Received my order from Michael at FireworkCharcoal.com, and here's a summary of my experience:
The Good Stuff:
1) Ordered and paid, and on my doorstep 1000 miles away in 3 days--Priority Mail. Nice.
2) Pricing was fair; shipping costs were as expected.
3) Products were in 12" x 12" (approx) thick plastic bags and clearly labeled; 1 pound per bag.
4) Charcoal looks/feels reasonably fine though bag--definitely ready for the ball mill; can't comment on screen sifting or actual size because I haven't checked. No performance testing yet.
Suggestions for Excellence:
1) An email confirming order was never received and I didn't sign up for an account, so only way to check on order would be to message them through their website or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, which I did not feel the need to do. A confirmatory email that the order was received, with order details (in addition to the webpage confirmation upon payment) would be nice. I had no idea what my Order Number was once I paid and closed that webpage.
2) An email indicating when the order was shipped and providing the USPS tracking number would be very useful for estimating delivery date, particularly in the era of porch pirates.
3) Please modify website with capacity to calculate shipping costs by zip code only (if in US) instead of having to enter detailed personal information first, and set this up to automatically update shipping/total costs when/if cart contents change.
4) Very minor disparities in website descriptions of product availability. The website shows quantity currently available for some specific products, posted next to unit price on product page (e.g., today I see available units for Paulownia, Mixed Hardwood 20-100 mesh sizes), but no availability provided for others (e.g., ERC, Mixed Hardwood Airfloat, and Southern Yellow Pine airfloat). It would be helpful, if you are providing precise availability, to do so for all products.
5) Please add the email@example.com to your Contact Us link; right now I only see it in the FAQs.
6) Consider offering a Retail Post shipping option for people who are willing to wait longer for delivery while saving a few bucks, and an overnight delivery option for people who are in a hurry and willing to pay the premium (I NEED MY CHARCOAL YESTERDAY, dammit!!!).
7) A very minor point, but the presentation order of your Hardwood and SYP charcoals according to consistently increasing or decreasing size would look more professional--for example, both are currently listed in this order: Airfloat, 100 mesh, 20, 30, 50, and then 70 mesh. More intuitive might be: Airfloat, 100, 70, 50, 30, 20, or the reverse.
Speedy delivery of well-packaged, reasonably-priced product. Order confirmation/summary and Shipping/Tracking emails were expected but not received. I would have unnecessarily bothered you today by messaging to request a status update, if package hadn't arrived today. This could be a time-waster for you if business gets very busy, and I hope business is good! This could also be largely avoided by sending out Order Confirmation and Shipping/Tracking emails.
Product quality (moisture content, size distribution, and performance in milled BP) will be evaluated and observations posted later in the month.
Looks like you're off to a good start & a pleasure doing business with you!
Note to Mods: This entire thread might be best suited for the Agora or Vendor Reviews section(s) than this Pyrotechnic section?
Edited by SharkWhisperer, 05 March 2021 - 01:36 PM.