Monday, August 11, 2014

Rome wasn’t built in a day vs. the clock is running

Ella’s Eclectic Emporium got a shot in the arm on Sunday as we finally had time to move a couple of pieces into the booth, and I was able to put together a bookcase for some small items.  It no longer looks like the red-headed stepchild of the antique mall, but even after about six hours of work on Sunday, both pricing and merchandising, it still has a long way to go.

I tried to show both sides of the booth; yes, it needs more stuff
I know, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  On the other hand, the clock is running to get enough sales to make rent for both booths before the end of the month.   Stay tuned.  Our first month with both booths is proving to be interesting, to say the least.

Last week, Ella answered an advertisement regarding 350 DVDs for sale for $175.  We picked them up on Saturday morning after negotiating the price down to $150.  Unfortunately, upon getting them home, we realized that about half were either too scratched to sell, or were of the bootleg variety.   Of the remaining DVDs, most have the dreaded penny status on Amazon.  Thankfully, DVDs actually sell well in Barry’s Bonanza, our smaller booth, and with any luck, we’ll make a little money eventually.

While waiting to pick up the DVDs, I received this email from an Amazon customer:

Tracking info indicates that my order's estimated delivery date is August 11th. However, it also shows that it stayed in Georgia three days, and has been in a Memphis post office for two days. Not sure why it has to sit for so long in those post offices. I live in New York, and unless the package is moving along faster than the tracking info indicates, I will not receive it on Monday. That's disappointing, since I was hoping for a speedier delivery.

I am aware I didn't pay for faster delivery, but when ordering directly through Amazon, I usually receive things faster just using regular delivery. Maybe that's my problem (no extra money for fast shipping), but if something could be done in future to keep people's books from just sitting for days in two or more post offices, that would make for happier customers. Thanks for listening.

Yes, if only something could be done to keep people’s books from just sitting for days in post offices.  I’ll get right on it. 

Here is my reply.

I think every online seller would love to have a way to stop packages from sitting in post offices for days.  Unfortunately, it is beyond our control.  Even Priority Mail has a tendency to wander around the country, post office to post office, at times. 

If your package arrives too late, please just mark refused on the package, and drop it back in a mailbox.  I will refund your purchase when it makes it back to me.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.

And then her response:

Thank you for the timely response. It's okay. I know you can't control the U.S. Postal Service. I just wasn't sure how some packages seem to move along quickly and others don't. Truth be told, I'm an impatient person when it comes to waiting for things I've ordered :-) That's why I purchase locally, unless mail ordering is the only way for me to receive an item.

Also, I plan to keep the book even if it arrives later than Monday. That is, assuming it's not badly damaged, or anything. And who knows, maybe when I get some extra money, I will check out some of that "other neat stuff" that is a part of your business name. Have a great day.

All’s well, that ends well, provided the post office actually delivers the book.

On Saturday night, we went to the local auction, and picked up the game table and two chairs shown in the pictures above.  We moved them into the booth on Sunday.

After working in the booth, we went to the final hours of a large children’s consignment sale.  Many items were either half priced, or marked down to $1.  I found a couple of education books and pregnancy/fitness-related DVDs that will make the trip worthwhile.   Such sales frequently are overlooked by dealers, and if you can put up with wading through hordes of screaming kids, and getting your toes run over by baby strollers, you might just find some treasures.

Have a great week.


  1. I've noticed that anything I send parcel select goes to Memphis. Sometimes it moves along quickly (like over a weekend) and sometimes not.

    1. I rarely use parcel select. It seems that unless my package is extremely heavy or going to the west coast, priority, while just a tad pricier, is the better bargain.

    2. I rarely use Parcel Select either. In most cases, Priority is actually cheaper for me or within $1 of the Parcel Price. I'm in the Midwest.

    3. I had to on a few recent orders that were large and heavy. One went to Alaska. Also, media mail (books) go thru Memphis too.

  2. You handled that note well. I would've had to take a moment before I replied in order to not respond in a snotty manner. Ella's Emporium is looking great!

    1. Thanks. Slowly, but surely. We need infrastructure (i.e., display tables and/or cases),. and we went looking in an old flea market. Once I literally started getting bitten by fleas, I figured it was time to leave.