FAQ


~GENERAL QUESTIONS~

updated July 16th 2015

Q: What the heck is decanting?
A: Decanting is creating samples of something from a full item. Usually for limited edition items that companies are not offering samples of themselves.  We do NOT do decants for scent that brands already offer their own samples for. We do more than just perfumes!  

Q: How long will it take you to ship my package?
A: That depends on a lot of things. Some companies have a very long turn around time (the time between placing our order and the order being shipped). Some as long as 14 - 28 business days. Others are super quick! Add another 1 - 3 days for me to decant the items and pack them up to ship to you. If you are combining packages, your package won't ship until everything is ready. 

Q: How do I order?
A: All circles and other orders on the site now come with their own handy-dandy order form at the top of the page! (Some browsers don't like the forms.  Sometimes a java update does the trick) Or, you can comment to the corresponding update post in the /IMAM/ community, our subreddit /AjeviesCircles/ or on the Facebook group page. Or, you can email me angi@ajevie.com :)  If you do not use the form, always provide the following information...
Name:
Email:
Country Shipping to:
Shipping address or surname if I have the address:
What you'd like:

Q: How will I know what's going on? 
A: Your best bet is to stay connected via our Facebook group or join /AjeviesCircles/. If all else fails, just ask!  Every week on Tuesday I will write a "Plan for the Week" post and publish it to both of those communities so you know what my goals are for that week.  You can also email me angi@ajevie.com

Q: Can I add on full sized items?
A: Yes! By all means! You are welcome to add any in stock item from whatever shop we happen to be getting the decants from.

Q: Wow, how much money do you make doing this?
A: For the first few years, decant circles operated at a loss to me of about $5k a year at its worst.  But, we have FINALLY reached the point where in most cases we break even or only lose when people cancel or fail to pay their portion of the order. This is after many years of trial and error and working with fabulous people. It is my goal to eventually operate decant circles at a profit, that is to say at enough of a profit to pay myself for labor, lol.  BUT, that will not happen without forewarning to not just my patrons, but also the fabulous brands I work with. That step will require a lot of fiddling behind the scenes to keep everything on the up and up without decant prices going up and up. ^_~

Q: Um, I think you messed up my order...
A: Tell me as soon as you suspect there's a mistake!!  Feel free to check my math, ALWAYS check the circle page to make sure you're listed on the bottles that you should be!  If you've changed your address, make sure you have contacted me THROUGH EMAIL to have it updated.  I do not use paypal shipping and I don't look for your address in the order form unless you don't come up in a search of my address book.  Most mistakes are correctable if they're caught in time.  Never be afraid to contact me or correct me!  I make mistakes and I'd much rather you correct me and/or have me double check something than for the problem to get bigger, or worse.

Q: Why are you ignoring me?!
A: I'm not, I promise! I do occasionally miss messages, though.  If it's been a few days and you haven't gotten a reply, please try again!  HOWEVER, do keep in mind that Sundays and Mondays are my days off and I spend them with my family and loved ones, also catching up on household chores and playing videogames. ¬.¬


~DECANTING QUESTIONS~

Q: Tell me about decants!
A: 1ml perfume decants come in 8x35mm vials and will be as full as I can get them with  .5"x1.75" labels. During the warmer months, you may notice your decants just a lil less full. This is to avoid 'popping'. I do add the notes to the label along with the year decanted.  Other decants, tea, soap, bath oil, etc may not be an exact weight/size, but will be the portion you paid for.  For example, teas that come in 3oz bags are divided into 3 even portions.  Some bags may look smaller just because the ingredients are smaller and settle more, such as a fine tea versus a floral or thick leaf tea. :)

Q: Do you do 1/2 decants?
A: No. This is a (sometimes) two person operation consisting of myself and my brother helping with decanting and packing.  During the days, I take care of my mum-in-law who, despite being fiercely independent, is cursed with mobility issues thanks to aggressive MS. I also have chronic nerve pain that occasional flairs and knocks me out for a day or two. In order to offer as many of the things we love as I can, time management is key. Unfortunately, adding half-decants would drastically effect turn-around-time from me. So, it's something I've decided against for no other reason than my personal situation. I'm sure you all understand, I just wanted to put the information out there. :D

Q: Tell me about 1/2 bottles!
A: 1/2s come in two flavors, original and very rarely, plain. Originals come in the original bottle from the company. Plains come in a 1dram bottle and will be marked as such on your invoice and on the webpage. Originals are first come, first serve. That way, we can accommodate as many folks as possible. I try to get it as close as I can without wasting oil by measuring, but the amount of oil in a full bottle varies wildly. So, not all 1/2 bottles will appear to have the same level. Currently, the 1/2bottle option is not available for Arcana collections.

Q: What does a plain 1/2 (1/2*) look like?
A: These are 3 decants that come in a plain 1dram amber bottle with a decant label. 
A 5ml next to a 1dram for comparison. ^_^










Q: What if I want an original bottle, but I've only ordered a decant? 
A: You can request that your decant be in the bottle in the Notes section of your order, but with circles of 40 - 70 patrons, it can be hard to keep up on such requests.  Otherwise, decants in the bottle are given out randomly in orders where the extra weight won't add to the shipping cost.

Q: What is Open Ordering?
A: The open ordering stage of decant circles is roughly 24 hours long.  During this period I will add as many bottles as we need to cover the orders placed in that time.  When Open Ordering has closed, I send out current invoices and IF there is space remaining, the form is edited and reposted.  This is also the point where endangered bottles are marked.

Q: What does it mean when a bottle is Endangered?
A: After Open Ordering, if less than 3/4s of an item was claimed then it is highlighted and called Endangered.  Patrons have until a stated time to save endangered bottles.   If bottles have not been saved, then it is deemed that there is not enough interest and the item is cut from the order.  New totals are emailed out and refunds or substitutions are sent as needed.

Q: How do you decide which patrons are in the cut bottles?
A: The slot order is original decided by the timestamps on the incoming orders.  Once payments begin coming in, paid orders are given preference. 

Q: What does ex. mean?
A: Traditionally, 5ml bottles are divided into 6 decants. However, I have consistently gotten 7, it really depends on the company.  Conjure Oils bottles are hard to squeeze, I've learned, while Arcana bottles are generous. lol. The ex slot represents this 'extra' slot.

Q: One of my bottles got cut, what do I do?
A: I'll be emailing those effected to talk about your options. I can move you to another scent, you can save the amount for a future circle, or I can refund your cuts. It is totally up to you! 

Q: What if I want something from a circle that is no longer accepting orders?
A: All decant circle leftovers eventually find their way onto the Leftovers List. This does not happen until the bulk of packages for that circle have reached their patrons just in case something is lost or if we made a mistake. It also doesn't happen until I have time to go through and list them.  So, if we're in the middle of other big circles, it can take awhile. I do NOT take requests for leftovers before they're on the list. While I would like to, we already have so much to keep track of that adding requests for things we may or may not have in the future is just a hassle we don't need.

~PAYMENT QUESTIONS~

Q: When do I pay you?
A: All monies are needed on or before the stated time the order date. If you can't pay on time then, please let me know and we can make arrangements. If all payments are in before the order date, we'll order early! If you have not paid on time or made arrangements with me, your order will get an email telling you that your order has been cancelled.  Sadly, this happens enough that there is a policy in place.  If I have to cancel you 3 times or any number of orders equalling $80+ for nonpayment, I will no longer be able to take orders from you. :(

Q: How do I pay you?
A: Once Open Ordering has closed, invoices will be sent to your email with directions for payment via paypal. Payments will be in US$. We take all flavors of paypal.  You ALWAYS include the name or nickname you used when ordering so I know who's money it is.  Which circle(s) the money is for is helpful, but not required. :) No other notes are necessary.

Q: Why am I given two totals?
A: Paypal charges fees per transaction from credit/debit card and 'goods' payments. Since we aren't a business, most members like to pay this so that we aren't covering even more cost and our monies can go towards more stuff! You do not have to include fees if you don't want to! But, it is VERY much appreciated, especially if your order is $50+. 

Q: 'Good/Services' vs 'Friends/Family'
A: You can avoid fees altogether if you make your payment via your bank account or paypal balance with the 'Friends/Family' payment option. As far as paypal is concerned, when you use a F/F payment, there is NO product! So, you are not covered by buyer protection.  With my reputation in mind, many folks are perfectly comfortable with this. But, I will not be offended if you aren't!  Paypal fees are figured with this formula (0.029*grandtotal)+0.299+grandtotal

The big issue with Goods/Services payments was discovered in 2012.  We took in almost $33,000.00 for decant circle orders.  That is awesome sauce!  The catch came when Paypal reported it to the IRS as INCOME!!  This resulted in my having to pay the IRS over $900 in taxes just for circles.  (for the curious, it's filed as 'hobby income' and zeroed out by 'hobby expenses', but you still have to pay a certain percent even if you take a loss for the year.)

Avoiding that now is fairly easy.  We can take in up to $20k for the year before Paypal reports it.  The good news is, F/F payments don't count towards this total!  The bulk of decant payments are now coming in this flavor, which means we shouldn't be in any danger of a repeat bankrupting, lol. 

~SHIPPING QUESTIONS~

Q: How is my shipping price figured?
A: All shipping prices are done by weight and priced through my Stamps.com account as first class packages.  There is a chart of prices at the bottom of this page.  Flat Rate shipping is also available and will be used if item and/or order sizes require it. We use Stamps.com and $1 is added to every package to help keep circles operating at cost. Tracking will be included with US and Canadian orders and insurance is available if you ask for it. I am unable to provide DC or insurance for other international participants unless you want to pay for the (usually much) higher shipping rate of Global or Express class.  (Update 2014) Some countries are now providing limited tracking on First Class packages!  I am not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen parcels once they leave my hands.  If something regrettable happens, I will do what I can to make it right, but I can only do so within my means. 

US Shipping Calculator  (zip code 05468)

Q: Can I combine orders?
A: Absolutely! There will be a few options on the decant forms for combining your orders.  Most are self-explanatory  but there is also the option to 'Stack' your orders.  This option will tell me that I am to keep combining your orders until you ask me to send them to you.  All orders can be combine, decants, GO!s, and C/Os.

Q: How much do things weigh?
A: That depends on the things! 10 decants or a 5ml bottle (no matter the amount of oil in the bottle) are about an ounce. Soaps are generally 5 - 6 ounces, bath oil decants are 1.5 ounces. Add an additional ounce for packaging.

Q: What should I know about my customs form?
A: I will always mark your package as 'gift' worth between $5 and $10 regardless of its value. Your items will be listed as 'non-alcoholic fragrance oil' or 'Bath Oil', 'tea', 'hair conditioner' 'soap', 'clothing', etc depending on what it is. Unless you ask me to do otherwise!

Q: How long will it take for my package to reach Australia/UK/Singapore/Etc?
A: Honestly, I have no idea. lol. It sincerely depends on the country and their customs offices.  While you can normally expect your international package to arrive in a timely manner, once in a while, it will get caught in the customs cycle and take a little longer.  Since 2009, we have only had one package disappear forever.  So, there's usually no reason to worry, even if your package seems to be going everywhere but to your door.

Q: How do I change my shipping information with you?
A: This is an important one. The ONLY two places I look for your shipping address are on your submitted order IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY IN MY BOOK and in my address book.  I do NOT use paypal shipping so the address you use there, whether your confirmed address for paypal or anything you put in the notes isn't going to be something I look at. If you need to change your shipping info you MUST email me directly or risk your package going to the wrong address.  If you change your paypal shipping info, or even if you're a regular patron and you change your address with your next order, I will NOT see it and it won't get changed where it needs to. This is all because we have 60+ orders per circle and multiple circles, I can't add checking every address for accuracy to the processing time.  Keeping the address book up to date is a huge time saver and I thank you for helping me keep it that way.  :D


This will be expanded as needed or as I think of stuffs. :3


~POSTAGE PRICE GUIDE~

Remember that these prices have had $1 added for circle costs.  UPDATED June 1st 2015

First Class Rates for thick envelopes/packages
(US FC only goes to 13oz.  International can go much higher so long as the box itself isn't too big)
 OZUS Canada (estimated)Other 
1 - 2  $3.04                  $7.39 $7.36
$3.04  $8.43$10.18 
$3.13$8.43 $10.18 
 5$3.22 $9.51 $13.33 
$3.35$9.51  $13.33
 7$3.53  $9.51 $13.33 
$3.71 $9.51 $13.33 
 $3.89 $10.27$15.40 
 10$4.07 $10.27 $15.40 
11 $4.25  $10.27$15.40 
12 $4.44 $10.27 $15.40
13  $4.63$11.58  $17.16

Flat Rates
(I only use FR when it is either cheaper than FC or the size/shape of the items requires it)
Size US Canada Other 
FR Padded Envelope $6.70 $20.85 $25.25
 Small FR Box$6.95  $20.85 $25.25
 Medium FR Box$13.65  $42.95 $62.95
Large FR Box  $18.90$56.75  $81.95


Comments