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 and club incentives on preparedness-related products ... to include free shipping all the time to the contiguous US, special discounts off products in the store (members must log-in to see discount pricing, 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 as well as expedited shipping 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.
2. Is shipping really always free?
The only exception is that we must bill for shipping of the EVAC Trailers. Otherwise, standard shipping to the contiguous 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 Puerto Rico is determined on a case by case basis. (We no long ship to Alaska, due to a history of costly issues that arose thru the year.) 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, iGlobal stores, 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 and reach checkout. 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 can 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 Annual Membership purchase and then enjoy membership benefits and discounts for the entire year. When they are logged in, their discounted pricing is automatically shown at checkout. 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 on checkout 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 are some foods or products not discounted for club members?
We try to offer club member discounts on most of our products. In some cases, there are manufacturer dealer pricing rules (and we also have to consider sales volumes and margins that allow us to remain a healthy business enterprise). Often, we do also reward member purchases with various programs that may be in effect.
7. Why are products I order at one time sometimes delivered separately?
We currently stock our inventory at many different fulfillment warehouses around the country. We also do dropship various products when that makes sense, direct from the manufacturer.
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 is set up and staffed to deliver the best preparedness solutions at the most economical pricing 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.