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March GroundStrike Collectibles Newsletter

This is the March 2011 edition of the Newsletter.  To get the full newsletter regularly, sign up now!

GroundStrike Collectibles Newsletter
Vol. 12 No. 2
March 2011

Hi Limoges Collectors!

If anything motivates me to send out an email to my customers, it is the knowledge of something that will impact my customers in the Limoges world... and so it is with this newsletter. After a couple years of reasonably steady prices, many of our Limoges boxes are jumping up in price - with some price jumps that will knock your socks off!

Price Increases
I'm not happy about it, of course, because with each increase, there are simply fewer people that can afford to collect Limoges boxes. When the average price for a Limoges box moved from $100 to the mid-$100s several years ago, that cut out a lot of casual "gift buyers" - those that would buy a Limoges box as a "thank you" gift for a friend or associate, or even a birthday gift for a relative. After all, for many of us, there is a sort of psychological threshold around $100 - above that, the "giftee" or the occasion has to be *very* special!

GroundStrike has been an online retailer of Limoges boxes since 1996 - the first "Exclusively Limoges Boxes" dealer online. We made the decision 15 years ago to sell only Limoges boxes, and we maintain that exclusivity today. In that time, however, not one part of the cost equation for selling Limoges boxes has ever gone down... paper, postage, packing supplies, tissue, printing, labor, insurance, etc., etc. - and especially the Limoges boxes themselves! Since Limoges boxes are priced in Euros, the higher value of the Euro versus the dollar causes price increases to be magnified even further. Whew!

One of our premium brands, Rochard, has announced their new prices. In fairness to them, they have not raised their prices in three years even though their costs and international shipping rates have skyrocketed. But be prepared: their prices will rise from 5% to 21% starting at noon CDT on March 31. The average increase will be 8%. For example, our 4205 Scarecrow in the Pumpkin Patch, currently priced at $292.95, will be $317.95. Lower priced boxes will see the largest percentage increases - our popular 4146 Baby's First Curl will rise from $108.95 currently to $127.95 - an almost 18% increase.

Even more painfully, the primary supplier for our Limoges Magnifique brand will raise their prices from 8% to 23%, with an average increase of 14%. This has been our value line with some of our most popular boxes, such as the 1476 Luscious Birthday Cake. But starting at noon on March 31, its current price of $117.95 will rise to $138.95, an 18% increase. Ouch!

I'm truly sorry about that and we will continue to do everything we can to obtain the highest quality Limoges boxes at the best prices we can get. An open request to all our suppliers: our customers need the best quality boxes at the lowest prices - if you can second-source any of the boxes in our catalog at lower prices, contact me right away!

Some Good News!
So is there any good news out there? Well, for one, we're not going to raise all our prices at once... all items we currently have in stock in Austin will stay at their current prices until we have to restock them at the new prices (these are the boxes that show "Express Shipping Available" in their descriptions). Be aware that we generally have only one or two of any given box, so they may sell out quickly. ALL boxes marked "Ships in 3-5 days" will go up to their new prices at noon Central Time on March 31, since we'll be charged the new prices on orders after that time. If you've got your eye on any of those, now is the time to act!

Bye Buys!
We recently introduced a new web page called our "Bye Buys". These are boxes that have been retired and we are down to our last one or two. We are going to drop the price on these boxes a little bit every day until they sell out or hit $0.00, whichever comes first! Keep watching the Bye Buy page at:

http://www.groundstrike.com/limoges/other/1byebuys.htm

You can wait till the piece gets down to your price, but fair warning - it's first come, first served, and when it's gone, it's gone for good! When one box sells out, we'll add another to the list and restart the "countdown"!

Newsletter Subscriber Sale!
GroundStrike is having a banner year so far in 2011... the upturn in the economy apparently has released some pent-up demand and we've been very busy. So that's good for us, and we'll share the good news by repeating one of our most popular sales ever - the Rochard Catalog 20% Off Sale!

This sale will be exclusively for our newsletter subscribers, so the normal prices will be shown online. However, if you type "Rochard Sale" into the Personalization/Special Instructions box when you checkout, we will deduct 20% off all Rochard boxes (items numbers that start with "4" only). Note that the discount will not be shown online or in your confirmation email; however, we will apply the discount before we charge your card, and it will show on your shipping invoice. The discount doesn't apply to phone orders or sale items and no other discounts apply. The sale ends Monday night, Apr. 4, 2011 at 11:59 PM CDT... but remember, many Rochard boxes will go up in price at noon on Mar. 31, so place your order before then for your best savings!

One more important thing before I end this LONG email... to our collector friends in New Zealand, Australia, and especially Japan, our hearts go out to you for your tragic losses in recent weeks and months. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families, and we wish for you only good things.

Thanks for being our loyal customer... we appreciate it!  Take care,

Sam Juliano
GroundStrike Collectibles
8905 Glenlake Drive
Austin, TX  78730
Toll free: 888-770-8276
http://www.groundstrike.com

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