NEW YORK (MainStreet) If you prefer your morning toast with an inspirational image, you may be out of luck this holiday shopping season. The Jesus toaster has been banned by Amazon. Again.
The 32nd best-selling toaster on Amazon burns in an impression of Jesus on bread as it toasts, but it has been pulled from the online marketplace's Christmas gift offerings. Galen Dively, CEO of the Vermont Novelty Toaster Corporation, says Amazon has withheld half the company's sales over the last two weeks while it "reviews" its account.
"This happened last year," says Dively. "We are a small business, and this really hurts our cash flow. I have to wait weeks to recoup my shipping costs because of this."
Dively says Amazon charges about $8 in fees for every toaster he sells. That's a 15% commission on the product price and includes shipping charges.
"Every Christmas our sales soar above our 'limited Velocity amount' triggering an account review allowing Amazon to withhold half our sales until the review ends," Dively says. "I have been on the phone for the last two weeks with them getting nowhere on this issue despite my 100% seller rating and flawless customer service. Normally, I pay for my shipping upfront, then have to wait two weeks for the money Amazon collects from our customers to be deposited in my bank. This delays payment up to a month."
Besides the best-selling Jesus toaster, the company's website, www.burntimpressions.com, offers a wide variety of toasted images, including President Obama, Sarah Palin, the Virgin Mary, butterflies, peace signs, cannabis leaves, paw prints, and many more -- including a toasted image of male genitalia .
However, the website also states that "we can no longer with a straight face say our toasters will arrive before Christmas."
--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet