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Current Announcements

The Wayback Machine
Previous announcement pages. (Can't be wayback enough to suit me. Maybe it will be funny 20 years from now.)


Current Announcements
CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS BEGIN JUST BELOW THE INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

Wow! Getting this manuals business fully up and running smoothly has been "much" more difficult and time consuming than we ever imagined. We began by selling only 2 manuals on eBay in March 2001. It was two months before we offered a third item, but by mid 2002, we were arguably the most successful audio manuals seller on eBay with a selection of a few hundred popular manuals. In late fall of that year, we stopped selling on eBay and began trying to develop a website. Shortly after that we unexpectedly grew to about 50,000 items (and later, many more). From then till now, it has certainly been a laborious and frustrating experience (and often a comedy of errors) trying to make it all available for you to purchase.

We fully realize that many of you just want to buy a manual and couldn't care less about what we are doing. Click Contact Us, read the Common Sense Email Suggestions, then tell us what you want. For the rest of you, browse around awhile and enjoy yourself.

04-25-2007 -  - We intended to, but did not make any updates to this page throughout 2006. After dealing with my elderly mother's stroke situation for quite awhile, she passed on May of 2006. Many other good and bad thing occurred during 2006 and early 2007 which we may report later if time allows.

The main thing is that as of now, we have been making major updates to our web site. This includes a total overhaul of the left-side menu area on all sections of the site. This should help eliminate most of the confusing aspects that previously existed. Also, we are adding 10's and 10's of thousands of new listings to the manuals catalog. Thousands of them will have full descriptions and price codes, but thousands of others will not until either somebody inquires about the item or we find time to do them. We expect to have all the Manuals Catalog updates done fairly quickly. That will be followed by the addition of 50,000+ PDF manuals.

12-21-2005 - Last report for 2005 - Well it's been awhile since the last update (again) which should go to show that there hasn't been much time over the past several months to do everything we should. This is a Good News/Bad News update. Let's get the bad news out of the way first.

Bad News  :(

  • #1 - I know some of you have wondered (and asked - thank you) about the situation with my elderly mom. She is alive and reasonably ok, but the results of the stroke situation last year have left devastating results. I have not personally had to spend the enormous amounts of time as I was previously, but the whole situation just really sucks. Also, over this past year, my dad has had various circumstantial and health problems that appear to be getting worse. Did I say this whole situation just really sucks?
     
  • #2 - At various times over this past year, we have done a pretty good job of keeping up with current incoming emails. At other times, the nagging and enormously frustrating problem of not being able to keep up has been the rule. I'm sorry to say that beginning in early November, we began to fall behind more than normal. Then, due to numerous circumstances, the situation began to get much worse such that over the past several weeks, we've missed replying to many email inquires. I began lookups and/or other research to reply to several right when they came in, then got side-tracked (and so did those replies). I know this makes us look really bad as if we don't care and probably pisses off a good number of potential (and perhaps previous) customers. Please accept my personal apology. There jus are not enough hours in the day to do everything that should be done around here. We will (again) begin making a major effort to keep up with current incoming messages (so every single person doesn't think we're jerks) and will do our best to go back and pick up as many neglected ones as we can. Don't stop now, go on and read the Good News!

Good News :)

  • #1 - Over this past year, we have been able to ship customer orders very quickly probably 99% of the time. No circumstances have caused any significant delays for more than a day or two. This is something that makes me "very happy" because of what I experienced back in the winter/spring of 2003. That was when our website was first "Google Indexed" and the email overload began, PLUS when we acquired 3 tons of new manuals. At the time, I had little help and worked 20+ hours per day for months, yet still, some orders were delayed for weeks. I don't ever want to see days like that again.
     
  • #2 - Currently, my "crew" consists of three wonderful daughters who have over much of this year made praise-worthy efforts to help me get this business running more smoothly. Besides keep things made and shipped on time, they have worked very hard at our cataloging project. "Our" cataloging project is nothing like that of our competitors who for the most part only list a model number and a price. We have been gathering and including MUCH MORE info to put on our site for you.
     
  • #3 - We have been doing our cataloging project in a spreadsheet because of the enhanced ability to see many items at the same time. There are about 150 separate worksheets in it and some of them have many thousands of item rows. Many thousands of those items rows contain cells in the  description and comment columns that have dozens or scores of words. The entire spreadsheet has contained an enormous amount of our "internal notes" that would have been very confusing had we posted those lists on our web site. Well guess what? After many months of very dedicated and painstaking efforts, ALL THE INTERNAL NOTES ARE MOVED OUT!
     
  • #4 - (Big News) - AS OF RIGHT NOW, ALL OUR MANUALS LISTS ARE ESSENTIALLY READY TO POST ON THE WEB SITE!!! Thousands and thousands of the manuals now have full descriptions, plus "individually assigned" Quality Ratings, plus Price Codes completed. For the thousands that don't, we have included a simple statement with each that says, "Will add info here as soon as time allows or upon request". From now on, we should be able to concentrate our efforts on the items that folks are interested in and not waste valuable time on those that nobody cares about.
     
  • #4 - With no further delays (hopefully), I will begin to replace the existing or adding the non-existing company manuals lists to our site. Some of you are going to be surprised at the variety and sheer number of (especially vintage) items we have.
     
  • #5 - I have been listening to the various folks who from time to time complain about our site. I seems that everybody wants an instant answer and can't be bothered to actually have to look for something if it takes more than a few seconds. I don't think our site will ever satisfy those folks, because I think it will always require that folks be able to read, BUT!!!! I have some ideas in mind that should dramatically simplify things for many people. I have already begun to implement some of them in this and other sections of the site. Soon, the Terms/Purchasing section will be replaced with drastically simplified pages. Then we'll begin the overhaul of the manuals for sale section. .
     
  • #6 - I have recently been able to make a number of changes regarding how our networking and computers are set up. Many changes have been made regarding file locations, centralizing various data storage areas, common shortcut links, common program access, etc. The "three daughters" now have access to our sales processing database. So, as quick as I can bring them up to speed on the software, I expect that we will see greatly increased efficiency in a number of business procedure areas. This should result in better customer response regarding "lookups" when inquiries come in, timely "item shipped" notifications and in several other ways.
     
  • #7 - (2nd Big News) - I'm going to try my best to get an internal email server installed so that everyone here can access and can respond to emails. Up till now, all emails have flowed into my (Rick's) Outlook mail store files. For years, I've kept all incoming and outgoing emails and kept them stored in highly organized folder and archive structures. There are many GB's of mail data files. Because of this single-person access problem, every single hour that I have done anything besides answering emails, means an hour that nobody is answering emails. I have the server software I think we will use, so it's a matter of getting it installed and learning how to set it up to do what we need done. So just as soon as it can possibly get accomplished, there will be 3-4 of us who can respond to emails, process sales, etc. instead of just one.
     
  • #8 - (and the last thing) - I have had a relatively large number of manuals and other items in electronic form for quite some time now. I have not talked about it much or let it be known to very many people because I simply did not want to get involved in another wholly different distribution scheme while trying to get the "top quality printed" distribution stuff in place. Well, the number of PDF's (and other) items I now have has grown to number in the (many) thousands. I have decided to make these available for sale on our web site. I'm not certain about the exact procedure I will use, but I guarantee it will be different than what you see elsewhere and I expect it will be at a lower cost than many of our competitors. Stay tuned.

 Keep on hanging in there, I am...

Thanks for stopping by,
Rick, "theman" behind StereoManuals
 


8-31-2005 - Long time, no updates - Hi folks, It's been awhile since our last update. The past few months we have made much progress on the cataloging our our "stuff". I have "several" company lists that are 70% to 95% completed with full descriptions and prices. Just a little more work and we can post them on the website so folks won't have to email for info.

Over the past 2-3 months we have spent 10-30 man hours per day on the Pioneer list alone. IT IS NOW DONE coming in at nearly 8000 item/row with precise descriptions, Price Codes and MUCH ancillary information. As soon as time allows, some design decisions can be made and then we will convert it all to HTML and post them to the Manuals Catalog. Pioneer alone is going to be 100 - 150 web pages.

The seemingly never ending story of being unable to reply to all email inquires continues. Please accept our sincere apology. Every day, we answer as many emails as we can as fast as we can. But most days some go unanswered. Since the next day is more of the same, it's extraordinarily difficult to get back to any in the backlog. A better explanation is found here.
 

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