1. "Do you offer a Homeschooler's discount?"
Yes, we do currently! We take off our hats to the parents and caregivers who are showing up in this capacity for their families and our shared future. Please send us an email with brief reference to your children's ages and loosely your curriculum used, and we'll review promptly to see about getting your account added for 5-10% discount on selected items. We try and price art supplies and 'consumables' well to begin with on our site, but we do what we can for homeschoolers' budgets. Our homeschooler's discount technically begins for children 'senior kindergarten' age. We know that the preschool age in particular asks a lot of guidance and energy on our part as parents and carers, so we don't mean to not be acknowledging that with the higher age start for the homeschool discount; just that the art and book supplies and staples can become more necessary yet costly for the older homeschoolers. In the 'homeschooling' category in our navigation menu, you may also find some bundles however that might help with supplies for the younger ages as well.
2. "Do you offer a discount for first time buyers? Do you offer a rewards program?"
We're tried different things over the years, but for the last while our focus has been on lowest everyday pricing across the site, and to Keep It Simple. We highly appreciate genuine referrals and our repeat customers, and strive our hardest in our everyday to show our gratitude in our work.
For the lines we carry, we consistently have some of the best pricing in North America. We work hard in many ways to be able to offer the prices that we do, but also with fairness and respect to other retailers and keeping our prices in line with what we know to be feasible for everyone.
3. "Do you offer discounts on large volume purchases?"
If you're a school or purchasing a lot in bulk at once, you can reach out to us for discounts on orders over $5000. From schools or daycares with funding, we can also accommodate purchase orders, and payment by cheque. We are available to help with your invoice dating and budget needs.
4. Do you have regular sales or promotions throughout the year?
In the past, we've done:
'Woollies in July'. Prices for Ruskovilla, Disana, and Engel, may sometimes see annual price increases based on costs of wool, labour, transport, and other inputs each year, and we typically change our pricing if need be in August each year for our woollens we carry. We encourage people to take advantage of 'last year's pricing' by purchasing in July before prices go up, and we add an extra little discount on top.
Order Early for the Holidays. We don't want to offend anyone by saying, but personally, we're not big fans of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Managing to stretch a budget with some savings is great. If it's a long weekend, we'd like folks to feel free to relax with family and friends. We get that time off also means a chance to do some shopping, and that's all good. The pressure of one day or weekend seems like a lot to us though. 'Are you having a Black Friday Sale?' was our single most-asked question of the year in 2019, by far, and we couldn't keep up with replying to all the emails and social media posts and private messages to answer everyone. Going forward, our plan is to repeat what we did that year: we'll begin sale prices at the start of November to encourage people to shop early for the holidays (We know we can always use that encouragement and support for that ourselves!), and to have a little more time to plan your order, if you need it. We're always here to help with that!
Boxing Day. Yes, there will always be things that we have overstock of after the holidays, or space we can use to free up in the warehouse. The weeks after Christmas, you'll usually find some additions to our sale section. Normally, it's not only a one-day thing on Dec 26th though.
5. Do you do collaborations?
Not normally. We have some customers with social media accounts that give us shout-outs regularly, and can we tell you, it boosts our spirits tremendously! We have a raffle for a nest.ca gift card each month currently on Instagram for tags and mentions. Just tag your actual photo, and then hashtag us in your text, for your entry to automatically count. When it comes to social media, if you feel moved to share, it's great. If you'd like to keep the moment for yourself, we are big supporters of that too.
6. "I've thought myself to open a wooden toys or natural goods store. Can you give me any advice or share information?"
We get asked this a surprising amount, and it's nice to know that it's a shared dream and sentiment among people, especially who can't find things near them, to want to make certain items and ideals more accessible to others as well. Here is some of what we often share with people: Work is work, no matter what you do. Retail carries a lot of financial risk, in general. Working for yourself has many trade-offs that need to be carefully considered. Operating at a level that brings in any worthwhile income may take some years of initial investment and loss to build towards. Most of what we do is customer service and bookkeeping, with more time on the computer than we'd like. That all said, we consider ourselves very lucky indeed to be in the niche of retail that we're in with dear and lovely exchanges and interactions with many of our customers, and to be part of a global movement towards sustainability and well thought out collective habits! If you're motivated by certain values, you'll be able to push through the hard times and adapt as you go!