Thursday, 6 August 2009

the down side of owning a store

I've said it before, the more brilliant the design and creativity, it seems the worse they run their business. I spent the better part of my week trying to explain to a very well loved and popular mfg that I can't sell what's not in the store.

They kept telling me how I was going to lose out on this incentive and that if I didn't order by yesterday. I just laughed. In the end I know I can order all I want, but it will just backorder and someone else will sell it. In the past, I ahve waited as long as 2 months for them to ship my order and even then, main pieces were back ordered and thus cancelled.

To be fair, they have tried to re-do their delivery times, so that all the stores in one area get the product at the same time. So much for fairness, however, read on.

What upset me the most about said company, is that they let another large company come and pre-sell all the new stuff at convention before anyone else even had a chance to order it. This other company even bragged about how they were the only ones to sell it. This upset me a great deal.

I explained it all to the sales manager, who took it upon herself to call me direct when I suggested to her sales rep that we were no longer a good fit. This practice undercuts the local scrapbook stores. The local stores...after all, are the ones that take care of you all, that takes the risk of buying new stuff so you all aren't staring wistfully at the shelves at AC Moore and Michael's and Joannes at the same stuff you've been looking at for the last year. The other company, the one that overcharged and took all the sales just packed up and moved on to the next CKC while people like me stayed behind to explain why *I* didn't have the new stuff.

I could almost see the patronizing smile coming through the phone. They let the other company have it first in an effort to "market it" and "drive excitement" so we could order and order these lines in. uh-huh. because you all are going to buy what you already have, and then re-buuy it, right? Whatever. And what really irks me is that somehow, I ended up feeling like the bad guy because I still wouldn't order and work with the other sales gal (there's a lvoely story all it's own behind that too)

It's just a bummer though, because these new lines are some of the best I've seen in a long time. But I don't see the point in ordering since so many bought it at convention, or took classes with it. Sorry to be a bummer today, but I think it's important that you all know what happens behind the scenes.

I did after all say I was going to write about what it really was like to run a scrapbook store. It ain't all stickles and bling all the time. Sometimes, its a big ugly embellishment in exactly the wrong place and it won't come up without tearing your paper. Sometimes, it's finishing the perfect page only to look down and realize you've mispelled your own kid's name in the title.

Anyone have any thoughts? Do I continue to support this well known, well loved company and risk losing money on these new lines or just go with the other companies who seem to operate with a little more sensitivty to the little guy?

I really would like to hear what you all think. Btw, the companies I have listed like Fancy Pants, Pink Paislee etc...are awesome. Don't think I am talking about them!


Unknown said...

Don't let them make you feel like the bad guy, Shelby. You're just trying to look out for your customers who, in case they've forgotten, are the ones who are ultimately keeping them in business.

I think you should write a letter to someone above that sales manager explaining why you haven't ordered any of the new lines. And I think I'll write a letter to the same person explaining why, as a customer, I won't have access to their new lines (and that I refuse to buy them from the vendor at CKC who had it all in advance, both on principle and also because they were charging more than retail for some of the stuff.)

It sucks not to get the new lines from this company this time around, but honestly there's enough really cool stuff coming out from other companies that I doubt I'll miss it much. Just wave some of that new yummy Pink Paislee in front of me, and I'll forget all about this other company and their predictable, cutesy Halloween line that's just like the 900 other cutesy Halloween lines we've seen.

And hey, if enough people voice discontent with their questionable business practices, maybe by the next CHC (and new set of lines), they will have changed their approach and we can go back to loving them. :)

Anonymous said...

Does the Co rhyme with Taysick Fray?

C'mon Shelby. Don't leave us hanging. Whoo?