After Amazon shut down our account for review (we're working with them to get it restored as soon as possible, but it may take 'up to 30 days' to get the account reviewed, apparently), we've received quite a few requests asking us a rather simple question: Why can't I place an order? Surely, there must be a way of giving you money? We have more than enough cables and dongles in stock; our warehouse is, in fact, a little bit inpatient with us; they're pretty bored because we're not sending any additional orders their way.
The problem is simple: Since we no longer trust PayPal (they have finally released the limitation on our account, but have decided to hang on to $10,000 of our money indefinitely...), and since Amazon are conducting a routine review of our account, we're a little bit stuck...
Why we can't process payments directly
It may sound weird: We have the products that people want, and we have potential customers who want to give us their money, in exchange for these products. What could possibly be the problem?
After all, if you want to give your friend $25, you can send them money in the post, right? Or a cheque? Or perhaps transfer money directly into their bank account? And most companies can accept a fax with a credit card number on it, so they can process it?
All of these things are completely true, but these forms of payment processing are actually extremely expensive in a way most people don't consider that often: Administration time.
Think of it this way: If your friend sends you a $100 cheque, you put it in the bank, and it's job done. Easy.
Now... What if it wasn't one friend, but three thousand of them? And you'd have to keep track of every single payment, and when it is cleared into your bank account, you had to add it to a spreadsheet, send the spreadsheet to a shipping company, and have them send something to your friend? What if some of your friends paid their cousins or friends cash, so they could put the money into our account, which means that even the name on the payment bears no relation to the payments we receive? How would you deal with bounced cheques, people who forget to include their shipping address with the payment, and how would you track the payment from "cheque expected" to "cheque received" to "cheque cleared" to "order sent to warehouse" to "product shipped from warehouse" to "product received by customer"?
The simple truth is that Triggertrap is currently just two people: Matt (who is working really hard on fixing a few bugs on the Triggertrap Mobile app, and working with our manufacturers to resolve the issues that have been plaguing our EU customers), and myself (looking after the Triggertrap v1 and Triggertrap Shield production, and responding with all of our customer support queries). We're currently looking to hire someone to help us out, but we haven't gotten there quite yet...
I'm really sorry about this - we really want to sell you Triggertrap devices, and we completely understand how frustrating it is to you guys - But both Matt and myself are already working crazy hours, and we simply can't take on the extra administration load of manually (or even semi-manually) processing payments and orders.
So... When can you buy Triggertraps again?
One of our distributors has a huge box of Triggertraps coming to them in the next few days, so hopefully that should mean that they'll be available on Amazon again.
Keep an eye on the Where to Buy page; that's where we'll add our new distributors as soon as they start selling the Triggertrap Mobile dongle and the accessories again.
We'll also post to our newsletter when we sign up new distributors, so if you're super-keen to get your hands on 'em, make sure you are set up to receive the Friends of Triggertrap newsletter!
In the meantime, if you know anyone who might be interested in importing and distributing the Triggertrap in your country, please do send them our way!