News

Shipping and Delivery Delays during COVID-19

The majority of orders processed through WithAPast are shipped via Canada Post and the US Postal Service. International orders are most often shipped via Canada Post or DHL Express Courier.  

When orders are picked up, we're given an estimated delivery date.  At the moment, delays are being experienced with all shipping companies, due to necessary extra precautions being taken for the COVID-19 pandemic. We've experienced delays from one day to two weeks and don't honestly see that changing  anytime soon.

We will continue to ship orders out by the most efficient and affordable means possible and follow up with the shipping company when delays are encountered. 

- WithAPast 

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How To Open and Clean Delivery Packages During the Coronavirus Pandemic

From The Huffington Post, March 18, 2020

Maija Kappler  Full Article Can Be Found Here


Part of what makes the coronavirus pandemic daunting is how, even for those of us lucky enough to be healthy and safe, many daily routines have completely changed. There are all kinds of things we took for granted before that we now realize we have to pay extra close attention to.

One such thing: receiving deliveries.

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Slow Shopping, Packaging & Our Carbon Footprint

I don't know if slow shopping is actually a thing or not. There is a slow food movement though that encourages buying and cooking local food, knowing where our food comes from and awareness of the environmental impact of our food choices. I think of WithAPast and similar websites as a kind of slow shopping initiative. 
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Re-sale Royalties, An Update

In June, 2019 I'll be donating the amount of $89.00 to the YWCA Hamilton's Walk A Mile In Her Shoes fundraiser, in support of Women in their Transitional Living Program. 
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WithAPast is Three Years Old!

I'm not sure where the time has gone, but WithAPast was launched, very softly, just about three years ago.  No longer a start-up really.  While the business was registered and this website was launched in January, 2015, the planning and organizing began much earlier, in late 2014.

This venture was based on the very simple idea that there is value and much life left in many of the things we acquire and collect over the years.  Particularly true when those items were created or manufactured with quality materials and workmanship.  The challenge though is matching those quality items with someone who is looking for that particular item.  Which is where an online store comes in.  The entire world is your customer base. 

There is a flexibility in online retail that brick and mortar stores simply don't have.  Low overhead costs allow an online retailer to stock many different products to test the market.  WithAPast has ventured into the sale of many different products that I would not have anticipated when I started three years ago. I expect to focus on fewer overall product categories in the next few years,  now that I have a good amount of data on what customers and potential customers are looking for.

The amount of time that goes into each and every listed item on the site would likely surprise you.  I know it continues to surprise me!  That time spent on product research and listings, along with site optimization and ongoing maintenance is at least in part, my excuse for not updating this Blog more frequently.  I'm hoping to dedicate a bit more time in future to updating more regularly.  We'll see how that goes. 

For now though, I'm taking this three year benchmark as an opportunity to thank those customers who have supported WithAPast these first three years.  I hope we will continue to be of service over the next three.  Thank you!

Pauline
WithAPast

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Free Shipping on Canadian Orders

We've been asked why this store sells in US Dollars given the fact that it's a Canadian store. The simple answer is....Pinterest. The majority of traffic to this site originates from Pinterest and translates into a large percentage of our sales.

Last summer when Pinterest announced the launch of Buyable Pins, one of the requirements for implementing their new initiative on Shopify stores was that stores had to sell in US Dollars. So, we converted this store over and at the same time, tried to convert our prices to reflect the change in currency.  

The exchange rate from US to Canadian Dollars has jumped recently and it has been fluctuating between $1.31 and $1.35 in recent months. Rather than continually amending our prices to reflect the currency fluctuations, we've decided to offer free shipping on all orders over $50.00 shipped to a Canadian address, while the listed exchange rate is over $1.30.  Hopefully this small change will help to offset the conversion shock. 

Shipping charges will automatically be discounted from your order on checkout, when entering the discount code ´Ship Canada´ along with a shipping address in Canada.  

WithAPast

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Free Shipping Tuesdays in October - From Canada Post

Canada Post is offering free shipping for parcels delivered to Canadian addresses, every Tuesday in October!  This option is available to all Small Business Solutions members so I'm able to pass it along to Canadian customers placing an order on WithAPast.

I'm thrilled with this initiative by Canada Post and, coming after the recent labour uncertainties, it's a great good will gesture.

So, if you're thinking of placing an order, and you don't mind waiting until the Tuesday after you place your order for it to be processed and shipped, you may want to take advantage of this offer. Simply type in 'Canada Post Free Shipping' in the Discount Code option during checkout, and shipping costs will be deducted from your order.

 

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Potential Work Disruption at Canada Post

Please note that there is a good possibility of a labour disruption at Canada Post  by July 2nd, 2016.  As the majority of purchases on the WithAPast website are delivered via Canada Post Expedited Parcel Post service, any labour disruption will have a major impact on our operations.  

In the event of a strike or lockout at Canada Post, we will be shipping packages to their destination via UPS, DHL or Purolator Courier.  This is a more costly option than Canada Post however, so please e-mail us for an accurate quote on shipping before placing an order on our website.

We apologize for the inconvenience and remain hopeful that employees and management at Canada Post are able to come to an agreement before July 2nd.  If that's not the case, we're hopeful that the issues will be resolved as quickly as possible.

WithAPast

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In Praise of Fabric and Textile Arts and the Women who Create Them

It seems as though 'Fabric or Textile Arts' are attracting much more attention lately.  I myself have a somewhat new found appreciation for this often under-appreciated art form, so I'm quite happy to see the Textile Arts seemingly  enjoy a resurgence of sorts. 

I wonder if the past disregard for these beautiful pieces is because they were created almost entirely by women and girls and they were used by women in the day to day running of the home.  I really have no idea but I'm certain there is a women's studies thesis out there somewhere that can link this theory.   

Needlepoint, weaving, knitting, embroidery, tapestry....all examples of skills that have historically been passed down through generations of women.  The imagination, creativity, level of skill, and attention to the smallest of detail are evident when you look closely and try to imagine the time it would have taken to create these truly one of a kind works of art.

The era in which women were expected to have and to devote the time and effort in creating these pieces is long past but that doesn't in any way lessen my own appreciation for the lovely pieces they were able to create.  From the simple stitch samplers young school girls worked on to practice and perfect their stitches, to hand tatted lace, elegant embroidered fabrics, and stitched/woven works of wall art, these pieces are becoming scarcer as the years go by. 

The fabric arts for sale from WithAPast range from vintage to antique.  Each is a beautiful example of a bygone time and an important historical nod to the work of women who came before us.  Look closely at a sample of this creative and skilled art form when you have a chance.  You'll likely be as blown away as I am when you pause and try to imagine the time and skill required to create these one of a kind treasures.

WithAPast

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Buying Local

One of the best things about owning my own business, is that I get to set the rules. Each and every one of them. I'm responsible for everything that happens on this site; the successes; the failures.  Inventory I've purchased that turned out to be not such a great find, nor quite what I was expecting, now graces the shelves of my local Salvation Army and Value Village.  A lesson here.  Different items that simply caught my eye or seemed like a very good deal, have just as often turned out to be an exceptional find, or a rare and wonderful learning experience along with the purchase.  A lesson there.

This new venture of mine is almost a year old and the past months have given me the opportunity to fine tune the operational side and solidify my vision.  Not much has really changed, to be honest.  My primary purpose is quite simple and remains much the same as when I started. To give new life to well made, quality and previously owned treasures.  By default, buying previously owned items also has much less of a negative environmental impact.  Two of the main reasons for launching this start up.

I didn't really anticipate how much I would enjoy setting my own rules. I'm quite fortunate that I have an actual day job and am not completely reliant on income from this new venture to put food on the table. Again, because I set the rules, I get to choose how much time I spend going to auctions, estate sales, and the like as well as how much time I spend on all the other aspects of starting an online business.  And there are a great many! 

I get to choose to use the most environmentally friendly packaging available when shipping orders, because it matters. I get to choose to purchase the compostable, biodegradable, 100% recycled PaperNuts from a local start up, because supporting local businesses matters. I get to choose to help establish and to opt-in to a resale royalty payment initiative from the sale of art on my site, because it matters.  The token royalty fee will hopefully benefit artists in some small way, for the resale of their work, even if the amounts are quite small.  Because the actual dollar amount is not the point, and because paying artists fairly for their work matters.  And I get to choose.  

My inbox has been jam packed this week with teasers, notifications and other advertisements about Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  There have been endless countdowns all month from all the online service providers I use to run this site, reminding me of what I should be doing to maximize the potential to increase online sales during the next few days, and following holiday shopping season.  While I did briefly consider that as a new e-commerce retail business I should probably wade in and join the frenzy of what is no doubt the busiest shopping season of the year, I very quickly decided to decline.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales blitzes simply don't align with my vision for this site.  I much prefer to offer well researched, fairly priced, quality items at all times of the year.  That they've also been ethically sourced and shipped, is a bonus.  And I get to choose!

WithAPast 

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