Operators available ONLY to take your phone order at
Mon-Fri 8am-Midnight EST
(Operators are order takers only-please email your Qs & other issues to owner)
Safecastle: owned & operated since 2002 by your
M. Brooks, 1/20/12: "The service is incredible; each time I have contacted Vic, I get an immediate response. He's always been kind, considerate and very professional and stands behind his word. The membership perks--phenomenal. Safecastle is really a ministry to those trying to prepare ... truly a first rate outfit, selling quality products at a reasonable price, owned and operated by a man who has a servant’s heart."
William J., 5/12/12: "... getting 25% off MH cases wasn't enough. Now you're getting me over 50% off this purchase! You've saved me a bunch of money. Thanks for your outstanding shop and such great prices. Ya'll have one of the greatest operations going … and believe me, I DO shop around."
Jeffrey P., 7/6/12: "Excellent customer service is so rare these days that when you experience it you are somewhat surprised. As a fellow business owner, I certainly appreciate and applaud the manner in which you run your business. Being able to resolve this matter at 9:48 on a Friday evening is simply incredible."
M.M., 2/15/13: "I just want you to know how awesome and fast your shipping and service is. I think you already know this, but it doesn't hurt to mention it :) There are a couple of other major online stores that I placed orders over 6 weeks ago that have yet to ship. You all must be very hard working folk. Thanks!"
Dave W, 5/16/13: Thank you so much for running a store that provides excellent customer service andsome I didn't even sells quality products at reasonable prices. The Steelhead Adventure medical kits came today and I am once again impressed. I have shopped at other preparedness websites and I have yet to come across one that is as responsive to customers and potential customers as yours is. I have sent emails a couple times to you asking for more information when trying to compare products. You have always answered my questions fully as well as answering think to ask. Keep up the good work."
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I join the buyers club?
The Safecastle Royal Buyers Club is the premier group of its kind committed to helping U.S. members get the best possible pricing on preparedness-related products ... to include free shipping all the time (except to AK and HI), substantial discounts off everything in the store (members must log-in to see discount pricing) except Mountain House canned food for which pricing is strictly regulated by the manufacturer, and exceptional incentive and reward programs for member customers. Buyers clubs are quite popular and proven effective in getting folks the best prices possible, as pricing is often based on group discounts.
We do sell to non-members and ship free to the lower 48 for everyone. But the best prices and deals are reserved for those who are members, helping the overall club achieve the quantity-buying levels we work toward and to help cover the low overhead costs inherent in the online presence we maintain.
Our membership fee is a one-time fee. Once in, you're in for life. You get the best prices and offers we have available for as long as you want to prep.
2. Is shipping really always free?
Standard shipping to the Continental United States is always free. That means ground shipping in most cases. We and our suppliers use the best available options to ship your order, to include FedEx, UPS, USPS, and for larger orders--freight companies.
Shipping to Hawaii and Alaska are determined on a case by case basis. If shipping costs are significant then those charges must be passed on to the customer. We contact the customer after determining costs to collect those funds if necessary.
We do have limited availability of Mountain House food in Canada. Those foods are specially labeled according to Canadian law and are warehoused in Ontario. Those foods ship free to Canadian customers.
For all orders outside of North America, we have partnered with a trusted third-party company, iGlobalStores, to fulfill all international orders. For more information about our international shipping policies, see our International Shipping Policies Page. Orders outside North America are not shipped for free.
Expedited shipping options are available upon request.
3. How long does it take to process a membership?
Activating a membership after the membership is approved is a manual operation. As soon as we "flip the switch" you should receive email confirmation and discounted pricing will show up in the store when you are logged in. Often, that will take place within minutes. Overnight or occasionally at other times, it may be hours.
4. What is the difference between registering an account and joining the buyers club?
All customers register shipping and billing info when they initially make a purchase at Safecastle. Account passwords are chosen and managed by the customer. Accounts and order status can be accessed in the store when a customer or member logs in to their account.
Buyers club members make the one-time Buyers Club Membership purchase and then enjoy lifetime membership benefits and discounts. When they are logged in, their discounted pricing is automatically shown. No coupon codes are needed for their standard member discounts--they simply need to be logged in.
5. As a buyers club member, how can I be sure I am getting the discounts I am due?
Members are sometimes confused and uncertain about whether discounted prices are being applied. Be assured--if you are logged in and you see a greeting using your name in the upper right side of the page, you are seeing all the club prices in the store and they are being applied in your cart.
You can confirm that a couple of different ways--
a. You can simply logout and compare pricing on products versus what the price is when you are logged back in.
b. You can shop and add items to your cart before you are logged in. Check the total price in your shopping cart in the right column, then log in and you will see that your discount is applied. If you have trouble logging in for some reason, simply click on the blue "Forgot Password" link in the Login section and your login info will immediately be emailed to you. Please email us with further questions or issues: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Why is Mountain House canned food not discounted for club members?
As a Mountain House dealer, we are required to adhere to the manufacturer's pricing requirements. Discounted pricing is only permitted during three two-week periods per calendar year. During those sale periods, Safecastle discounts all our Mountain House canned food the maximum-allowed 25% off for members and non-members as required by Oregon Freeze Dry Inc.
7. Why are products I order at one time sometimes delivered separately?
The most economical approach to conducting a business like this is to have suppliers dropship their products for us directly to our customers. This eliminates an additional shipping level from a product's cost and ensures that a product is fresh or the most current model. We do increasingly stock many of our products to maximize prompt shipping, but it is not possible for us to stock everything we sell. We aim to work with suppliers who ship our orders promptly. (Still, occasionally there are demand surges, such as what we see for storage food, that cause backorder issues at our distributors that can possibly result in delays of a few weeks.)
So if a customer orders several different products, items may be shipped from several different factories or warehouses. We expect all our suppliers to deliver orders within a two-week period in normal circumstances.
8. Why don't you have a catalog you can send me?
Safecastle Royal and our other operations are designed and staffed to deliver the best preparedness solutions at the most economical levels possible. Catalogs are fairly costly to produce and mail and are time-intensive to produce and maintain. Obviously, those costs are passed on to all their customers when a seller sends out catalogs.
At this time, we are committed to the e-commerce business model and we focus our full attention on our website and email customer service tasks.
There is a good reason that the internet has quickly become such a powerhouse in our society. It allows for quick, accurate communications and reliable and effective transaction processing. Companies like Safecastle are thriving and our customers are reaping the rewards of the security and ease of doing business online.
9. Why is it so difficult to contact you by phone?
We do monitor and respond to our phone messages as we can. Our first priority and by far the quickest way to get our attention is always going to be by email. We have found that phone interactions and taking orders over the phone requires an average of four times the amount of our time expended compared to online communications and order processing. From that data point, it's easy to see that for our very small staff, the most cost-effective use of our time is to focus our efforts online. Again--small staff equals lower product pricing for our customers.
10. Mountain House in Canada?
Yes, we are finally able to sell into Canada. Although the selection is not yet what it is here in the United States, we are able to sell several canned varieties and more than a dozen pouch varieties to our Canadian customers. We have a distributor set up in Ontario, which ships directly to our Canadian customers from their facility. Our Canadian listings are priced in US dollars and prices include all shipping and duty fees, so what you see on our listings is what you pay.
11. Storage food packages and shelf life?
A. Food package definitions
When we provide a time period estimate for our food packages, they are based on calorie counts ... specifically, 2000 calories per day. (Beware sellers who try to pass off a "serving" as a meal.)B. Shelf life
As examples-- 4-month, 7-month, and 18-month packages in our store are one-person time periods. For two people, simply divide that period of time by two (or three people, divide by three).
Shelf life varies a bit across the spectrum of storage food types and brands. Mountain House freeze-dried cans are good for 25-30 years in reasonable storage conditions. Mountain House food in mylar pouches is rated for a 7-year shelf life.
On the other side of the spectrum, 3600-calorie emergency food bars are good for at least five years.
All the other foods we sell--dry and wet-pack foods are canned to last for 10 years or more. Note that few manufacturers go to the great expense required to legally verify maximum shelf life. It is to their advantage not to do so as they can sell more food after people think their foods not bought recently probably need to be replaced.
Other foods ... 10 years is possibly the max you would want to store canned powdered milk and eggs. The wet pack meats should be good for 10-15 years. Dehydrated and freeze-dried foods go well beyond that. Honey lasts pretty much forever.
Note that good storage conditions for any type of packaged food means cool (room temp or cooler) and dry--out of sunlight, with no big cyclical temperature swings (freezing and thawing as an example). Any time a can or package's integrity is compromised, or there are bulges in the can, toss the food.
A share of Safecastle's net goes to The Salvation Army for Disaster Relief
LG., 12/10/12: "Wow is all I can say...you definitely made a customer for life and I will be posting how well you have taken care of this issue on facebook ...I will also be spreading the word to all of my biker and survival friends ... I'm still at a loss for words other than thank you very much and I am sure karma will be giving back to you two-fold.
Gail S., 12/8/12: "Your Customer Service is amazing. I've never seen anything like it. Thank you for that and for your excellent products and deals."
DC, 10/1/12: "As a 15-year veteran of the customer service industry, I have always worked to provide my customers with World Class Service. As a result, I hold the yardstick VERY high when I find myself in the role of befuddled customer. In the 18 hours since I became his customer, Vic has gone light years beyond my every expectation. His quick response to my emails, willingness to explore all possible resolutions, and the way he took OWNERSHIP of my issues (no matter how small) have all astounded me. I honestly wish I had found Safecastle sooner, so I could have already told everyone who would listen where they can find truly World Class Service."
N.S., 6/16/12: "Wow. Thanks for the quick response. I must say, Jack Spirko's endorsement of your business caused me to choose you over any competitors, and he is spot on about your customer service. Thanks so much!"
Judie, 4/13/13: "Thank you for making shopping so easy ... and the sale prices so good!"
Adam, 5/3/13: "Thank you, Vic! You're running a great business."
Ed F, 5/6/13: "I wanted to thank you for the way you run your business and the service you provide. It is a pleasure to do business with you. You treat customers like friends and it is appreciated. My last purchase, the AEB Ox, happened because your personal recommendation in an email got me to look more carefully at it. Thanks."