I want to be clear and honest about what is happening with the backlog situation for a minute here.
The laser I have been using up until recently is small, barely more than a hobby laser. It was never meant to be used in a production environment. The business was growing much faster than the little laser could handle and so I did the only thing I could to try to keep up - I ordered a very large production workhorse-sized laser from China. Over 2 months ago - and it finally arrived. Damaged. Beyond repair.
I tried to repair it - I spent almost a week working on it in hopes that I could get it up and running and plow through the backlog. Unfortunately, all I ended up doing was wasting a week that I could have been filling orders. I've filed for a refund, I've filed claims with the shipping companies, I've done everything I can think of to try to get my money out of this pile of scrap so I can try to get another one in here to help with the crush of orders.
Solving this will take time. I understand the frustration that you, as customers, must feel to have ordered something that shows as "in stock" and then end up waiting weeks (some of you over a month) to find it hasn't even shipped yet. I've been there myself, as I think all of us have in this hobby. Setbacks happen and we wait it out, hoping that eventually things work out and our products finally arrive.
I can promise you - they will arrive. Through all of this I've considered throwing in the towel, closing the doors and getting a job that puts money in my pocket (I haven't paid myself in months - it has all gone to the laser and business growth) and the one thing I've realized is that even though it feels like everything has gone wrong and I've reached the bottom - things can only get better if I persevere and work through the issues. The time to quit is when you're on top, not at the bottom.
Getting through all of this will take effort and I'm asking for your help. I've created an entirely new vertical with no competition and the demand is overwhelming. If you would like to compete and are serious about it, let me know. I might be happy to share my designs and knowledge with the right person(s) to spread the load out, preferably to other continents. Be prepared to spend some money on a decent laser, a large stock of foam and packaging materials, and a big enough space to handle it all.
If competing with me is a little more than you're willing to help with, maybe you can help another way. I've had multiple people say they'd like to chip in somehow and I think I've found a way to make that happen, with a reward as thanks.
Anyone who buys a gift certificate of $50 or more during the month of January will be sent a discount code forXX% off anyitems I manufacture- for life. This includes foam, dyed keycaps, acrylic cases, pom plates, etc. If I have a hand in producing the item - the discount applies. If I've ordered it and stuffed it into a box (PCBs, group buy keysets, etc.) it will not apply unless otherwise noted. Discounts will be mailed out within a day or two of purchase, unless I can figure out how to automate the process.
$25 = 10% atgboards.ca (one time use)
$50 = 5%
$100 = 10%
$150+ = 15%
Assuming I get a few people to help with this, I should be able to order at least another small laser to help cover the load until I get the situation with the big laser resolved. Asking for help with this is hard, but keeping people waiting is harder. If anyone has other suggestions for me please, send them my way - I'm listening.