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Messages - libertee

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376
As I said on Facebook, love the new site.  Hope the investment works out.

One issue (minor) - when you register, and then check your details, it shows you your own password in plain text.  That's slightly worrying because it means it's being stored as a password, probably in plain text in the database, rather than the more secure method of storing it as a hash + salt.

Might want to mention it to the folk who've put the site together for you - it makes me nervous about my data.

Passed it along to the webmaster, it has already been amended temporarily and he will amend it permanently later on today

377
Quote
We aim to ship your order the same day it arrives with us (during office hours of course!)

We ship worldwide and use a combination of Royal Mail First class, Royal Mail Airmail plus a global courier service.

Whilst the new site is ‘finding its feet’ we will continue to stick to our previous shipping policy which means your order will ship on the days we are staffed which are Monday, Thursday and Friday. Our aim by mid-October 2011 will be to be shipping orders each weekday.

If you place an order which is needed in a hurry then please ensure you send a follow up email and we will try to get it out to you faster.

Once your order is shipped you will receive an email confirmation to the email address you used to place the order, if you have selected a tracked service then your tracking number will also be sent at this time.

great site sally!

minor point you may want to fix the above?

yup, remember my posting a while ago about breaking something important....that was the new website when it was going live!  everything was ready to go at that stage and stuff written accordingly.

Quote
You may not create a link to this website from another website or document without Hasslefree Miniatures prior written consent.

and that seems odd? you want me to remove links to your website from my blog?

nope, you are fine.  we had to put certain legal stuff in the new site and we also took the opportunity to make a point about people nicking things off the website, in particular people who sell secondhand or new figures on places like Ebay and then use all of the images from our website to do it without checking first.  mostly FOdders who have blogs have asked if they can link.  i cant remember if youdid or you didnt but you have posted many times on here about the blog so i have had plenty of opportunity ti say if i dont like it!

378
Oooh and I like the thumbnails you get in the order confirmation email

and you also get a confirmation email when it ships...we have finally hit the 21st century!

379
Redirect in place, we are up and running!

380
Announcements and News / Why the shiny new website and what can it do?
« on: November 10, 2011, 08:47:40 PM »
As always we thank you for your support.  Tony Stapells our current webmaster has been amazing in getting us started but i dont think anyone could have predicted the last 8 years rollercoaster!

As most regular Fod'ers are aware, the last couple of years in particular have been really hard for us at HF.  Ongoing family and health issues means we have not had as much time to spend on HF as we would have liked and add to this a seemingly perpetual stream of disasters it seems like we are always chasing our tails and never quite catching up!  If we said that we hadnt considered at least a dozen times on just walking away then we would be lying!  However in true HF fashion our stubborness and bloody-mindedness comes through and we find another way of coping.

Something that has been on the cards now for at least 2 years is a new website, one that will not only be easy for you to navigate but also help us out with the ever-increasing levels of admin.

Over the course of a year before commissioning the new website we undertook various time and motion studies, work logs, customer comments and questionaires and have tried to iron out presenting issues as much as we can with features integrated within the new website.

We have tried to keep the feel of the old HF site with similar colourways but have (we hope) taken in a big step further into an efficient E-Commerce site without losing the personal touches.  We didn’t want HF to become ‘Faceless’, it is still Kev and Sally just with a bit of botox to try and make life easier for us and you.

The new website does indeed look shiny and pretty but it is also very practical and we have tried to make it ‘intuitive’.  What you can see and play with now is the fully functional first phase.  This is the foundation E-Commerce site which will enable us to build customer levels back up to fund our continued growth and further development not just in the other planned phases of the website but also in our release schedule and what we offer you as customers.

The second phase will add extra features, some of which will be led by you in your feedback forms that we hope you will fill in for us online eiother as questionairres or forum polls.  We have always been ‘customer-led’ and this aspect hasn’t changed.


1:  Tidier front page:


For you:  Shopping and browsing at the top,  latest releases as scrolling images just in case you missed something, news and notifications in the middle including Facebook, legal and other stuff at the bottom.  We have tried to put the stuff you look at most often near the top so you don’t have to keep scrolling to find things.

For us:
  Easier to update means as regulations change we can ensure we comply straight away, images of releases stay on the front page longer so we get less emails asking about figure x,y,z and if it has been released yet.



2:   Customer accounts: 


For you:    These will enable you to track your order and see when it is despatched, you will also receive an email when your order is shipped complete with tracking info if you have chosen that shipping option.  You will also be able to select different addresses for orders to go to.  Orders placed but needing to go on hold for a few days can be stored in your account.  We are also adding ‘wishlists’ and the ability to store credit vouchers in your account so you don’t need to rely on us to manually process anything anymore and if you lose your balance slip you can check online.

For us:      Less emails querying order statuses means less admin time. Currently we manually email when an order is shipped but now we just press a button and it does it for us. Credit balances stored in your accounts means less admin for us



3:  Online stock levels: 

For you:    These will show you if something you want is in or out of stock.  These means less back orders and more efficient shopping for you.  Pictures of codes that are currently out of stock will still show, you just won’t be able to add them to your basket.
If a pack is made from multiple single codes then it won’t let you add the pack if one of the codes is out of stock, again removing the chaos of back orders.
Adding soon are email notifications so that if you want something that is out of stock the website will email you when it comes back in stock.

For us: No more manual stock checks, no more back orders which cost time, money and packaging resources,  less emailing of notifications.  We also have a facility where we can now see which codes will need restocking in what period of time based on current sales which allows us to restock more often as we need it rather than just guessing if we don’t have time for a full stock check.


4:  Searching. 

For you:  The database has been updated with tags for product codes.  Only basic ones are in at the moment but it will make browsing easier for you.  New tags will be added as new media/ranges develop. Tags being added reflect popular culture and weapons as well as genres.

For us:  less emails asking if we still sell x,y,z and if so where is it as you can’t find it.



5:  Streamlined product categories: 


For you :  One of the usual gripes with the old site was that things got ‘hidden’ in multiple layers as the ranges expanded over the years.  The new site has made browsing easier with a main category bar across the top with pulldown menus…less clicks to find what you want has got to be easier.  The control panel also allows us to enter product codes into multiple categories whilst still taking from the same stock levels and using the same information.

For us:  Easier manipulation of the control panel on the server lets us recategorise and cross-post codes into categories to make your browsing more efficient whilst minimising admin time this end.  It also allows us to easily add new categories as well as short runs of items efficiently so that we can clear out the odds and ends that you guys say you want to buy but the labour needed to do that on the old system makes this unviable.


6:  Product codes:

For you:  everything has a code, so instead of lists on item pages you now have a code and an associated thumbnail for everything  we have…less scrolling through deeper shop levels for you and less potential mistakes in your orders.

For us:  Efficient stock checking.  Easier order picking, easier restocking.


7:  Shipping prices.

For you:  Everything in the shop has been weighed.  There is a shipping matrix that has been implemented that will calculate your shipping costs based on where you live, what service you choose and the weight of your order.  Some prices on items will now fall as they had a shipping supplement previously added to them to cover the heavier weight/shipping costs.

For us:  Shipping has been an area where we have consistently lost money over the years with us having to price some lower priced but heavier items higher than they need to in order to try and cover the shipping costs for that item.



8:  Payment system.

For you:   Issues with Paypal have meant that we relied on a manual invoicing system with the old website, now when you proceed through to payment you will automatically be directed to the secure server for both Paypal and Credit Card payments.

For us:   We will halve the amount of paper/toner we use immediately for order processing.  Time we currently use directly for order processing will also reduce by about 50%  immediately with a knock-on effect to other admin systems including emails when Paypal mucks something up or an invoice gets lost!


9:  Promotions

For you:  More efficient use of promo codes that don’t rely on manually processing orders or refunds.  Codes can be entered at checkout for specific discounts or cross-purchasing.

For us:  Less admin and manual processing = more efficient.



10:  VAT implementation

For you: If you are shopping from a country that doesn’t need to pay UK VAT then you can purchase without paying it, this means ultimately you get more for your money.  UK customers however still have to pay VAT, sorry but we can’t do anything about that as much as we would like to.

For us: Fairer pricing for you means happier customers and less emails asking if we can refund VAT!

***********************

Overall we have tried to take away a lot of the old manual systems that relied on people (specifically Sally most of the time) for interventions.  This means we can train staff easily in the current computerised systems and give Sally time to rest when she needs it therefore reducing the admin backlog she seems permanently trapped under.  This means that when she is ill or the kids are on school holidays then HF won’t stop and she can focus on things that aren’t essential  for daily admin but things that will help us get new figures to you more efficiently including keeping on top of productions schedules, maintaining cashflow, newsletters and notifications, advertising and PR (plus cracking a whip over Kevs head).

The new website allows us to delay the publication of front page new notices to specific dates and also allow us to keep new products on the system but hidden so if a release is due it can still go ahead with a click of a button whether we are away or if Sally is ill.

Phase 2 of the new website will go ahead in January. 

The workbench facility will be active by then as will also other older features like ‘Fluff’ and ‘tutorials’ .  There might not be a lot of other noticeable changes on your side however for us there will be more interventions that allow us to more efficiently function as a business and will include allowing us to produce specific financial reports including VAT, range sales without manually writing excel spreadsheets or adding up sale lists.  This will reduce admin yet again and ensure we don’t keep falling behind with our taxes and bills, something that again happens when Sally is ill and leads to the knock-on effects of slower email responses and late releases as she deals with the urgent stuff first.  We are also hoping that the entire catalogue will also be downloadable as a pdf by this stage.

381
General Ranting / Shiny New Website for Hasslefree
« on: November 10, 2011, 08:44:07 PM »
As always we thank you for your support.  Tony Stapells our current webmaster has been amazing in getting us started but i dont think anyone could have predicted the last 8 years rollercoaster!

As most regular Fod'ers are aware, the last couple of years in particular have been really hard for us at HF.  Ongoing family and health issues means we have not had as much time to spend on HF as we would have liked and add to this a seemingly perpetual stream of disasters it seems like we are always chasing our tails and never quite catching up!  If we said that we hadnt considered at least a dozen times on just walking away then we would be lying!  However in true HF fashion our stubborness and bloody-mindedness comes through and we find another way of coping.

Something that has been on the cards now for at least 2 years is a new website, one that will not only be easy for you to navigate but also help us out with the ever-increasing levels of admin.

Over the course of a year before commissioning the new website we undertook various time and motion studies, work logs, customer comments and questionaires and have tried to iron out presenting issues as much as we can with features integrated within the new website.

We have tried to keep the feel of the old HF site with similar colourways but have (we hope) taken in a big step further into an efficient E-Commerce site without losing the personal touches.  We didn’t want HF to become ‘Faceless’, it is still Kev and Sally just with a bit of botox to try and make life easier for us and you.

The new website does indeed look shiny and pretty but it is also very practical and we have tried to make it ‘intuitive’.  What you can see and play with now is the fully functional first phase.  This is the foundation E-Commerce site which will enable us to build customer levels back up to fund our continued growth and further development not just in the other planned phases of the website but also in our release schedule and what we offer you as customers.

The second phase will add extra features, some of which will be led by you in your feedback forms that we hope you will fill in for us online eiother as questionairres or forum polls.  We have always been ‘customer-led’ and this aspect hasn’t changed.


1:  Tidier front page:


For you:  Shopping and browsing at the top,  latest releases as scrolling images just in case you missed something, news and notifications in the middle including Facebook, legal and other stuff at the bottom.  We have tried to put the stuff you look at most often near the top so you don’t have to keep scrolling to find things.

For us:
  Easier to update means as regulations change we can ensure we comply straight away, images of releases stay on the front page longer so we get less emails asking about figure x,y,z and if it has been released yet.



2:   Customer accounts: 


For you:    These will enable you to track your order and see when it is despatched, you will also receive an email when your order is shipped complete with tracking info if you have chosen that shipping option.  You will also be able to select different addresses for orders to go to.  Orders placed but needing to go on hold for a few days can be stored in your account.  We are also adding ‘wishlists’ and the ability to store credit vouchers in your account so you don’t need to rely on us to manually process anything anymore and if you lose your balance slip you can check online.

For us:      Less emails querying order statuses means less admin time. Currently we manually email when an order is shipped but now we just press a button and it does it for us. Credit balances stored in your accounts means less admin for us



3:  Online stock levels: 

For you:    These will show you if something you want is in or out of stock.  These means less back orders and more efficient shopping for you.  Pictures of codes that are currently out of stock will still show, you just won’t be able to add them to your basket.
If a pack is made from multiple single codes then it won’t let you add the pack if one of the codes is out of stock, again removing the chaos of back orders.
Adding soon are email notifications so that if you want something that is out of stock the website will email you when it comes back in stock.

For us: No more manual stock checks, no more back orders which cost time, money and packaging resources,  less emailing of notifications.  We also have a facility where we can now see which codes will need restocking in what period of time based on current sales which allows us to restock more often as we need it rather than just guessing if we don’t have time for a full stock check.


4:  Searching. 

For you:  The database has been updated with tags for product codes.  Only basic ones are in at the moment but it will make browsing easier for you.  New tags will be added as new media/ranges develop. Tags being added reflect popular culture and weapons as well as genres.

For us:  less emails asking if we still sell x,y,z and if so where is it as you can’t find it.



5:  Streamlined product categories: 


For you :  One of the usual gripes with the old site was that things got ‘hidden’ in multiple layers as the ranges expanded over the years.  The new site has made browsing easier with a main category bar across the top with pulldown menus…less clicks to find what you want has got to be easier.  The control panel also allows us to enter product codes into multiple categories whilst still taking from the same stock levels and using the same information.

For us:  Easier manipulation of the control panel on the server lets us recategorise and cross-post codes into categories to make your browsing more efficient whilst minimising admin time this end.  It also allows us to easily add new categories as well as short runs of items efficiently so that we can clear out the odds and ends that you guys say you want to buy but the labour needed to do that on the old system makes this unviable.


6:  Product codes:

For you:  everything has a code, so instead of lists on item pages you now have a code and an associated thumbnail for everything  we have…less scrolling through deeper shop levels for you and less potential mistakes in your orders.

For us:  Efficient stock checking.  Easier order picking, easier restocking.


7:  Shipping prices.

For you:  Everything in the shop has been weighed.  There is a shipping matrix that has been implemented that will calculate your shipping costs based on where you live, what service you choose and the weight of your order.  Some prices on items will now fall as they had a shipping supplement previously added to them to cover the heavier weight/shipping costs.

For us:  Shipping has been an area where we have consistently lost money over the years with us having to price some lower priced but heavier items higher than they need to in order to try and cover the shipping costs for that item.



8:  Payment system.

For you:   Issues with Paypal have meant that we relied on a manual invoicing system with the old website, now when you proceed through to payment you will automatically be directed to the secure server for both Paypal and Credit Card payments.

For us:   We will halve the amount of paper/toner we use immediately for order processing.  Time we currently use directly for order processing will also reduce by about 50%  immediately with a knock-on effect to other admin systems including emails when Paypal mucks something up or an invoice gets lost!


9:  Promotions

For you:  More efficient use of promo codes that don’t rely on manually processing orders or refunds.  Codes can be entered at checkout for specific discounts or cross-purchasing.

For us:  Less admin and manual processing = more efficient.



10:  VAT implementation

For you: If you are shopping from a country that doesn’t need to pay UK VAT then you can purchase without paying it, this means ultimately you get more for your money.  UK customers however still have to pay VAT, sorry but we can’t do anything about that as much as we would like to.

For us: Fairer pricing for you means happier customers and less emails asking if we can refund VAT!

***********************

Overall we have tried to take away a lot of the old manual systems that relied on people (specifically Sally most of the time) for interventions.  This means we can train staff easily in the current computerised systems and give Sally time to rest when she needs it therefore reducing the admin backlog she seems permanently trapped under.  This means that when she is ill or the kids are on school holidays then HF won’t stop and she can focus on things that aren’t essential  for daily admin but things that will help us get new figures to you more efficiently including keeping on top of productions schedules, maintaining cashflow, newsletters and notifications, advertising and PR (plus cracking a whip over Kevs head).

The new website allows us to delay the publication of front page new notices to specific dates and also allow us to keep new products on the system but hidden so if a release is due it can still go ahead with a click of a button whether we are away or if Sally is ill.

Phase 2 of the new website will go ahead in January. 

The workbench facility will be active by then as will also other older features like ‘Fluff’ and ‘tutorials’ .  There might not be a lot of other noticeable changes on your side however for us there will be more interventions that allow us to more efficiently function as a business and will include allowing us to produce specific financial reports including VAT, range sales without manually writing excel spreadsheets or adding up sale lists.  This will reduce admin yet again and ensure we don’t keep falling behind with our taxes and bills, something that again happens when Sally is ill and leads to the knock-on effects of slower email responses and late releases as she deals with the urgent stuff first.  We are also hoping that the entire catalogue will also be downloadable as a pdf by this stage.

383
Ooooooh !  :boing:
The +vat thing on the prices make it a little confusing -but I can live with that !

its because the Ltd company is VAT registered, so we show the prices excluding VAT and then VAT is added on at checkout.  This means that overseas customers who dont usually pay VAT can see more accurately the prices.

384
As I said on Facebook, love the new site.  Hope the investment works out.

One issue (minor) - when you register, and then check your details, it shows you your own password in plain text.  That's slightly worrying because it means it's being stored as a password, probably in plain text in the database, rather than the more secure method of storing it as a hash + salt.

Might want to mention it to the folk who've put the site together for you - it makes me nervous about my data.

will do that right now.  thanks for pointing it out.  no payment data is stored on the site, everything money-wise goes through Sagepay , including even Paypal now so no more manual invoicing!

385
Announcements and News / Re: Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!
« on: November 10, 2011, 06:30:02 PM »
should be working now, sorry so tired i forgot to add the link!

386
Announcements and News / Phase 1 complete!...woohooo!...shiny new website!
« on: November 10, 2011, 06:22:06 PM »
Okay, finally we get a chance to unveil what we have been working on lately.  Live payment gateway was established a couple of days ago and we have been testing it.

  The next week or so we arent going to announce it anywhere except here and the Facebook page whilst we ensure that there arent any bug or glitches we havent ironed out.  As soon as the kids are in bed i will be posting a guide to whats new and why.  This is phase 1, phase 2 and 3 are planned and i will give you more info later on.

Dont worry about changing bookmarks as very shortly the page for www.hasslefreeminiatures.co.uk will be redirecting onto the new site at www.hfminis.co.uk

thanks lots for your patience guys, check out the new releases already up and have a look aroudn the nw shop layouts, see if it is is easier for you to find stuff.  Any issues etc contact me please!

387
Announcements and News / Re: Production release dates
« on: November 08, 2011, 04:12:22 PM »
Any update on the multipart dwarfs Sally?

masters need to be cleaned and moulds allocated, have to pay a restock bill for the caster first though :(

388
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 09:22:36 PM »
thats a very dark book, i didnt like reading it as a child,

389
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 04:35:29 PM »
It isnt that the UK is bad, it is just dont want to spend the rest of my life here without experiencing other countries and cultures.  When Kev and i got together one of the things we both wanted to do is travel.  Culturally i have lived in an English village and hated every minute, i have also lived in cities and although i loved it, it isnt what i want for my kids. Anything in between is unaffordable.  I dont want to spend the next 20 years worrying about mortgage payments/ever-rising utility bills/social issues and then retire to be doing exactly the same.  I dont want to live for work 24/7 i want to work so that i can live my life, afterall i only have one of them and it is going past at an extremely fast rate of knots right now. 

Yes i know they are going to be social issues/ educational issues there wherever we go however if we emigrate we can afford a larger house and better standard of living for less money than we are paying out now.  The children can experience new cultures and the lower outgoings will mean we can do what we want to do which is travel.  If i need to i can home teach

Two near-death experiences in as many years had made me change my priorities in life as to who and what is important to me, my responsibility lies now with providing the best standard of life for myself and my kids that i can and i dont think UK holds that for me at this moment in time.  I have let a couple of life-changing experiences pass me by already in my life and regretted not having the guts to act on them, if it doesnt work out then we can come back!

Where exactly we go isnt that important as home is where the heart is, so as long as Kev and I are together that is all that counts, and my husband and my kids are my life

390
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 02:36:18 PM »
Well thanks very much!...we may well take you up on that offer when we come to doing the proper scouting rather than just dreaming and planning.  This area does have a lot more of what would please both of us.  whats the nearest international airport?

391
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 02:20:44 PM »
lol, such an insight into the whites lifes.

Sorry   :oops:  i forget sometimes that i am not in private message mode!  Its because Kev is at the Ripley office and i am at home, i miss having someone to banter with.  Sarcasm is a bit lost on a sickly 8 yr old!

392
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 02:10:08 PM »
How about pork? :angel:

thats what i love about you, you do pretend innocence so well!

393
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 02:03:32 PM »
so thats no beef, no lamb and no alcohol for about a week...is that enough punishment?

394
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 01:55:11 PM »
Neither. I was being silly. Sugar rush from the lollies I nicked from the packing bench.

tut, tut, tut.  you do realise i may need to punish you now dont you?.......  :whip:

395
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 01:52:49 PM »
What's for dinner?

turkey, bacon, onion and spinach steamed pudding with mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli and carrots

Quote
Are we there yet?

New IPs just need to be entered into Sagepay and then we can re-point the DNS!

or did you mean are we ready to move?

396
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 01:31:48 PM »
You've kind of summed up a lot of my reservations about that area of the 'States... although i hadn't even considered the schooling side of things, other than greater travelling times for the kids :erm:

Kev wants mountains/cougars/fishing/hunting.  I want heat and beaches!

397
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 01:31:02 PM »
Thanks Jeff,

yes we have loads of research to do yet, emigrating isnt something that is going to happen in the very near fuure as we have business committments in the UK and family ties. The house i posted the example of was just to show people to us what the attraction is to emigrating

When we do get to the stage where we have to sell our house/apply for visas etc we will research more thoroughly potential areas for moving to and wont buy immediately, we will rent for a period of time and scout the area to find where we want to be.  For us the main consderation is schools and where we eventually end up will be based upon that and also where there will be employment opportunities for the kids. Also we dont particularly want to end up in an area where 90% of hurricanes pass over our immediate heads!  We bought our house where we are now based on the catchment area of a school!

thanks for the advice though, much appreciated!

398
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 10:38:45 AM »
Give me the beach, the woods and fresh water springs any time.
That sounds idyllic!

what sounds even more idyllic is a 4 bed, 2 bathroom property with double garage on 1.2 acres of land on the edge of a Lake for USD$72,00 or look at this 5 bed place

http://www.findaproperty.com/displayprop.aspx?edid=09&salerent=0&pid=10021153

tell me guys where in the Uk could you live like this for Ł85,000?

399
Libertee's Miscellaneous Musings II / Re: Thinking of Emigrating
« on: November 04, 2011, 08:26:41 AM »
The other night i was looking at the Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola areas predominantly but i did go one county further north into Marion.  Property in Lake is really cheap compared to UK prices. 

400
Eye Candy / Re: Grymn Walker Image updates
« on: October 28, 2011, 08:30:21 AM »
When I first saw it, I thought it looked like a Grymn Walker...

 :applause:

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