Behind The Curtain: How Mondo Handles On Sales

Today, we released 2 posters and a shirt on the website. The time was announced (which is something we don't like to make a habit) and we sold out of both posters in around 35 minutes. After the dust had settled on today's release I checked Twitter and my email and found over 75 messages with people essentially saying, "Fuck you guys" or "You just lost a customer." It's not unheard of that people are upset when they don't get something they really want and in our business it's even worse because all of our pieces are limited edition, but these emails made me want to write an open letter and kind of let people look behind the curtain to see what we are doing with our release days. Several people think we are unprepared and go about these things not realizing the demand our posters have, but that is not the case. Could anyone have imagined that THE EVIL DEAD release would have more people (well over 1,000 on the site this morning) going after posters than the IRON MAN 2 release did? I love being open with our fanbase and this blog post will hopefully shed some light on the inner workings of Mondo and illustrate how we are working very hard to make release days as easy as possible for you...the fans. QUANTITY AND THE AFTERMARKET We have gained lots of new fans in the last several months and one thing we always get asked is if we will reprint. The answer is no. We are big supporters of limited editions staying limited. We will do variants and things like that, but the edition size will always be stated up front. We are also aware that some people out there don't buy our posters to hang on their wall. Some of our posters are very popular on the aftermarket. It's no secret, I assure you. I can understand the frustration it may cause fans that tried to get one as a gift or to hang in their office only to miss out on one and then they turn around and see someone else that got one immediately selling it. The truth is, we cannot control that. We do limit our sales and try to make sure everyone gets one, but that's all we can do. Rest assured that we ARE NOT the ones putting the posters up for sale on eBay, so getting angry at us about it will do nothing. We sell the posters in our store in Austin, online and at the shows the posters were made for. Once the posters sell out, they are gone forever. OUR SITE Probably the most common email I get is the one where people tell us to up our bandwidth or get more cookies or whatever. Admittedly, the performance of the website has been and still is the most frustrating part of the job to us at Mondo. I am on the phone at least 3 days a week talking to technicians trying to tweak this and that all in an attempt to make sure the website doesn't crash. The fact is, it's almost impossible to get everything right. When there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of people all trying to buy one poster at the same time, there will be problems. Even sites like OBEY crash and they are 10 times the size of us. We have a dedicated server and are constantly tweaking the shopping cart and individual item pages to make the performance of the site better. I'm not trying to make excuses here. Not one bit. I'm simply trying to say that we are trying. We don't have the money to throw at having multiple servers like Amazon or other mega sites. I've been trying to work with Digital River that runs the Matty Collector sales and even Sideshow Toys because of their nice sale day sites. So, bottom line, if the site goes down, it sucks, but the reason it's going down isn't because of poor planning or lack of prep....it's because of too much enthusiasm and excitement from fans. It is impossible to gauge excitement for a certain release. It's all part of the thrill we get from our jobs. SHOPPING CART This has been an ever increasing question from fans and since we're trying to clarify things today, I thought I'd share an actual email we got about this subject: I don't know how this normally works, but I was in the middle of completing my order - the last screen was loading up. My roommate asked me for assistance with something, so I went to help him and when I came back to press check-out, it said there was nothing in my cart and when I tried again, the poster was sold out. I thought having something in the cart automatically reserved the item for me, at least for a few minutes? So, the questions is, if you put a poster in your cart, does that mean it's yours? No. Having something in your cart doesn't mean it's reserved for you. The only way that item comes out of inventory and into your home is if you pay for it. This is the same way on tons of other sites and is the absolute, best way to handle inventory. YOU'VE LOST A CUSTOMER...FOREVER This is probably the worst thing we hear from fans upset about not getting the poster they were shooting for. If we take this morning's release as an example, you'll see our predicament. We had 1,000 people on the site trying to get a little over 300 posters. Because Olly Moss' run says 250, that doesn't mean we have 250 for sale. The studio has their comps, we sold some at the show last week, Olly gets copies, etc. So, we had around 150 or so of Olly's to sell and 1000 people on the site. Theoretically, we could have 850 people furious at us because they didn't get a poster. Just know that this is what happens with limited edition releases. If you don't get one, we are VERY SORRY. We want everyone to get what they want, but it is impossible. Stick with us, though. If you missed THE EVIL DEAD posters, we have something awesome coming up next week, and the week after that and the one after that. We have a ton of really amazing projects coming up that will last the rest of the year, so please...hang in there. HOW WE ANNOUNCE SALES We announce the on sale of our posters and shirts by many ways. We send out a bulk email, announce it on this blog, announce it on Facebook, Twitter and we also get covered by many major news sites. Many people ask us to announce times for our releases which we really don't like doing. It's a situation that can be described by the old cliche, "Damned if you do. Damned if you don't." By releasing our posters at random times, it greatly eases traffic on the site. When we announce times, like we did today, the site bogs down and everything slows. The site didn't officially crash today, but it got way too slow for my liking. I'll leave it at that. To sum up, we try to produce the best products for the best movies and want you to be able to have them in your home. We have grown by leaps and bounds the last year or so and are still trying to get everything perfect, so stick with us. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments. I'm looking forward to answering them. -Justin