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Aug 5, 2014
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Eastern Canada
Thanks to anyone who reads, whether you're able to offer an opinion or not. It may be a little long as I have background and a couple of questions. If you’re not interested in the specifics, please scroll down to the TL;DR section!

First off, I have already read a few posts regarding Saffire Blue, and I have nothing against them other than what I personally have experienced. They have a wonderful selection of supplies and very good prices; however some of their business practices leave me uncomfortable with the idea of relying on them as my main supplier.

My situation is that I'm a new Soaper trying to make a go of it in Eastern Canada. I have ordered supplies, done some test batches and so far everything is going about as uphill as one might expect ;-)

The knowledge I've found in places like this has been a godsend and I thank everyone involved in sharing it.

My first order from Saffire (which took two weeks to ship), came in good order but there was no information about lots or expiry dates on anything (my order included Sunflower, Rose Hip, Babassu, Avocado, Castor, Coconut oils and a handful of butters). When I emailed about it they insisted that "The butters and oils we sell are fresh :) We are happy to provide any expiration dates on the products we sell."

I explained in a return email that regardless of how fresh their items were, I had no idea how long it took items to travel the supply chain and in any regard, I still needed a date so that I could in turn pass that on to my customers. That email was sent on July 22, 2014. As of today (August 5, 2014), I still have had no contact from them.

In addition, they shipped my order and automatically canceled an item. As it turned out, it was an inconvenience more than anything, but that may not be the case the next time.

I'm sure that many of you are in the same boat as me, and that as a fledgling business, all expenses are carefully weighed. If I order an item I need then order a number of items simply because I’m making an order and want to make the most of the shipping charge, then the one item is cancelled, not only am I getting product I wouldn’t have ordered otherwise, I also have to pay shipping a second time for the item I actually needed (and hope it’s in stock this time).

The only answer I got to my problem was that “It is Saffire Blue policy to refund any product that is out of stock and ship the order immediately.” They went on to say that customers would get angry if they called or held their order without contact (so would I!) so two months ago they decided that everything out of stock would be immediately refunded with no notice to the consumer. I suggested they might add a check box to their order form for the customer to indicate if they wanted no contact.

This has left me with the choice to do what all customers have to power to do, vote with my wallet. I’ve been looking at newdirectionsaromatics.ca and so far I’ve had luck finding many of the items I want. I’m crossing my fingers on their reliability. Most items are comparably priced (or better) and I’m equally pleased with their selection. I may have to go to Saffire for some items but at least there seems to be an alternative available for the items with limited shelf life.

My specific questions are these…

TL;DR [Too Long; Didn’t Read] begins here!

Am I wrong in expecting expiry dates? I understand it’s less important in the CP soaps (at least for the non SF portion-although from what I've read, expired oils can lead to DOS) but I’m also making scrubs and lotions as well.

Is the turnaround time this long with other suppliers, is this common to Saffire or was I just unlucky? Understand I’m not talking about shipping time. I understand it takes longer to ship to the East Coast than Toronto. My order was in processing for two weeks from the day I ordered to the day it shipped. It took an additional 5 days to get to me but I have no issue with that.

My most pressing concern is about packaging. If I’m lucky enough to find someone who has ordered from both places, did you find NDA bottles and Jars superior (at almost or more than double the price of Saffire Blue)? I plan on getting labels made specifically for the jars I end up with so I need a stable supplier. If anyone has any advice in this area I’d be happy to hear it.

Please remember this is not an attack on Saffire if it is your beloved supplier. I’m just a new gal asking some questions and relaying personal experiences.

Thank you again to anyone who reads or answers and indeed anyone who has taken part in the wonderful fount of knowledge available here!
Hi Stacy, I use Saffire blue but lately I am not satisfied, I called them about Bmts and they are telling me that they can not get it . So what is a sense of keeping it on website with announcement "coming soon" I had waited like 2 months for it. It seems to me that they have so much business they do not care anymore for every customer. I asked them so many times for stating the expiry dates or life shelf for the products. I live very close to the place,so I had visited it. Rosehip oil (in my fridge) went rancid just after 5 months. I am making the lotions just for me and my family so 250 ml of oil last a long time. I am not happy with it at all. Still the best prices. NDA do not have a lot of selection and twice the price. The quality is not the superb either. Not better than saffire blue.
I can honestly recommend a small supplier in my city will link
I just love the owner and she is awesome, the service is super too. They ship and they are growing. The prices are tad higher but well:))
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Candora-Soap-and-Soap-Supplies/205777636102012 their facebook page:)
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I've had a pretty similar experience to you when ordering from Saffire. I had waited about a week before my order was processed and after I received my order in the mail, I was missing 14 tins out 40! I I got into contact with their customer service, and they told me they had emailed me two days after I placed the order to inform me that they didn't have enough tins to fill my order and if they didn't hear back from me in 2 days, they would ship my order as is and refund me for their back ordered stock. I definitely DID NOT receive this email. And I wasn't even credited back any money until AFTER I had contacted them. Two days after contacting them I received an emailed invoice of my refund. So between this supposed back ordered email and my actual refund, it was about 3 weeks time. Why did it take so long to give me my money back? I honestly think they made a mistake and forgot to ship part of my order and didn't want to take the hit for spending more money on shipping the forgotten product. Since then I have never ordered anything from them, as I thought the situation was not dealt with properly. I somehow didn't receive this mysterious email stating they were out of stock, yet I received every other email from their company (order placed, order shipped, etc).

I also think that not having expiry dates on their oils and butters is negligent. They're probably trying to sell product that is old and don't want to be responsible for throwing away expired product.

Poor, poor business practices.

I would, however, recommend voyageur soap and candle. They are AWESOME. love love love them ! Quick and speedy and very helpful. Costs are very reasonable as well
Just so the story is here in case anyone is looking at a later date. I waited almost three weeks for a reply from Saffire, yesterday I sent this email:

[FONT=&quot]It has now been almost three weeks since my request for expiry dates and information regarding future orders.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I am left with no other possibility than to think that you do not feel this information is important to give your customers. It is obvious that I disagree which means that I am forced to go to another supplier for these items.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]If your policy on providing expiration dates changes in the future I would welcome the information. In the mean time I look forward to doing business with you on items without a critical shelf life.[/FONT]

The reply i received was a list of expiry dates with no reply. So apparently what I said was accurate.
Candora, New Directions and Voyageur are all wonderful suppliers. I live on the west coast so Voyageur is nice and close but I do order from ND as well.
BTW Saffire blue like only the good reviews. There is not way any criticism can be posted on their reviews section. :!: