new plastic parts, mostly mag accessories like sleeves, bases, etc. that improve the experience with a bunch of different pistols. We’ve introduced target barrels for some Taurus pistols, with threaded versions available and more coming. And, we have a bunch of new products that were available to support the G3C as and shortly after it was introduced. There is a stream of new products coming.
Shippers are still slammed and chaotic. We see lots more late arrivals to customers from the postal system and packages sometimes sitting in a post office or sorting center for days on end. Our shipments with UPS and FedEx are also more chaotic and sometimes later than usual.
Our lead times from suppliers are longer than normal and that has caused us to sometimes end up out of stock when coupled with the higher demand than we normally see. But, we are getting most things back in stock and we keep solving the issues that do come up.
It will be interesting to see how this all looks when we remember it in a few years. Thanks folks! We appreciate the support and patience that has sometimes been required to get things done this year.
These are the handiest things. Everybody should have one and now you can get them at Lakeline LLC. It is the easiest way to get the last rounds in those magazines and saves fingers. If you have a P365, you really know what we mean.
We are adding support for Glock pistols. We added threaded barrels, recoil assemblies, and strikers for some models. Watch the parts grow we have for Glocks!
We also, after a long back order from Truglo, have Truglo Tritium PRO sights back in stock for the Taurus G2 pistols. On the Taurus front, we have out TX22 and have lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline for it. Have a great week!
Tis the Season! Here are some thoughts of things that are helpful for anyone who owns a pistol. None of these are Lakeline products, but they are the really useful things, tools mainly, that help any pistol person maintain and work on their pistol. All of these things I use and they make me happy every time I use them. They are in order from lowest cost up.
Needle Files. I use these all the time, and they cost less than $5! Most of the time I use this needle file set, which costs less than $3. If you want to step it up a bit, this needle file set has handles that make them nicer to hold on too and still only costs $6.99. I usually buy the cheap ones and litter them about the places I work like reading glasses.
Gunsmith screwdriver set. Working on your pistol with the rounded off screwdrivers that are used for prying things off the car, demolishing for a remodel, etc. just isn’t a great thing. Worn screwdrivers round out the special screws in pistols, making them difficult to get apart and they are just unsightly. I like a set that all fits in a case and gets stored with the guns, not out in the garage where they will be used and abused like the other screwdrivers. Being “thrifty” I find specialty gunsmith sets pretty expensive for what they have. I like a set that all fits in a case and gets stored with the guns, not out in the garage where they will be used and abused like the other screwdrivers. But, this nice $20 set has most everything needed and is reasonably priced: Aosky Professional Precision Magnetic Screwdriver Sets
Punch Set. Pistols have lots of little pins that are used to hold them together. To get them in and out, and to help persuade other stuck parts to move, the proper tool is a punch set. Brass punches are nice because they are softer than the steel in the pistol and usually won’t damage important parts. A good starter punch set can be had for under $30:
Torque Screwdriver. If you work with scopes and sights, a torque screwdriver is a necessity. Most sight work uses torques in the 6 to 30 inch pounds range. Some pistol sights, like many of the screw on pistol sights, need an even lower range, like 1 to 5 inch pounds. That gets more expensive, but a good tool for the low torque requirements is:
Sight tool or Sight Pusher. If you like your pistols, at some point you are going to change sights on them, or adjust them. Without a good sight tool, it is easy to scratch or ding up the slide or sights, or break the tritium vials in night sights. I own most of the cheaper sight tools, but still went ahead and bought this one when I was frustrated trying to use the ones that flex, bend, and scratch up my pistols. Save some money and buy the good one up front, it is under $200: Wheeler Engineering Armorer’s Front and Rear Handgun Sight Tool
Merry Christmas and happy gun tinkering from the gang at Lakeline LLC!!
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ - SHIPPING ADVISORY
Please note that starting March 1st 2020, due to recent issues with USPS during COVID-19, Lakeline LLC will not NOT be responsible for lost packages unless SHIPPING PROTECTION is selected during checkout with your order. We encourage you to insure your orders. Thank you for your understanding.