Friday, April 04, 2008

We got Candles, Wafers so don't Wine!

The Jigsaw, Paint-by-Number and Sticker people have been great and have been helping to keep us in the last few weeks - probably because they know a good deal when they see it and realise we are much better value than most of the competition in town! 
We have a full and exceedingly large spinner chocablock full of paint-by-numbers and scraper foils! and we have deals on them, you buy 2 and the price is less! 
We have a brand new and full sticker stand and a lot of the stickers on it are 3 for £1 - these include disney, pooh, dora the explorer, transformers and lots more! 
and we have had a whole range of new season designs in the Jigsaws. From Paul Lamond - some stunning Gothic and Fantasy Images on them! From JR a load of steam trains and rural/wwII scenes in! and lots more from about 3 or 4 different brands, and we have a whole slew of kiddy jigsaws as well as Jig Rolls at a really great price. Well worth looking at.

OK theres lots of new stuff coming in almost daily - and some of the Greetings Cards we now have in are really good as well and at a cracking price for the style and quality of them too! Come take a look some time soon! Just don't get the minions too excited as they get uncontrollable then and I end up having to calm them down with coffee and chocolate! oh or wait a minute is that me I end up having to calm down with Coffee and Chocolate (remember you are always welcome to come for coffee and a chat but just remember to bring me a Caramelatte from Nero's or a Caramel Machiatto from Starbucks when you come!)

Hey, so anyway we now have the most common sizes of Candles in stock! yes that includes fluted base, Votives - Stick & Cased, Sanctuary Lights, Baptism (3 sorts) and Wedding candles! and we have had to re-order twice as well! 
So yes we have candles - don't forget to pick up one of our spanky full colour Candle and Church Supply brochures when you are in - it even has a section on the back for you to fill in what size candles you normally have - if you don't do the candle buying then please pass it on to someone that does.
We also have Communion Wafers in ( and yes they have had to be re-ordered and topped up as well!), so thats Priests Crucifix, Peoples Crucifix, Priests Plain and Peoples Plain and yes Gluten Free ones as well!
Yes we have Baptism Certificates, Confirmation Certificates and SGA Packs in stock.
Yes we have Daily Reading Notes and Sunday School Material and yes please do place them on standing order with us, it makes re-ordering so much easier for me to do!
Yes we have Bibles, Books and everything else you can think of - Don't forget to take a postcard for the church/community noticeboard!!
No we are not fully stocked up yet, but we are getting there! but as it's all coming out my own pocket it will take a little time - and:
NO DON'T say when you come in - and I offer to order it for you - 'No thanks I will get it off the Internet'!!
I mean you can get it off the internet if you want (heck I shop the internet too!) but don't actually say it to me, or the minions, when out of my own pocket and at the sacrifice of my own wage I am struggling to kit out a Christian Bookshop so that you have the books and candles on hand! It is rather like Marie Antoinette saying about the poor, 'let them eat cake'! its just not really very well thought out, a bit like salt in a wound or a stab in the back! 
Just say - 'No thanks that's ok'. That we can live with much easier as we can fool ourselves you won't buy it off the internet and will come back in after you have looked around other shops and not found it!
But let me just point out - when I offer to order it for you it will usually be in stock within 3-7 days - you don't often get it from amazon etc any quicker, heck ask some of my customers and you will realise that in a lot of cases it comes in within 2 days depending on day of the week and suppliers! and when I order it for you from new you don't then have to pay a carriage charge for the item! so yes even if amazon or whoever are offering a bit of a discount add in the carriage charge and you may well find its actually no cheaper! and just think when you order it from me thats the money I need to buy the stock to make sure that the next time you come in needing that Nicky Gumbel book or Margaret Silf book its there on the shelf!
Ok whining done - rant over on that one. (and no we don't sell alcoholic communion wine - we can arrange to have it despatched to you but we don't actually stock or sell it as we are not allowed  to because of Licensing Laws).

New rant!
To all the gen book Unicorn Tree'rs I have who have done or are contemplating doing this! - Don't ask me, or the minions, to look stuff up on the computer because Waterstones, WHSmith etc, won't, can't... if you are not actually going to buy anything from us and are then going to come back in the shop and tell me you got the book whose title you had me look up for you on Fantastic last week from the competition! especially when its a book I have in stock and on the shelf when you come in clutching your gains!!
Please understand neither I nor the minions mind looking stuff up (unless you can see we are really busy- but then leave us what you want looking up and ordering on a note with a contact number and we will do it and get back to you after we have finished being busy!) we like playing on the computer! but please understand it is a service we offer to our customers and to be a customer you actually have to purchase something!! otherwise you are not a customer but at best a browser, and though we don't mind browsers in the shop we really want them to become and be customers that browse the shelves. 
Let me make clear I don't mind if we look something up and you then don't get it due to price, timing of delivery etc etc or any of the other really legit reasons there may be - I just object when you are using us as an information service with no intention of supporting us! lets face it, it's like getting on a bus for a ride out to view the scenery and then not paying the fare!
Also - sort of tangential to the last one, please do not moan at me and my minions when you bring me the books that you purchased from the competition for credit and I only give you a 25p or 50p credit on them! after all how much credit do the competition actually give you on your secondhand books?? and Yes by all means do give it/them/the books to a Charity Shop instead of to us - we support and believe in charitable giving and charity - and this statement is just annoying really, especially when prefaced with 'I might just as well take them to a Charity Shop then! I would be just as well off!' as I am pretty sure they dont give you a credit at all in the Charity shop either. 

(Oh and by the way this shop financial year - since September 07 - I (Unicorn Tree) with our customers help have given over £265 to our sponsored charities - yes you can check this out on our charity pages to make sure what I am saying is legit! I only give through justgiving so that it can be tracked and you all can be assured our charitable giving is a legitimate fact and not just something we say! - £215 to GOSHH and £50 Christmas appeal to Habitat for Humanity - so actually you know what, when you give your books to us and I give you a credit you are supporting charity as well - as I have made a commitment that I keep at my own expense to tithe a percentage of my shops profits to charity - when you donate stuff that percentage gets higher! how much of the actual money from some charity shops actually goes to charity?? I know for a fact the answer in at least one case is, well that would be about 0.01p a year! but thats another story.)

So please don't moan at me when you do not get much back on the competitions books, buy our books and leave our stickers on so I, and the minions, know they are ours and you might get a little more. 
Oh yes and the reason you get more back on the secondhand books than on new books is because the secondhand books cost me less to buy so I can afford to give you more, (but then think about this before you start saying how much money I make on them - you bring me a book and I give you a 50p credit on it, so it cost me 50p to buy, I then put it out at £2.00 - lots of profit you say?? only if i sell it in the first place! but saying I do, the purchaser pays £2.00 and then brings that book back and I then give them a £1.00 credit on it as its one of our secondhanders and you get a 50% Credit - so actually all I made on that book is 50p! Not much profit there at all really! especially if you then only buy a book that costs the value of that credit!).
If we gave you 50% on the new books we would be giving you more than we make on the book in the first place, in fact i would then be paying you to buy the book from me in the first instance! and if I was going to do that I might as well just leave the till open and say help yourself!
So OK I really do understand you all want the best return or best deal on things you can get (so do I, it's natural!) - but you know what I bust my back trying to give that best return and deal to you in the first place, I am not looking to get rich merely to make a decent living doing what I love- selling books.
My books are generally cheaper - often a lot cheaper that the competition - yes even most of the newest books!
Margaret Dickinson's new book - 'Sing As We Go' is full price in all the competition shops - £5.99 and it is only £5.75 with me - that 75p instead of 99p is pretty much true on all the brand new fiction - thats my pocket that comes out of - and I do not begrudge doing this as I want you to have good fiction at good prices, but please then think about it when you come in and don't then expect the unreasonable along with the reasonable.

Ask me and the minions nicely and we will happily try to explain all this, but please do not be rude and objectionable. Please think a little on what you say and how that effects me and the minions. After all when you ask us to do the work like looking up books but then you buy them elsewhere - well in time thats a minion less working, and then there won't be anyone with the time to look up the books for you!

On the secondhand side of it - well at least you are getting something back on the books you buy, and please don't just buy up to the value of the credit note you are given - especially when you keep coming in with other peoples books to make up that credit note - after all if you do that often enough I won't be here anymore as I don't get a government subsidy like the lending library does and essentially thats all I am if you keep buying off others and getting credits off me and just topping up the books to the value of the credit note! At least a few times a month can you actually buy something off me please, it doesn't have to be a full price brand new book, a cheap secondhand will do rather than just swapping books or using our knowledge and systems?

I want to be here to serve you all for a long time - and I want the minions to be here to serve me for a long time! - so please buy some stuff off us occasionally and not just use us!
Okay nother rant over.

Anyway thats me done for the night, see you in the shop in the morning - its a minion free day so feel free to bring the coffee!