Within the time-frame of the next few days, if the shop looks like it’s online, it’s online. If it’s missing, or if it suddenly stops working (sorry), it’s offline and in the process of being upgraded. Apologies for any inconvenience this might cause you.
There are several things going on, one of which is that our inventory needs to be updated because several items have sold out. Speaking of which, we’re running low on blue potatoes. We have plenty of most others but the blues go fast. The more important reason for the down time is that we’re going to upgrade our merchant system to something that will help us keep better track of orders. Paypal, which we currently use, was designed under the assumption of single items–typically household goods–being auctioned off one by one on eBay, and shipped immediately. It was not designed to account for the fact that seeds need to be shipped early so that starts are ready for planting out in the spring, while potatoes need to wait until freezing weather is over (including in transit). As a result, it has no features for queuing orders or indicating partial shipments, and the user interface is time-consuming to wade through.
The new system, once I get it up and running, will allow us to accept credit and debit cards WITHOUT going through Paypal, though Paypal could remain an option. I think eventually I can get it set up so that it will take an order and put it into the same queue as our other orders, but allow payment to follow up by check. It’s important that all payment methods go through the same system because having multiple queues for different order sources is too hard for a 2-man operation to handle.
We wear many hats already: farmer, researcher, breeder, merchant, webmaster, order clerk, packing clerk, customer service, and quality control.
Another improvement will be to navigation. Right now we don’t have very many products listed, and there isn’t all that much information posted yet, but there will be and we want to make it as easy as possible to find. I’ll expand the categories, and create some intentionally redundant menuing so that you have some choices for looking up products and information.
Thank you for taking an interest in our products and services. We appreciate the friendly patronage and encouragement that we’ve received.