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4x4CB's BLOG !   . / General CB & Business Blog
Jims Personal Blog   |    Website Development Blog   |   

Fiday 30th July 2010

Oops, distinct lack of blog entries again lately - been very busy with other things and the day-to-day running of the business and site!

The Sirio Mythos 9000 is back (and even better than before!)
I was gutted when i heard that Sirio had stopped making the 3/8" version of this aerial but i've just got a new shipment in and with the addition of a small extra bit it's still got a 3/8" thread and has a neat angle adjustability feature - good news! I've got to update the description of it now to show this.

Monday 17th May 2010

NEW weld-on rollcage bracket for Dome mounts
One of our new products is a weld-on bracket for all of our dome mounts - i've got to get it on the site soon as its a real nice bit of kit - nice steel construction and very good quality, fits the dome mounts millimeter perfect and as it's been commissioned by us, we're the only stockist for it! I'll update this blog when i've got it on the site.

Tuesday 20th April 2010

Please be my friend...!
I'm still mentioning my facebook page in the signature of most of my emails to people www.facebook.com/4x4cb ... apart from a few comments and bits i haven't done much on there yet, but plan to have a few special offers etc for my facebook contacts in the near future, so if you're on facebook, give it a click and send me a message and friend request - it may well be worth your while!

Monday 8th February 2010

An un-named courier company to the rescue!
We moved our courier delivery services over to Fedex for uk deliveries and DHL for european despatches about 8 months ago, before then i'd been with another company for over 10 years (doing trials with all the others in the meantime but always sticking with them.)

I moved because the area rep who looked after me left them and poached me for the place she moved to, Global Freight Solutions - hopefully she won't mind me spiling the beans now as she's since left GFS anyway.

Anyway, a customer in Malta wanted quite a few radios and aerials, and i quoted a shipping cost based on the road service prices i had from DHL, it would cost around £26-£28 to ship to him... i try not to make anything on carriage other than cover the cost of packing materials and wage/time taken to pack, so thats what i charged him.

It was only when i came to book the consignment when it came up with an error basically saying i couldnt book it. I got in touch with them and was reminded that malta was an island and the road service couldnt be used to get the parcel there.

I hadn't thought that of course, it's an island, there's no road to it, so it has to go by air!

OK... whats the cost by air.... £196 - OH NO! ... thats DHL, lets try Fedex... £150 ... anyone else... no.

I still keep in contact with one of my contacts from the other company (and this is the reason they're here an "un-named", so as to protect her identity) so dropped her an email explaining the situation i'd got myself in and asking if they could help... yes they could and she pulled a few strings and gave me a price for the job that was only £25 more than what i'd charged the customer - this is was very happy with given the other prices and booked the job... the driver was here less than an hour later (this was on friday) and the goods were delivered this morning, so we at least got a good service for the money!

I explained this to the customer and we agreed to go halves on the extra cost, so everyone was happy at the end of the day.... a good result from what couldve been a £120 loss!

CB with TFT screen, mp3 player, jpeg picture viewer and stereo speakers... what next!?
I've been having an email conversation with the bloke from cobraworxshopz.com and i noticed they have a youtube channel... one of their most recent videos is one showing the new Superstar Force One cb, this thing has a 2 inch TFT screen, a usb, a media card slot and has all the rest of the export radio type faciilities you'd expect.... madness!

Obviously this sort of radio is not legal - becuase of all the illegal modes and channels, but maybe the screen etc are things that'll filter down to legal cb's in the future. I particularly like the signal meter on this Force One radios, it's on the screen and theres 12 different styles of meter - very trick!

Talking of features, why not built in gps so you can send and receive peoples gps locations as you chat to them, that would be cool.

How many CB's do we need? Currently, there are around 40 different legal cb's on sale in the UK - i don't have them all on the site, i think the numbers we have on here now are confusing enough, so i have to ask, how many do we need??

When the first multi standard radios came out in 2000 i think it was, i was telling everyone then that it would lead to a lot of different radios coming in as one radio for the whole of europe could be producde instead of one for the uk, one for france, etc etc - but i didn't expect 40!

Thursday 7th January 2010

Well, the snow hasnt gone away in fact more has fallen and Fedex havent come to us again today - apparently they are going to try tomorrow as they are clearing the backlog today and not wanting to take more parcels into the system.

Can't even send anything by post either as i've been trying to phone the post office for most of the day and never any answer - i went there yesturday only to find the counter shut... a bit of a pain as we frank mail here so it has to be put in the system on the day it's franked, so i'd already done it before i realised they were closed. Oh well, i'll have to pay for that postage twice!

A delivery of radios and other bits that did actually get collected from my supplier yesturday was supposed to turn up today but hasn't, thats UPS and citylink who another supplier uses has been trying for 2 days to send something to me, but again that hasnt been collected from them yet, so it's not just us!

Wednesday 6th January 2010

We've had 9 inches of snow fall last night and it's still falling, obviously its playing havoc with transport and Fedex aren't collecting from us today and i can't see it being much better tomorrow. It seems the problems start when only 20% of drivers make it to the depot in the morning, and thats before they've driven through the snow all day!

For the most part i'm still able to work, answer the phone and process sales etc but as far as actually getting them on their way to customers, we'll have to see what next next day or two holds.

Saturday 2nd January 2010

A new Building!
Back in January of last year, i moved the business into a brand new, purpose built building which has been years in the planning - it was erected without any wiring at all, so me and my mate George spent 2-3 weeks of almost allnighters putting in flippin miles of cables... ring main, lighting rings internal and external, further power out points, 3 phone lines, 2 network connections, various security services, networking between all the rooms and of course, with my liking of late night working, all rooms have been wired for sound with a pumping system in my office - it had to be done!
Posted in General CB & Business Blog

4x4cb is on facebook! well, i am, in my professional capacity and welcome any customers or contacts to get in touch with me there : facebook.com/4x4cb
Posted in General CB & Business Blog

You have reached the end of the 2010 blog...

There were no blog postings in 2009 or 2008 so the posts below are from 2007.

You can view older posts in the archives

Thursday 1st February 2007 - General Blog

January Sale

The January sale has come to an end, and it's been a great success - we've got some of the best prices in the country for CB radios, and looks like many people have realised this too judging by how busy we've been this month.

I did a nice little graphic for it which i've put here, cos i'll miss it once i've taken it off all the product category pages!

I'm just about to start work on reverting all the product descriptions and prices back to non-sale prices, but i am always keen on trying to give the best experience to my customers, so many of the prices are here to stay - some may go back up by a couple of quid, but i dont think any will be going back to their pre-sale prices - good news for all our website visitors!

CB Licence no longer needed
The CB world took another step forward (in my opinion) last month with the removal of the need for a CB licence.

When the removal of the licence was first talked about it was with the removal of the UK band (still the busiest of the two bands we have). They (the Radio Communications Agency, latterly Ofcom) ummed and arrred until eventully this was announced.

A couple of years ago, myself, the owner of a large truckstop somewhere up north and the directors of three of the main CB importers met with the RA in London. We put up pretty stiff resistance to the removal of the UK band - the truckstop guy had reems of paperwork and statistics they'd gathered by doing opinion polls of their customers (which also suggested less than 10% of CB users had a licence anyway!) and in response to the RA;s claims of the bands not being used, i was able to give me experience where most of my customers only use the CB at weekends, and when they do, they're in the middle of nowhere, or driving down the motorway in a convoy, or out working in a far flung field, and wouldn't necessarily have been heard from the RA's listening stations. This does not detract from their right to use the band, and the fact that they ARE out there.

They actually gave us some details and showed some photos of these listening installations - both fixed and those in their radio detection vans - man, that stuff is state of the art - those vans have a huge amount of computer and radio communications equipment in them - very different from the days of Buzby and their Commer vans!

I'm getting off the subject here - what i wanted to say was that i later found a press release on the RA website (this was still before they changed to Ofcom) stating that they had had a meeting with members of the trade (me and the guys) and that the immediate plans had been put on hold for a time. They never happened, so i guess i'd like to claim a bit of credit for that.

Photo Competition... the end
In the next day or so i'm going to change the long outdated Photo competition page - being honest again, this kinda fell flat on its face in the latter months! The first month i had something like 100 photos in, some real good ones, and prizes well well earned by the winners. After that though, the entries fell to only a handful of people, and with the number of prizes i was giving away, the entrants had a 60% chance of winning a prize!

I think it's because i'd done my email to the mailing list the first month, and had started to forget to mention it to customers purchasing on the phone, and it just lost momentum. I've put all of the latterly received photos together and sent prizes to the winners draw as per the photo competition rules, and will leave it at that for now!

Instead, i'm enlcosing a little sheet of paper with every order sent out, asking if anyone who has access to a digital camera whether they are able to take some photos of their CB stuff installed for use on the site.

For those who aren't familiar with CB - and that describes most of our customers - being able to see photos of how other people have mounted their aerials, or seeing a photo of a particular CB they may be interested in actually mounted in the same vehicle as they have got, can really make the difference between "not being sure" and having a good understanding of how things look/how they fit/how big they are, etc.

Midland rigs out of stock
Isn't it typical - i have a sale, where a couple of the most popular sets are deeply discounted and are selling a lot of units, and there's a delay at the factory, and i go Out Of Stock!

These were the Midland 78, the Midland 48 Plus, and the Midland 42 handheld.

I managed to get a couple of boxes of 78's - they arrived in the country by mistake - they were destined for Holland, but had been put on the wrong pallet! Luckily, as we're authorised and approved Midland dealers, i got first dabs on them, so (for the moment) i have stock of these.

A similarish situation with the Midland 48 Plus - i have managed to obtain more stocks from another distributor (athough i've had to pay more for them) so these are back in stock now - although this has only been 3 days i've had them, so again it's while stocks last.

The Midland 42 is a different story - they haven't left the factory in the far east yet - i think theres some delay with a coponent which has held production of the entire radio up. As soon as i know more, i'll update the product page, and probably post something on here.

Little Willy?
I sold one of our american magmount aerials today, the Wilson Lil Wil - these aerials remind me of when i first started stocking them - they were called Little Willy then - to make it worse, it had that (and still has Lil Wil) written on the bottom of it. Sales have improved since the change (in late 1990's and it still makes me laugh), as i dont think many people wanted to tell the world that they had a Little Willy!


READ MY 2004, 2005 & 2006 BLOGS! ...

(They weren't separated into topics then)

2006 - July to December
2006 - January to June
2005 - July to December
2005 - January to June
December 2004


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