Boycotting Black Friday in Favour of a Week of Generosity

Posted by Jasen Robillard on

For the last few weeks, we've been fielding several questions with respect to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the ever expanding weeks of discounted pricing that we all have grown accustomed to over the last 5+ years. Our intent is to hold firm on boycotting what we feel is a disruptive and negative force on small businesses like ours. Instead we would like to lean into our value of generosity: from Monday November 29th to Sunday Dec 5th, your gift giving and purchases through StumpCraft will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alberta, a local charity with a focus on families and health (details further below).
2021 StumpCraft Giving Week

Running a small puzzle business is a ridiculously hard thing, especially at a point in time when there is more puzzle content in the world, some of which are knock-off copycats or of extremely low quality. Having a lower sale price than the competition is certainly a way of standing out, but ultimately that results in a race to the bottom where no-one wins. It's simply not possible or wise for a small company like ours to attempt to take on the promotions and features of the larger companies like Amazon. These behemoths have an insane advantage, and one they can use to slowly push out competition. The reality is that the margins on selling our puzzles are already pretty low as it is, notwithstanding working within the current economic challenges of covid-related hiring, selling and supply-chain related matters.

As a small business, we've been extremely consistent in our pricing throughout our short history of puzzle making. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible when it comes to costs, both in terms of our puzzle prices as well as our shipping fees. Quite often businesses will raise their prices shortly before a sale, to compare their "sale price" to this elevated standard price. Perhaps to our detriment, we've opted out of these typical marketing strategies and pricing bumps that are used to factor in "free shipping" or "flash discounting".

We strongly believe these strategies devalue our product (and wooden puzzles in general), while also setting up false expectations that we simply can't keep up long term. This is especially the case at this time of the year when we're at local holiday craft markets speaking to patrons in person. We don't want our patrons being held hostage to a flash 24-hr sale, or second guessing the timing of their purchases thinking there might be a sale around the corner. So for the time being, we'll aim to buck the trend and stick with our purposefully uncommon puzzle approach.

So what are we doing instead?

  1. For every purchase made during our "Giving Week" of Monday November 29th to Sunday December 5th, we will include a free StumpCraft personalized note card (up to 250 characters, or blank if you wish to handwrite a note yourself). Subject to us running out!
    (use coupon code GIVINGWEEK - typically valued at $7.50)

  2. For every 20 puzzles sold during this week, we will donate a StumpCraft puzzle to the Ronald McDonald House Alberta Society. Our goal is to provide a select collection of StumpCraft Puzzles to each of the four Alberta-based Houses.
2021 StumpCraft Giving Week - Benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta

Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta supports families seeking vital medical treatment for their seriously ill or injured child. Their warm, compassionate Houses provide a home-away-from-home for families who need to travel for medical reasons. When those families are experiencing one of life’s most difficult times – their Houses offer them the gift of togetherness. Should you wish to double down on your gift giving, you can also donate directly to Ronald McDonald House on #givingtuesday, and your donation will be doubled through other generous donors.

We hope you can get behind this idea, and help us bring many families together around a puzzle this Holiday Season!

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