One of the questions we get most often is, “why do the buttons take me to another website when I go to buy something?”
The answer is that we don’t currently do much of our own fulfillment. As a small business, we’re at the very small / tiny business end of the spectrum. We don’t currently have the resources to carry a lot of inventory.
In addition, we’re discovering a whole community of up-and-coming entrepreneurs who market USCG themed products on a variety of fulfillment platforms. By taking an “affiliate marketing” approach to our website, we both expand our offerings and add exposure for artists / producers who may not otherwise have much marketing behind them.
The links on our site take you to where your order for the item you want is being fulfilled. If we are doing the fulfillment on an item (like the LMC heart logo pins) then the button links to our shopping cart and we fulfill the order. But many of the products currently listed are provided by vendors such as RedBubble, Zazzle, and Café Press.
We did consider doing all of the order processing in house, so that all orders would go through our shopping cart and items from multiple vendors could be purchased in a single transaction, but when we did the math on the labor cost and the necessary markup to cover it, the customer cost for merchandise seemed excessive.
Like any business we want to remain profitable, but we also want prices to be affordable.
Thank you for your support!