Erin Condren Life Planners

UPDATE: Read my super-thorough full review of my planner here. Also, scroll to the bottom of this post to see another response from the folks at Erin Condren.

Erin Condren Life Planner

Have you seen the Erin Condren life planners?

They’re basically super calendars in pretty colors that can be uber-personalized (you can even change the color options to combos of your own). There are tons of pretty options (including covers with spots for cherished family photos). They sell a bunch of other neat stuff too (custom clipboards, iPad cases, mailing labels, etc.). But it ain’t cheap.

At all.

A yearly life planner will run you, minimum, fifty bucks! Ouch. Granted, that’s comparable to any high-end planner (I’m looking at you Franklin-Covey), except, in my opinion, these are way prettier. I’ve drooled over these things many, many times…and since my color laser printer is officially dead (and we’re not going to be replacing it anytime soon), designing and printing my own this year wasn’t really an option. And, well, everybody who has one of these seems to adore it. There are reviews all over the blogosphere, and pins all over Pinterest.

So I decided to splurge. My brain works better with a paper calendar, and 2013 is going to be a very important year for staying organized (gotta combat that baby brain)! I spent a lot of last night making my selection, designing the optional custom photo stickers, and getting excited to put my Christmas money to good use. Then I clicked “checkout.”

Damn you checkout process. Thou art a cruel tease.

“Why?” you ask?

Because, living in Canada, the checkout process often ends in disappointment when you discover, after already deciding to make a purchase, that the shipping to Canada is either

a: nonexistent or

b: ridiculously expensive (as in the case of the Erin Condren website)

It’s frustrating enough that I couldn’t find any hints as to Canadian shipping costs without going through the checkout process first, but to discover, after falling in love with the planner I chose, that they offer only one shipping option (express) for $40, I was livid/devastated/a hormonal mess. There may have been crying…lots of crying. Pregnancy hormones + even the smallest of disappointments = recipe for disaster.

I tweeted my frustrations:

tweet

It’s great that they tweeted back at me so quickly. But the answer was…er…well…sorta lame. The answer to a customer complaint really ought not to be “make your friends buy from us too.” And, cue the hormones again, the answer also made me cry again because I don’t have any friends.

I wish I was joking, but it’s true. I can’t say that I have any actual friends in Calgary, and only a very small handful of long distance friends. I really do handle it OK most of the time. I’m used to being pretty friendless with how often we move (plus we lost a lot of friends when we followed our conscience out of the LDS church). ManDork is great company, and supportive. And UncleDork is a fun guy to hang with. But sometimes it’s really hard, and really lonely and being reminded of my isolation in turn reminds me of how stinkin’ far away I am from my family. So…waterworks.

Things more or less were resolved by a little workaround I discovered for Canadian shoppers. Wanna know what it is?

Skip the Erin Condren website altogether.

Granted, you’ll have fewer options (no ordering an adhesive pen loop or custom stickers…boo), but you also won’t have to pay almost 100% the cost of the planner again on shipping. The secret is Tiny Prints. I’ve reviewed Tiny Prints cards before. They are practically design “porn” for those who love pretty colors and modern whimsy. And now they’ve partnered with Erin Condren and sell, among other things, the life planners. Your planner will cost you $55, but Tiny Prints offers two Canadian shipping options. The standard shipping is only $15 instead of being forced to get express shipping for $40 (vomit). If I recall correctly, even their express shipping is less than $40. Plus, I found a coupon code on RetailMeNot (never buy anything online without checking for a promo code first) that saved me an extra $9.95 on Canadian shipping (it’ll get you Yankees in the States free shipping). So I only ended up paying $5.05 in shipping to Canada. The code is:

FS2012

I have no idea when it expires. But it seems like it may be the sort of Promo they run often. So give it a try, and if it doesn’t work, just be sure to check RetailMeNot before making a purchase.

And, based on what the Tiny Prints website has told me regarding expected delivery, I’ll only be waiting two to three more days for my planner than I would have had I shelled out the $40 Erin Condren.com was demanding.

So boo to you Erin Condren. Clearly, there are cheaper shipping options you could offer to us Canadian customers. And if you did, instead of just suggesting we search for other locals who want to order a product from the same website at the same time that we do, you would have gotten more of my business (because I would have ordered some of the bonus options/accessories to go with my planner). I tried to give you more of my money…but until you stop forcing Canadians to give so much of it to FedEx (or whoever you’re using*), you won’t be getting any extra profits from me.

And boo to you pregnancy hormones. You suck.

*Hint: The USPS is actually pretty great…and I’ve never had to pay an extra duty or import fee on anything shipped via USPS. You might want to consider relying on them instead of the more expensive parcel companies.

UPDATE:

The Erin Condren team gave a little more feedback in the comments on this full planner review regarding the shipping situation:

Hi Holly!

WOW, what a thorough and detailed review… i must admit, some of it was hard to read… parts made me laugh and parts made me cringe…. but we truly do love to hear feedback, both positive and negative as it really does help us improve our products.

Regarding the shipping options, we did switch to a less expensive freight company for our International companies for a short time to help reduce shipping costs, but we were told that they will not be able to provide tracking information with the flat rate ($19.95) International offering. This was not disclosed to us initially and we had many many problems during our busy holiday season with customers not receiving their packages or receiving them extremely late… it was a headache for all concerned and not the sort of unreliable service that we are used to providing. So we switched back to our more expensive, yet reliable service. Tiny Prints is a huge organization and subsequently they are able to negotiate much better shipping rates with the carriers based on their volume…. our little boutique firm is just not doing that type of volume yet, so we are unable to get those rates…. we wish we could… the minute we do we’ll be passing along those savings to our customers.

Anyway, hope that helps you understand why the shipping costs are so different.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to write your review…. I’m trying to send you something via DM…. :-)

Hope you have a fab new year!

Samantha Kuhr
Media Manager for erincondren.com

It’s nice to see a company so invested in communicating with customers and bloggers. And, looking back on the whole thing, I want to reiterate that my frustration was compounded by hormones. With the longer explanation of the shipping issues the company has had, I feel kind of bad about being so angry in the first place, because, obviously, they’re trying. And that’s a lot more than I can say for certain companies (*cough cough EBAY cough cough*) who are currently still a target of my wrath.

{update in 2015 to include affiliate links}

4 Responses to Erin Condren Life Planners

  • Hi! I stumbled across your blog when I googled “How to organize your Erin Condren planner” or something like that. I too fell in love with this gorgeous planner. I’d been drooling over them for the last year but I’m too dang cheap to buy one. Just my luck I FINALLY won a $50 shop credit to Erin Condren in a blog giveaway!!! I was THRILLED!!! I just got it in the mail & it’s so pretty that I’m afraid to write in it. In fact, I just tweeted my followers for help organizing it because I’m afraid of “messing it up” and “ruining it” by not organizing it very well or having to scribble something out in it later (oh the horror!)

    Anyway, I’m not here to brag about my awesome planner after hearing your story about trying to order one yourself. I feel so bad for you! It would make me SO mad if that happened too, especially after getting your hopes up and designing one. I just had to tell you that your little blog post made me laugh and made me want to comment. It was so entertaining to read and I found myself cringing while reading the message you got back from their customer service. Also, the comment about not having any friends made me say “Awwww” out loud because I’m the same way- we’ve moved 6 times in 9 years and I have no friends in our current town. Just a handful of “good” friends all far away. I so feel you there! You are definitely not alone, and I know the feeling when you want to say “I don’t have any friends.” and people don’t get it.

    How great that they gave you such a detailed response though! Has anything changed since then? Are you able to get one yet? Do any of your friends live in the US? I wonder if it would be worth it to have one of them order it for you and get it, then send it to you themselves? Maybe you’ve already thought of that. Either way, I hope you get one somehow, some day! And thanks for such a well written, engaging post! Newest follower :)

LIKE Me Tweet! Tweet! I pin AWESOME shit! Does anybody even use Google+? Mostly videos of my kids Subscribe via FeedBurner
About the Domestic Dork
Subscribe

Never miss a post or giveaway again!

Join 54 other subscribers

Sponsors
Search & Win The Best Damn Planner Ever
Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Jillian Michaels
NO BULLY ZONE

Copyright © 2012 Domestic Dork. All Rights Reserved.