Updated DHL surcharges

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.)

Energy surcharge

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.

Crisis fees

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.

Amazon and business invoices…again

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.

internal hickup

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.)

New server

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.

Update 2

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
  • Email 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

Amazon artificial non-intelligence

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.

Fixed Paypal

Sorry, Paypal was broken for a few days.
We had a typo in the API credentials.
(After we had to restore a number of configuration entries earlier this week.)

Technical difficulties

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.

New box sizes

We just for en entire truckload of new shipping boxes delivered.

They are still 30% more expensive baut we couldn’t delay it much longer or risk running out of boxes too ship in.

new DHL rates

For international orders DHL now offers better prices for a new category of small parcels. So we did order boxes matching their limits.

While the smaller boxes are (counter Intuitively) more expensive, the postage will be cheaper for a few, select items.
The prices don’t work out for domestic shipping. Only for foreign destinations.

However since the shop calculated shipping cost by weight with no regard for dimensions, it will be a while until we find a good heuristic to offer these new shipping prices for very small items.


Sadly this new DHL offers doesn’t work for national shipping because international the limit is 10cm of thickness but national it’s only 5cm.

Wrong weight

Looks like the shop system had the wrong weight for the Tiny Fox Paw.
This caused shipping to be calculated not for a 100g item but for a 1Kg item.
Sorry…fixed now.

storage cleaned up

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.