07.28.06

Truths… it’s hot, I can’t walk on water…

Posted in business-a-go-go, Fun Stuff, Main, sidenotes at 7:20 pm by carrie

So, retail land is slumber-time during the summer… especially with the record breaking heat we’ve had this year.

I’ve had quite the frustrating morning and I thought I would share it so those of you who want a shop will know what to expect ;)

1. You will be bombarded by vendors all summer.

They’ll be selling advertising, merchant services, handmade things you never knew you didn’t need and other odd things. This morning, for example, three young people came in trying to convince me to switch to their credit card merchant services… I was busy buying beads from Cathi Milligan, bead goddess (hehe). I have NEVER seen an angry Cathi… these 3, they rubbed her the wrong way… here’s how it went:

Me: me
Them: pushy salespeople
Cathi: Cathi

Them: “Do you accept credit cards ma’am?”
Me: “Yes, yes I do and I am very happy with my provider so I am not interested in your services.”
Them: “Well, I bet you we can beat their rates!”
Me: “Well, no… I’ve had 3 other groups, such as yourself, look at my rates and they’ve all said I have great rates, I don’t need…”
Them: “Well, what are your rates?”
Me: “ummm… I’m not sure… one point something… “
at this point you could tell Cathi was getting uncomfortable… she was putting her stuff away and pulling it towards her…
Them: “Well, if you just show us a statement, we could take a look and let you know what we think…”
Me: “That isn’t necessary… oh, Cathi, are you leaving??”
Cathi: “Yes… “(walking toward the door) “She told you she wasn’t interested and you STILL won’t leave and I find that incredibly rude!!!!”
I’m a tad in shock at this point….
Them: “If you just show us a statement, we’ll leave”
Me: “Fine…” I go and get the folder….
Turns out they COULD NOT save me any money and all of that was a waste of time…
Them: (the nice one in the group) “so, now you can tell anyone else who comes in that you have the best rates…”
Duh, I told you that. And with that said, if you need a merchant account, I’ll refer you to my guy if anyone out there requests it! :)

2. It’s hot. People are in a bad mood.

People want to be in an air conditioned environment and get lots of attention. It’s 78-80 in here and I can give you attention, but I can’t perform miracles.
Case in point:

My friend Rachael, who really has nothing to do with this story, but she is a self-proclaimed “lid banger”. I find that perfectly okay, but not with the turn-of-the-century hand-painted ceramics. Feel free to touch them and pick them up but if you think you are going to bang and clang them into each other, with force, please ask me for help and I’ll run right over and help! :)

That said… we got a ceramics banger in today who was looking at a set of 5 bowls, a nut bowl set, hand painted… retails for $83.00, these are slightly rare.
Customer: “$83.00…So, that’s $5.00 each, right?”
Me: “ummm… no, it’s a 5 piece set and they sell together as a set for $83.00, I’m sorry.”
Customer: “well, I only want this one!”
Me: “I’m sorry… I can’t break them up, they’ve been a set for over 100 years, it would be a shame to break up their family!”
Customer: “well, I guess I won’t get them then”

Customer: “I fell in love with this plate over here…”

Plate in question:

Me: “oh yes, it’s a beauty! It’s chipped and sold as-is… I wish I could get more”
Customer: “Can you get more? I would like a set but unfortunately, that one is broken”
Me: “oh… ummm… I can’t get a set and I only found that one, by itself, at an estate sale… again, I wish I could get more, but I can’t!”
Customer: “so, you can’t get any more?”
Me: “no, I’m sorry”
Customer: “But I want them”
Me: “ummmm…”

This went on for a while…

Boy, if I could have a time-traveling device I would SO go and grab all the expensive antiques and hoard them… but alas, I cannot and we do get onsies. I like the idea of all onsie plates, cups and saucers in my house… more fun that way.

3. You won’t have what they are looking for.

I just got 20 boxes of Halloween and fall items. They aren’t all out and displayed… if you’ve seen the way I plan for displays, you will be aware of the fact that it takes me a while to plan and assemble.
50% of my customers want it all out and displayed… with happy little ghosts, witches, pilgrims, indians… the whole bit.
The other 50% are annoyed with the idea of Fall items being out this early.

What do I do?

I figured mid-August is a good compromise… with a party at the end of September… we shall see.

Also… we are running low on silk florals. I am not quite sure what to get… We mostly sell springy pastel items but with the fall coming, I would like to get the darker, richer colored arrangements. eek! Do I wait, do I go now… another quandary.
Oh, and apparently, I don’t have enough lamps. pass it on.

4. Stock up on toilet paper, paper towels and hand soap

We must be between a large beverage factory and people’s homes because… we are a common pit-stop. They may or may not make a purchase but they will come in with a need of another kind. We are also surrounded by automotive repair shops and I can see the wheels spinning in their heads as they head for the crosswalk… greasy auto shop or pink boutique? Which would have the better-looking, cleaner bathroom?? (Since I’m the maid in this particular situation, and I’m NOT the best housekeeper… this one is a toss-up ;) )

5. Your electric bill… it will be huge.

Without going into numbers… this was the highest bill we’ve had… ever. But nothing will beat the Denny’s in Baker on the way to Vegas… the year we had the energy crisis, they had a bill of $10,000 for ONE month… that’s right, $10K!! It was mounted and shellacked by the front door. I would have bronzed it personally!! :)

6. Carry child distracting items

Such as candy, little games, books, dvd’s… or tell them that little people live under the carpet… anything to keep them distracted. If I were little, I would find the shop quite boring, too.

7. With the sun staying up longer, 7pm feels like 6pm…

How does this affect us you ask? Well, when you are on your way out at 6:30, you will get people coming in to shop… not knowing it is indeed, 6:30, thinking it’s more like 5:00… so, stay longer!

8. The July gift show is here! You should be…

in bunny mode, so put on those lop-ears! Here comes spring and Easter. You should have already ordered Valentine’s day, which I have… mostly. We went to the gift show last Tuesday and found the most amazing things! An awesome line of candles, the most amazing linens EVER, some neat chocolate gift sets for christmas, more soaps… and books! We’re going again this Sunday and perhaps I’ll be more aware of what I am doing and take pics of all the goodies we encounter!

I guess this is all general information… common sense if you will… but, it’s all sort of a lesson to me! We’ve been in business over 3 years and I’m still learning on a daily basis!

Nathan just got me a shirt that says “I’m blogging this”… HA! I’ll wear it when I desire customer service… would that even make them flinch??

OH!

One thing I can tell you for sure… a 12 foot pool-in-a-box put together and filled with water on a slightly sloped back yard is a bad idea. I got a pool-cleaning net, chlorine, the whole bit… couldn’t keep that thing clean to save my backside. So, it’s fun for about 3 days… after that… no. A gigantic waste of $100 plus whatever water costs you… and when you drain it, you have to do it a little at a time over the course of a few days. The birds loved it tho.

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