Even since the release of Mega Crop in 2017, we had a free sample available that potential customs could order to try the product. We did this because we were confident in the product, and wanted the most people to be able to try in their gardens and see for themselves.
- The original free sample we had in 2017 was only 230 grams! At the time we had blank resealable foil bags that we put a Mega Crop sticker one. We had filled the bags with Mega Crop individually by hand, and put the sticker on each bag, and would ship them off as free samples. The bag would fit a maximum of about 250g, so we couldn’t add in any more in! We learned pretty early that we would have to put a shipping fee on the sample, otherwise people could just create unlimited email accounts and get unlimited free fertilizer! Adding on the shipping cost makes it so the samples weren’t so expensive and didn’t drain so much financially for each purchase, and add a type of speed-bump so people didn’t just order lots of free ones.
- After selling the 230g size very well for about 1 year, we finally got some customs foil bags printed with customs graphics/logo/etc. The bag size was a universal type bag for Mega Crop on all sizes below 9.9kg, so most likely if you have tried the sample, you have received this bag. It looks like thisThis bag was a universal size that we use, it had a hardcoded 750g size barcode on it, but we used it from samples, and also have used it for various sizes such as 300g, 500g, 1000g, 2300g, 2400g and 2500g at some point. Since we now had a larger bag, we decided to increase the free sample size to 300g as soon as we received these new bag, in November 2018.
NOTE: During this time and previous, the shipping was fairly inexpensive, since its a small size below 300g, the actual shipping costs were usually below $4 which were passed on to the customer
- After our second Mega Crop product update (v2.5) in August 2019, we decided to increase the free sample size again to 500g. Since we had increased sales and popularity, we figured we should give more people the ability to get a large sample (to run more plants and get a longer trial time). One side effect of this, was the shipping cost was now over the normal USPS First Class mail size limit of 15oz. So, the sample was kicked up to the cheapest next shipping size, which was about $7 for the USPS Flat Rate Envelope. So the potential customers now were getting a much bigger sample, however now the issue is shipping price has increased to $7 which people had to pay to get it shipped.
- Starting in January 2020, we again decided to increase the sample size, this time to 1000g. This was a pretty significant jump in size, double the 500g, which allows the customer to get a fairly substantial sample that may even last them several grows depending on this size. We made this decision for several reasons.
1) The shipping cost is the same for 1000g as for the previous 500g sample. So, we are able to double the size and still fit it in the same Flat Rate Envelope while the customer pays the same shipping cost.
2) Overall shipping and postage increases annually, and it kept increasing from the 2017 point higher and higher. For now the sample was eventually forced into “Flat Rate Envelope” shipping size as the least expensive because of the price increases.
2) People usually only ordered the sample size for the free sample promo, and would later buy bigger sizes. So in other words, very few actual customers would order the sample size without the free coupon, they would nearly always purchase bigger sizes.
This is a problem for stock keeping, since with many different sizes of the sample product available in stock, it means we were carrying a special size solely for the purpose of giving away samples complicates things quite a bit (especially when dealing with multiple countries and warehouses and wholesale customers). Raising the size to 1000g means that customers will actually purchase this outside of the free sample since the size is big enough.
Because the “free sample size” was now 1000g (2.2lbs), which is a significant size that may last several growers many grow cycles, we added a small fee to the sample now. We now offer the 1000g “sample” with a 75% discount 1 time use. This means the price comes out to about $2.77 + shipping for the new sample, which is still a very low price in our opinion. Having the 75% discount, instead of the the 100% full free discount will prevent customers from simply creating new accounts and cashing out the discount on multiple accounts. This way, they could get a high amount of free nutrients fairly easily, only paying a small shipping cost. Having the small barrier will slightly prevent this, while also allowing first time genuine users the ability to get a large size amount for a very low cost to do a large “trial”.
We are going to test this new sample size and pricing program for the foreseeable future, and possibly keep permanently if things go well!