First of all, I was at a party recently where I had several people yelling at me to do this:
TL;DR: There have been some problems lining up a payment processor for the 2nd round of pick sales but it won't affect the production or delivery of your picks. Skip to the end for a video on picking a simple lock.
OK! Now for the long version.
Amazon Gets Cold Feet!
I came home to this email the other day...
Hello from Amazon Payments.
This message is to let you know that we have blocked your Amazon Payments account and canceled any pending transactions.
Yikes! The email went on to explain that they had determined that what I am selling is either Illegal or Inappropriate and that while they appreciated my interest I should know that this was a permanent decision. I proceeded to freak out. Those of you who follow me on twitter may have had the opportunity to see me lose my cool for a bit. Thankfully I was talked down and then the wonderful folks from Kickstarter contacted me and finally I was directed to the formal appeal process where I was asked to provide a plan of action to get my account in order and not let this happen again, etc. etc. This was the plan I provided:
1: I will not use Amazon Payments as my payment processor
Along with a WHOLE bunch of stuff about how lockpicking isn't illegal and that I'm fairly confident that even if I were to sell lockpicks using Amazon Payments I would likely follow the myriad state-by-state laws more seriously than any of the dozens of vendors already selling lockpicks via Amazon.com using their payment services. The next day my account was reinstated.
To be very clear - this has no effect on all of you whatsoever. Production has continued while I've worked on this and it doesn't change the shipping schedule at all either. I'm just letting you know what I've been dealing with lately. That's all!
This was just the most recent battle in the struggle to find a payment processor that would allow me to sell me lockpicks using their service without fear of my funds being frozen. Google Checkout explicitly forbids it and I'm presently waiting to hear back from Paypal. (And believe me I have looked into many many other options) Thankfully a friend came through for me and recommended a service that I should be able to use for both upgrades (for those of you that requested them) and selling new picks. However, as I was frantically trying to get a solution together I was asked by several people if I would think of making a bitcoin option available.
At first I laughed it off. Then I blanched at the volatility of the bitcoin market...then I decided what the hell. So - when the second half of the production run goes up for sale - June 1st - there will be a Bitcoin payment option, a Dwolla payment option & a normal Credit/Debit card option.
Also - while I've been promising myself this for a long time now, I have finally formally announced that this will be the only batch of picks I personally am going to make. I love making things, but I'm no where near as excited about selling them and I am jonesing to make something new. I've had some people ask if there might be the possibility of someone else producing these picks in the future and I am not discounting it. All I know is that I am going to be moving on to some new projects once this one is put to bed.
I love these picks and I think all of you will too, but I think making it a special, limited edition thing, instead of a perpetual business is much more in line with what I hoped this might be when I first thought about making lockpicks and certainly more in line with the Kickstarter ethos.
How I pick locks!
In addition to this hand-dandy one-sheet I've just shot a quick video for you all today. My apologies - it was shot in my basement so it looks kinda creepy...The video is larger than the upload here allows, so go watch it here on Youtube.