All good things must come to an end. Or at least a pause. We will be taking a few months off from offering new Family Reading Crates. The May 2019 “Books in Space!” Family Reading Crates are still a go and will ship out in a week or two.
But we will not be releasing new themes for a bit. The reason for this is two-fold.
25% of the blame can be placed on the massive amount of time it will require to finish Level 12 on time. There are still so many books to get through and lesson plans to write. Once level 12 is finished, the biggest monster of projects will be completed!
But 75% is because they just aren’t selling as well as would justify the time and effort that goes into start-to-finish production of a Family Reading Crate. Every month. Which is unfortunate, because all we get are positive comments and reviews. People love our crates! But then the sales numbers are just not backing that up. It doesn’t matter if we sell 40 crates, 400 crates or 1000. It still requires the same amount of time, planning, reading and effort to put them together.
While it is true that we recently sold out of a couple of months worth of crates, this was more because we have been significantly reducing the amount available. The number of crates available per month is calculated by the previous month’s total sales, and the amount of pre-orders we get before we have to order supplies. Of course, we also add several extra crates to accommodate late orders or for those who wait until after the unboxing video.
All in all, we just aren’t getting enough new buyers or consistent repeat customers. Are we offering crates too frequently and customers are having too many books pile up that they can not get to before another month is available? Perhaps… so we have decided to wait a few months before we release another crate.
In the meantime, we still have several 2018 crates in stock if you haven’t purchased those yet. The first few months, crates were flying off the shelves. Both February and March 2018 crates sold out completely in 3 days! We then started to (overly) optimistically ramp up the number of crates on hand. Then sales hit a plateau. Convinced it would pick up, we continued to stay at the same number. We were positive that they would eventually sell within a few more weeks. Or a few more weeks… Then sales started to decline.
Or maybe we picked some themes that were not as popular as we would have thought? “We are Family,” “Diversity: #OwnVoices,” these are still available, now just barely above cost at $25. But we would rather sell them at cost, then continue to have them sit in our storage unit. When we say (Limited number remaining) that can be “2 left!” or 200. : /
We would like to thank all those who have purchased Family Reading Crates in the past. Especially those of you who purchased a January 2018 Alaska Crate as well as every crate that followed, “subscription-style,” without missing one.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder? We’ll see in a few months! We will announce on Facebook and in a monthly newsletter when new Family Reading Crates are ready to hit the market once again. Thanks!
30 Replies to “New Family Reading Crates On Hold”
Sad! Just starting getting some from your 2018 list and was interested in a couple that sold out. It does take a while to get through them and topics do matter. How about quarterly versions?
Yeah… we are going to take a few months off, then revisit if maybe every other month, or quarterly would be better. We definitely do not want to stop altogether, but need to regroup. 🙂 thanks!
I loved the couple FRCs we got, but at this time it’s hard for me to order them when I know I’ll have a picture book I won’t need and don’t have any littles that live close to pass it too. All my kids are 13+ now.
Maybe offer an option for Middle schoolers and up?
I agree with this! I have never ordered because we have only teens and adults in our household. I love the idea and the themes though!
Same. Have loved the idea and wanted to order, but couldn’t justify the expense when some of the content won’t be interesting to my older kids. We are looking for middle school & up also.
Same here! My kids have outgrown picture books! Maybe offer crates with and without? Maybe at a slightly less cost for the without?
We LOVED the We Are Family crate (July 2018), it was a favorite here. ❤️❤️ I have not bought all of them, sometimes money was just tight that month and sometimes the theme did not resonate with our family. I think going to quarterly would be a great idea, my kids do get super excited when one comes and I would be bummed to never have the option again!
It is sad but understandable. Looking forward to getting May’s and to see what the future holds.
I would have loved to have these! But we are in the UK so shipping was an issue.
I would love to have a monthly unit study that I could download and buy the books here !
Same here, I watch all of your vids but being UK based makes the cost way too high otherwise I would subscribe in a heartbeat. Having a large family this works for me more so as the age range is pretty vast so everyone is catered for (which is rare lol).
Will be a shame to see this go for good so I will keep my fingers crossed it works out somehow for you guys.
I am glad you still plan to offer more crates in the future. I love the crates but I will be honest that we didn’t get the last few crates only bc we were still trying to catch up on past crates. I have three kids (8 and younger) so I am reading aloud so much right now for their BYL level books that we put crate book reading on hold but definitely will want more during the summer when we take a break before starting the next BYL level. I am thinking we will buy the Diversity crate (June 2018) now for summer reading. Love love your book recommendations Emily!!!!!
We love the Family Reading crates but are unable to read them each month. We are a box or so behind. Thank you for all of your time that you put into all of your products. ☺
Emily, you had a wonderful idea and a fabulous product. The kids loved them. But with their very busy sports life and home work, they didn’t get to finish the month’s crate before the next one arrived. You can be very proud of what you have done. I firmly believe that if you allow a greater time in between, they will read and enjoy all of your selections. The special bonus item were always a hit. Please don’t stop, take a break and they’ll come back strong. It’s a lot of work and you also need a break. Love to all.
Aunt Mary Ann
I bought all of the FRC that you had available once I discovered them. I tell everyone I meet about them and what an exceptional job you do at picking out books. I’m a huge fan! Thank you for all of your hard work. Looking forward to the space theme and the future
Emily if I could afford it, I’d be buying your book crates every month! I’ve only purchased one, but I absolutely loved it. My kids did too. I’m not saying your crates are too expensive, because they are an amazing value, but I’m too poor as a single barely-working mom of 3! We will definitely be there to purchase again when you’re back with new crates. I wish you the absolute best in this endeavor of yours!
We have loved the crates we purchased … all but 3 I think. We skipped 2 for the topic and we missed the first one, but I watched the un-crating and got the books ourselves. I love your book choices! I have only teens now, but still enjoy most of the picture books. I love the book marks, but could do without many of the ‘toy’ items. I’m very happy that 12th grade is coming along 🙂 ! I’m very happy you will be continuing in some way, and agree that every other month, quarterly, and/or an older option or a no toys option are all things that we would be interested in. I wonder if you could have a short term subscription option (3/6/9 months purchased all at once), or pre-orders with the theme provided in advance. We can’t wait to see how it unfolds! Thanks for all you offer!!
I loved the crate we got, an amazing value. An age choice would be a lot more work for you but could be beneficial, I have small kids so want the picture books, but the teen book isn’t necessary (although then I get a fun second book too read ).
Bummer! Hoping the advertising you did with us at LDSHE pays off for you! We stocked up on several past boxes when we discovered you, so we will work on those while we impatiently wait!
Just read the newsletter, and I wanted to respond. First, we love the crates. My kids get so excited when they arrive! But would it be possible to offer a recurring subscription to make it easier on the parents? I get a quarterly knitting box that is a one-year subscription, and I love the ease of that. Could something similar work? Thank you for finding such great selections!
I love the boxes and have bought almost everyone (I missed the 1st one because it sold out) and I hope you keep them up in the future because I will keep buying them.
We just purchased two crates a few months ago and absolutely love it. It has taken us longer than a month to get through the whole crate. But we love it so much it’s super fun and a great supplement to our homeschool. Maybe every other month???
I think if you offered the family reading crate as a download PDF it would be more cost effective for you and possibly for families too. That way families could still get the selection and reading guides from you but have the flexibility to get books at the library or used or whatever. It would also solve the storage problem for you. I know digital isn’t as “fun” as a physical crate in the mail but for some of us who have kids of different ages and/or on tight budgets we would buy a PDF more often then subscribe. Thank you for creating this and thank you for creating build your library curriculum.
There are a couple of crates I haven’t bought yet, will in July. When you start again can they be automatic order so that I don’t have to remember to order and possibly miss out on some crates. I have grandchildren from 2-20 so all ages work for me, and I read them all myself!
I have all but 5 of the crates. My kids are 16 and 18 and we read the children’s books, too, because I tell them to. They won’t let me read aloud to them any more, and they are allowed to opt out of any book I assign if they just plain don’t like them. This is rare with my daughter (16) and common with my son (18). I’ve made them all assigned reading in our homeschool.
I’m most sad that I missed out on the WWII crate, but when illness strikes the house, what can you do but forget everything? I do hope the crate comes back in any form, but I also just plain love taking your book recommendations from YouTube.
My family has been finding such wonderful books thanks to you! I like repaying for those great recommendations, whether it be crates or curriculum or whatever.
Your loyal customer,
I hope they return soon! I haven’t bought any yet because we’ve been living out of a tiny transition apartment with most stuff in storage to prep for our cross-country move, but we will (finally!) be settled in the fall and I was planning on starting in then. Would definitely love quarterly and a no toy/trinket option (but keep the bookmarks!). Different age options would be nice as well. Maybe allow people to just choose one age range per box with and add-on option for extras? The idea is so great though, so keep them coming!
I just found your site and curriculum options today and I think this book crate subscription is the best thing ever! I’m so sad to find it when it’s been put on hold (but glad I could snag a couple on sale!). I’ll be happy to sign up when these come back! I know a couple of people who would love this also! It’s a great idea and needs more traction. Can’t wait to go explore the rest of your site and options!
We absolutely love the crates and will continue ordering them once they are back. Perhaps an every other month set up would work a little better since it takes us longer than a month to get through one crate. Either way, we’ll be ordering just about anything you put out….whether it’s build your library curriculum or family reading crate. We do appreciate the picture books and age range of the others. My kiddos range from teen down to baby, so it works out really well. Thanks for everything you do.
Kat & Kids
I wish these shipped to the UK.
Oh my, this is such a wonderful idea! I just found your site today.
Will this be a go again soon?
No, we won’t be bringing the Family Reading Crates back, but we do sell Read Aloud Book Club packs! Same idea, but we streamlined it to one family read aloud – you can lean more here: https://buildyourlibrary.com/bookclub/