Friday, December 30, 2011

11 Reasons to Love Paypal

Safe and secure

·         Paypal takes a very pro-active approach to fraud prevention than your bank or credit card. They have many safeguards that prevent unauthorized transactions.

·         If you pay for something through Paypal and don’t receive the item you can dispute the charge. Paypal investigates the matter immediately, and refunds quickly.

·         In the 8 years we’ve been using Paypal there has never been any major fraud or security issues.

Instantly transfer money to anyone at anytime. Even on your smartphone!

·         Paypal allows you to transfer money to anyone in seconds.

Paypal debit allows you to take out cash free of charge at Chase Bank, and allows you to make purchases at brick and morter stores.

Easy online shopping. No need to give out your credit card number!

Cash back at the end of the month

·         The business accounts at Paypal give 1% back on all purchases at the end of the month.

All transactions are online and up to the minute. No need for mailed statements

·         Sign into your Paypal account to check the most recent transactions when you want. You don’t have to wait for a month-end statement.

Excellent customer service. Very little waiting on the phone

Very inexpensive Merchant solutions for online businesses. I haven’t found anything less expensive

Transactions can be done in multiple currencies, and I don’t believe there is a cost to convert

Easy for tax time. Paypal allows you to print out all your transactions through Excel, and is even compatible with many tax softwares

Lots of apps, tools and charts to simplify your financial life

·         There are hundreds of Paypal tools included free with your account.

There are both personal and business accounts, so click the link below to get started with Paypal right now!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Holiday Moment for the Routine Workaholic

For a non-workaholic, the holiday season is a time where we're with family. We can reflect on the things we're thankful for and become filled with hope for the coming new year.

The workaholic however, believes in these things and knows they mean something but sadly seem to neglect them. The workaholic always has horse-blinders on.

I am a workaholic.

I walk fast, talk fast, think fast, drive fast and eat fast. Every moment of the day is crucial, and there aren't enough moments in the day. It's all about how many and how much.

Workaholics are always asking questions like: When does this need to go out? When is this coming in? 7 days a week, 24 hours a day; A workaholic's life is lived on a balance sheet.

If it weren't for Facebook I'd forget everyone's birthday including my own. New Year, Thanksgiving and Christmas don't seem to even exist until they arrive, and once they do arrive they're almost painful to deal with.

Why is this?

I beleive it's because of routine.

Routine is my comfort and solace. My Rock of Gibraltar. It's the one thing that allows me to keep going during when times are tough, and the thing that allows me to make deadlines when business is strong. The only problem is when routine becomes addiction.

Like the gambler who finally wins the jackpot and becomes annoyed. All the gambler wants to do is keep the routine. Routine can either be something very good, or something very bad.

I breathe, eat and sleep business. I dream of it, and the only thing I love more than winepine is my wife and family. I just wish my wife and family would believe that! The routine seems to have captured all of my mind, heart and soul.

In a strange set of circumstances, my routine was broken just a few hours ago..

I spoke with a client today about a shipment of crates we're going to deliver to him this Monday (day after Christmas). We had been speaking about the crates for the last two weeks, but he'd been very busy preparing to see his family this Christmas. We worked out the details for the Monday delivery, and in closing he had said: Merry Christmas to you and your family Patrick.

This struck me shortly after we got off the phone. All I had been thinking about was taking care of the shipment. If he'd told me to deliver the crates on Christmas Sunday it would be done. I would've tried to figure out a way to deliver the crates and see my family afterward!

I think I hit rockbottom today.

This month alone i've had an uncle undergoing major surgery, a grandmother undergoing even more major surgery, and the untimely death of a good friend due to cancer. I went to my friend's funeral and was able to forget about business for a few hours. I'm going to see my grandmother today and will again be able to forget about business for a while.

I love my grandmother, uncle and friend, but these "chains of routine" have kept me from truly appreciating the real gifts i've been given. Those priceless gifts that are my family and loved ones.

All of these occurences have made me want to change my relationship to the current routine. At the end of my days i'm willing to bet that I won't be thinking about how much business I did, but rather the moments that actually took my mind off of business. I'm again reminded that those are the only moments that really matter.

Happy Holidays and thank you,


Saturday, December 10, 2011

What are Wine Crate Inserts?

We're often asked by first time clients: What are inserts?

Inserts cradle the bottles inside the box or crate. They come in either wood or cardboard. The wooden inserts slide into the inside of the crate. Below is a picture of wooden inserts for a wine crate:

6 bottle crate wooden inserts

The above picture is the inside of a 6 bottle crate with two inserts. The top and bottom inserts slide into the crate because the crate has routed grooves as shoown above. The 4 routed grooves allow the inserts to slide in and out.

When adding 6 bottles to the above crate, you would remove both inserts and place three bottles at the base/bottom of the crate. You would then place the inserts over the three bottles, and then place the remaining three bottles on top of the inserts. All will fir perfectly, and wont move in transit.

Cardboard inserts are a little different, and they're generally used for crates without these routed grooves. The cardboard inserts are crafted in the shape of a wine bottle. Below is a picture of two 6 bottle wine crates with cardboard inserts:

Two 6 bottle crates with cardboard inserts:

Cardboard inserts are both stackable and removable. Each crate above has two sets of the inserts. Not one. There is a top insert and a bottom insert. They are stacked together.

When adding 6 bottles to each of these crates, you would remove the top inserts and place three bottles into each of the bottom inserts. Cardboard inserts are in the shape of bottles so they will all fit snugly.

Once the three bottles are in each crate, you would place the top insert above the bottles and add the remaining bottles to the top insert. The top inserts keep the bottles from touching each other. The inserts act as "pillows" inside the crate.

There are also 12 bottle crates that have cardboard inserts as well:

As you may see, there are two different sizes on the cardboard inserts. This is because the left hand crate is from Bordeaux, and the right hand crate is from Burgundy. The wineries in Bordeaux and in Burgundy often make differently sized bottles.

Below is a picture of a crate with wooden inserts that have been individually wrapped (left), one with cardboard inserts (middle), and one with no inserts (right)

The inside of three 12 bottle crates 

The final picture is a flat crate with the inserts inside the crate:

Winter 6 bottle flat crate

This is a flat crate that stores the bottles across from left to right. They aren't stacked like the other ones above.

The inserts in the Winter crate are in 4 different pieces: The top 2 inserts (where the lid is) are both removable as is the bottom 2 inserts (just above the winer logo) and they're both removable as well. There are a total of 4 pieces here, not two. It looks like the inserts are each one piece but they're not.

How you'd add the bottles: Remove the top parts of both inserts and place the bottles on the bottom insert. You would then put the top inserts back above the bottles to secure them in place.

Now the bottles are fully protected in the crate and won't move in transit. Close the lid and they're good to go!