We implemented the updated DHL surcharges for the month of May in the YiffyToys shop. Note that these are only surcharges that DHL charges on top of the regular shipping prices. To be completely fair to everyone and charge exactly what DHL charges. (Because if we don’t, ultimately all customers together pay the difference.)
DHL reduces the „energy surcharge“ from 2.50% to 1.25% as the effects of the Russian war in the Ukraine diminishes. This surcharge is published by DHL monthly.
DHL lowers the „crisis fee“ for:
Australia from 3,70€/Kg to 3,50€/Kg,
Canada from 2,05€/Kg to 1.95€/Kg,
USA from 2.35€/Kg to 2.15€/Kg
Chile from 3,9€ to 2,8€,
… It’s a long list. They also lower the „crisis fees“ for some entire lists of countries like „zone 4“ from 1.5€/Kg to 0.35€/Kg
DHL Sweden+Finnland fuckup
„am 20.04.2023 haben wir Sie über die Berechnung der Haustürzustellungen in Schweden und Finnland seit Januar 2023 informiert. Dabei ist uns leider ein Fehler unterlaufen. Die Zusatzkosten für eine Haustürzustellung werden Ihnen entsprechend Ihrer aktuellen Preiskonditionen bereits ab Januar 2023 für eingelieferte DHL Paket International Premium Sendungen in Rechnung gestellt und nicht wie fälschlicherweise kommuniziert erst ab dem 01.05.2023.“
DHL wrote that they informed people on the 20th of April about a new fee for Sweden and Finnland effective since January. …spot the mistake.
We just got an email that >5% of our Amazon-Business customes got no automatically uploaded invoice. That >5% is 1 of 1 business order in a year = 100%. We actually have automatic upload of invoices seet up. However the Amazon API only allows to upload an invoice. Not to check if that upload worked or if an order already has an invoice. The log also shows that indeed an attempt at an automatic upload was made.
There is also no way with Amazon to only supply end-users and not accept orders from businesses.
We contacted the company that provides the Amazon-integration plugin we use but since this isn’t the first time, there will likely not come anything from this.
We irregularly check the list of newly registered customers. This is done to delete spam-accounts and hacking-attempts created by bots. Introducing the Captcha helped a lot here but it’s not perfect. We noticed that the newest account listed for us was quite old.
Some investigation found that a daily reindex process was stuck since October and the list of all account shown to us in the backend (and only that list) was not updated because a previous run of that had died but never released it’s database lock. Luckily only the index of the user-list was affected. All other indices (like all products, all new products, all products with a price change,…) worked just fine.
…work never stops.
A short search revealed how we could get this unstuck. Only the list of all user account for administration and customer support was affected. Customers could create and use their accounts all this time with no issues. In the end we found just 48 new accounts obviously created by bots. (Before introducing the Captcha this number ranked in the tens of thousands.)
We are currently in the process of setting up a new and bigger server for our shop. This Blog has already been moved to the new server and we are making preparations to move the actual shop within the next few days.
On Sunday (the morning after) we noticed a misconfiguration that broke the unencrypted website. It was not noticed right away because modern browsers would alway try the TLS encrypted website first but easily fixed. We also forgot a Reverse-DNS entry causing GMX to refuse a single email but this was easily fixed.
On Sunday evening we identified and fixed an issue causing a „We can’t add this item to your shoppingn cart“ for some (but not all) products.
Customer website works
Shopkeeper website works
Ordering seems to work.
Credit card payments seem to work.
Automatic DHL label creation seems to be broken but we can’t find out why just yet. We can however do that manually to continue operating. DHL issue fixed too.
Waiting to see if any live Paypal orders are coming in
While at it, we also performed a larger software update of the shop software
We had some trouble with 11 products on Amazon. We submit products with a very, very detailed „browse node“. In our case usually „Health & Personal Care -> Sex & Sensuality -> Sex Toys -> Dildos -> Anal Dildos“ Then Amazon uses that to choose a „product type“.
How it started
The problem was, that for these 11 prducts Amazon has chosen completely inappropriate product types. Product type: Toy Vehicles Product type: Animal Cages Product type: Pet Toys Product type: Other Shirts Product type: Plant seeds Product type: Toy Figures and Playsets
These had the effect that we where asked to enter mandatory information like a „T-shirt size“ for these dildos or they would not be visible.
We contacted the seller support about this.
How it’s going
At first they didn’t understand the issue.
Then they wanted us to tell them what product type to enter. However there is no public list of all product types and Amazon doesn’t display the product type for any correct toys. So we can’t possibly tell them.
Then they claimed „We have determined that the current categorization on the ASIN produces a better customer experience than the requested categorization. As a result, we will not be able to complete your request.„
And finally they claimed „Please note that we were unable to determine the correct categorization on this ASIN as the product data and images are inconsistent.„. Obviously our very-well-done product photos show dildod and not T-shirts, animal cages or plant seeds.
How it ended
Since there was no way to get these products fixed, we where forced to simply remove them from Amazon’s catalog altogether. We will wait until no trace of them is left in Amazon’s system and try to recreate a single one at a later time.
We had some issues with an update of the shop software not working out and had to restore from a backup. Since we do have hourly backups of the shop database, not a single order has been lost and the inventory count should still reflect reality.
Sorry for the outage of the website for a few hours earlier today.
Over the years our shop software has create a dozens of unused copies of product images. With a special script we just removed 21.5GB of unused images. Keeping 2.2GB of actually used ones. If you notice any missing images, please tell us. So far everything looks fine.