Big news from Ponoko

You can now make and ship from USA and NZ!

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By the end of the day today (Friday June 5th, Pacific time) our existing making hub in Wellington, New Zealand will be joined by a new hub in San Francisco, United States, and our online making system will be updated to reflect this big change.

This means you will be able to get your products made and delivered from both USA and NZ.

It also means that by the end of the day today all Prime members will get free shipping from our USA node to any continental USA destination (excluding Alaska), or shipped from our NZ node to any NZ destination for all orders of $100 or more (making + materials).

Yippeee! This is another small step we are taking to bring you the world’s easiest making system.

This means you can:

  1. Continue to make and ship products from the existing NZ hub, using the NZ materials catalog; AND
  2. Also make and ship products from the new USA hub, using the US materials catalog.

Here are some more details about this or scroll to the bottom of this post to get the quick start summary!

So how does this affect you?
This all depends upon your shipping destination:

USA or Canada
If your shipping destination is in the USA or Canada it is more cost effective (and greener) for you to make and ship your products from the new USA hub. This is because the shipping miles to deliver to a US or Canadian destination from the US hub is substantially lower than the miles to deliver from the NZ hub. No brainer.

UK, Europe or Northern Asia
If your shipping destination is in the UK, Europe or Northern Asia it is roughly the same price (but certainly greener) for you to make and ship your products from the new USA hub. We encourage you to use the US hub so we can more rapidly increase our bargaining power with the new US shipping provider and bring these costs down for you.

NZ, Australia or Southern Asia
If your shipping destination is in NZ, Australia or Southern Asia it is the same price for you to continue to make and ship your products from the existing NZ hub. So there’s no change for you. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

Still not sure? Well, login to your MyPonoko account to check out the differences for yourself!


The changes in a little more detail – for existing members

Just one change
When you login to your existing MyPonoko account, you’ll immediately notice one change …

Under the ‘MyDesigns’ tab your existing products (tip: product = design + material) will be tagged with a NZ flag. This flag tells you where your product will be made and shipped from.

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So, if you decide to click to make any of your current products (tagged with a NZ flag), you’ll see that they will continue to be made and shipped from the existing NZ hub.

In other words, while there’s a visual design change to your MyPonoko account, there’s no practical change. Easy.

Set and forget
BUT … what if you want to make and ship from the new USA hub instead of the existing NZ hub?

Well, you need to do just one thing – change your default country preference from NZ to USA. That’s all there is to it – set and forget.

You can change your preference country by clicking here, and selecting USA instead of NZ.

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Selecting the USA country preference
If you choose to change your country preference to USA instead of NZ, you’ll notice 2 key things:

  1. Your EXISTING products will be tagged with a NZ flag.
    In other words, all of your existing products will continue to be made and shipped from the NZ hub (just as they were when your country preference was NZ). This is because the materials have been selected from the NZ materials catalog.
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  2. Your NEW products will be tagged with a USA flag.
    In other words, all of your new products will be made and shipped from the USA hub. This is because the materials have been selected from the USA materials catalog.Â

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How to get products made and shipped from the new USA hub
First, make sure you have set your country preference to USA (instead of NZ).

Then, create a new product in two different ways:

  1. Upload a design and add materials (just like you always have previously). Easy peazy.
  2. Change the materials of an existing design tagged with a NZ flag. To do this you click on the product image, click on ‘View details’ of the materials attached to this design, then click on ‘Change materials’ and follow your nose through the drop down menus as per normal.

In both of the cases immediately above you will only be able to select materials from the USA catalog. And as a result of adding these USA materials to your design, your products will be tagged with a USA flag. Which means they will be made and shipped from the new USA hub.


The changes in a little more detail – for new members
When you signup for a new MyPonoko account, you can now choose your default country preference on the signup page.

If you choose USA, you will only be able to add materials from the US catalog. This means all your products will be tagged with a USA flag, and hence they will be made and shipped from the new US hub.

If you choose NZ, you will only be able to add materials from the NZ catalog. This means all your products will be tagged with a NZ flag, and hence they will be made and shipped from the existing NZ hub.


The changes in a little more detail – for everyone
All visitors to our public website will view the new USA materials catalog by default, instead of the existing NZ catalog. But you can still view the NZ materials catalog by using the US/NZ toggle button at the top right hand side of the materials page.

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A few other things to think about …

You can change your country preference at any time
This means you can make and ship products from both the NZ and USA hubs simply by changing the country preference before you add materials to a design.

In simplicity, the only thing that determines whether a product is made and shipped from the USA hub or the NZ hub is where the materials are sourced. If you choose materials from the USA catalog (which is only possible when you have chosen USA as your country preference), then products will be made and shipped from the USA hub. And vice-versa.Â

Some items in ‘MyDesigns’ are not tagged with a country flag
A country flag will not appear in 2 cases:

  1. When you have uploaded a design file, but have not added a material to it. A country flag is not displayed because you have not created a product by coupling a design with materials selected from either the USA or NZ catalogs.
  2. When you are hosting a product (ie, design + materials) with 2 or more material set options – eg, ring design and black acrylic or red acrylic. A country flag is not displayed because one of these material set options may have been selected from the USA catalog while the other may have been selected from the NZ catalog.

The USA and NZ materials catalogs are purposely different
For example, some materials available in the NZ catalog (like NZ native Rimu) are not available in the US catalog, and vice versa. As a further example, some materials that appear to be the same (eg, white acrylic) may be different too (ie, the NZ catalog material is sourced in millimeters, whereas the US catalog material is sourced in inches). Over time both the USA and NZ materials catalogs will continue to grow. And the best way for you to speed this up is to request new materials. When you do this, we’ll make just for you – then add the new material to the public catalog. So you’re in control of how fast it grows!Â

Checking the pricing differences between the 2 making hubs
We do not currently have the online facility for you to do a side-by-side pricing comparison of making and shipping the same product from the USA hub versus the NZ hub. But you can do this by setting the USA as your country preference and checking the pricing to make and ship a product from the USA hub, then repeating the pricing process with NZ set as your default country preference.

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And finally …

You’ve got a price freeze grace period
To give you some time to get up to speed with this new system, all of the shipping costs from the NZ hub will remain the same to all shipping destinations until the end of June 2009.

This means the immediate change to your current MyPonoko account will be a visual one only – there’s no change in where or how your NZ flagged products are made, and there’s no change in the pricing.

But from July 1st 2009 Pacific time, and because we now have a new US hub, the shipping costs from the existing NZ hub will go to full market rate for all shipping destinations outside of NZ and Australia.

In other words, you will pay the true cost to ship a product from the NZ hub without the current subsidies. This means you will be able to compare apples with apples on the shipping costs from the different making hubs. And the concept of distributed digital making will become crystal clear. In an over simplification of the situation, the lower your shipping cost, the lower the carbon footprint of your product.

In short, if you want to make things using materials from the NZ catalog June 2009 is the last month to do it at the very best price – because the cost of the shipping will increase at the start of next month.


What do you do next?
Phew! Well, that all depends on what’s important to you. Here’s a quick guide …

I want to continue to make and ship products from the NZ hub only
Take a chill pill. Just keep doing what you do. No change necessary. Just login here to see the visual differences.

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I want to make and ship products from the new USA hub only
3 steps:

  1. Change your country preference from NZ to USA here; then
  2. Change your materials for each of your existing products here.
  3. Add new products (design + materials) here.

(By default, all your new materials selections in steps 2 and 3 will be from the USA catalog and this means all NZ materials will be deleted and all of your existing and new products will be tagged with a USA flag).

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I want to make and ship products from both the NZ and USA hubs
2 steps:

  1. Change your country preference from NZ to USA here; then
  2. Add new products (design + materials) here.

(By default, all your new materials selections in step 2 will be from the USA catalog and this means all of your existing products will remain tagged with a NZ flag while all of your new products will be tagged with a USA flag).

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Go to it!
This is just one more small step in us bringing you the future of making – it’s online, it’s digital and it’s local. This means it’s easy, it’s communal and it’s green.

We really hope you enjoy the changes. We’ve worked really hard to get to this point and we’re super charged to see what you think about them.

And remember if you are a Prime member, shipping is free  from our USA node to any continental USA destination (excluding Alaska), or shipped from our NZ node to any NZ destination for all orders of $100 or more (making + materials).


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Yay, this is GREAT NEWS! Congratulations Ponoko! This will be a huge help to many of us.

Very cool!

Just for reference – can you give us any info on how much shipping from NZ will increase after July 1st? In other words, what was the amount you subsidized for shipments so far? (roughtly, percent-wise) Would that be amount I can see in “non-prime” section when I order?
In case on my latest order I paid 24$ for prime shipping and I see 37$ there in non-prime column. Is that it?

Reason I ask is that I just placed some lamps for sale which are made from material not available in US catalog – so I may need to continue ordering from NZ… until get US materials worked out correctly and rework design for accurate thickness of new material.

    Ponoko Team

    Igor – very roughly speaking we have been subsidizing the shipping rates from NZ to the rest of the world by a factor of between 2 and 5. (This is not a Free / Prime account thing – everyone was subsidized by the same amount). And the reason for the month long grace period is to give you the opportunity to switch materials from the NZ to the US catalog. THIS is the very best way to bring shipping costs down – we’ve now put the power into your hands.

Wl, we be able to pick up our orders like u can in NZ? This is the greenest option for people living in the bay area!

    Ponoko Team

    Yes, you’ll be able to pick up from both our US and NZ hubs.

Wooooooooooooooooooooo

Congratulations and best of luck

Congrats Ponoko, next hub needs to be in Europe!

Is it your goal to have matching boards at both hubs along with an automated system which, if a product goes to the USA it automatically ships from San Francisco?

>It also means that by the end of the day today all
>Prime members will get free shipping to NZ and
>continental USA (excluding Alaska) on all orders
>over $100.

Just to clarify, if I ship an item from NZ hub to Florida (USA), it still qualifies for free shipping if over 100$ even if it doesn’t get made in the USA right?

Jon
http://WoodMarvels.com – Create Unique Memories

some guy

>Just to clarify, if I ship an item from NZ hub
>to Florida (USA), it still qualifies for free
>shipping if over 100$ even if it doesn’t get
>made in the USA right?

I don’t think so. The longer version of that statement says:

>if you are a Prime member, shipping is free from our >USA node to any continental USA destination
>(excluding Alaska),
and
> or shipped from our NZ node to any NZ >destination for all orders of $100 or more

So what’s the story? It’s almost June 6th in the USA and I still don’t see the US materials catalog. Any ETA?

Thanks!

    Ponoko Team

    Thanks Someguy – that is accurate about the free shipping deal.

some guy

Got it. I see that the new US catalog is online, I had to change my preferences to see it. I was looking for the “US/NZ toggle button” but I guess that’s not up and running yet.

Cool to get a look at the new US options. Thanks Ponoko!

All visitors to our public website will view the new USA materials catalog by default, instead of the existing NZ catalog. But you can still view the NZ materials catalog by using the US/NZ toggle button at the top right hand side of the materials page.

Bookwyrm

Wow . . . what an amazing dearth of materials in the US catalogue.

Yes, yes, we can request any material through Prime, but still . . . it was much more convenient to have the plywood options, and the new leather one about which I was excited, by default.

Are you planning to work on that, at all?

    Ponoko Team

    The way we add new materials to the public catalog is after you request them. So if you want to make something, please request it, we’ll source it, make it and then add it to the catalog for all of your future orders. We do it this way because then we are adding materials that people actually want, not what we think you might want. So yes, we are definitely growing the US (and the NZ) online catalogs.

Do you have any plans of opening a hub in EU?

    Ponoko Team

    A hub in EU? Something is coming which will blow you away! 🙂

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