So one of the (many) things that I’ve seen as a continued barrier of entry to the Western market is the lack of shipping numbers being provided to customers.
So granted we’ve only seen Kickstarter shipments, and order shipments have been verified to be different to some degree, so it is possible that it has been worked out already.
However, I have seen no improvements in terms of tracking numbers as is, and it really shouldn’t be as difficult as PiMax is making it out to be. Provided PiMax has everything setup in something that can export a spreadsheet that has a person’s name, email, and tracking number, which should all be done anyways, it should take an employee no longer than 10 minutes to set up a first mail merge, then less than 3 each day to send out the newest tracking numbers from the forwarders. (I had to establish a methodology for my work to do a similar thing for 200,000+ people)
This, again, brings up the question of what is different between Kickstarter and pre-order shipping. Will the same forwarders be used? If so, is that who is failing to send tracking numbers back to PiMax for records?
If so, that’s a problem. Most people in Western markets expect to receive a tracking number within 24-48 hours, if not immediately after ordering, and it really isn’t that difficult to pull tracking numbers and send automated messages as they are generated, provided you are in charge of the end shipment.
I really wish I knew the shipping structure because as of right now it would require me to build a methodology for every situation.
My best guess as of right now is this (for US market)
PiMax Assembly Facility -> Shanghai Warehouse -> Domestic Warehouse (PiMax/ Forwarding Agent) -> Forwarding Agent [USGOBUY LLC] (If owned by PiMax) -> UPS -> End User
Considering PiMax should be building up stock and preorderers may care less about if shipping from Shanghai warehouse to domestic warehouse is considered part of “being built”, the first indication it’s done being built should be that it has arrived in the Domestic Warehouse (Construction stage 1 [construction], construction stage 2 [shipping to domestic facilities], Arrived in Domestic Facilities, Shipped), at which point the shipping information is sent to the forwarding agent, and the generated shipping numbers are sent back. At which point PiMax can send out emails using mail merge of the shipping numbers that were sent that/the previous day.
We still have until March (at minimum) until PiMax USA is setup, but that process should be similar to other countries as well.
Regardless, if time hasn’t been dedicated to solving this, it should. If it has, good.