Thursday, July 26, 2012

Customer Service - Convenient for business or customer?

DustyCorners at posted an article about an experience she recently had with an online business and decided that it was worth posting about!! I agreed, so I copied this over to the OLA Team Blog to share. This brings up the question - How do you want your customers to see YOU?

"It can't be said enough, that customer service will make you or break you
It seems the generation after the baby boomers have a different perspective on what customer service really means. Is it more convenient for the business or the customer?

My recent experience with an established business has prompted this post today.

Scenario: Going through my late mother's porcelain dolls to sort out what may have some value from the everyday low end dolls.

I found an all porcelain (no cloth body) doll that needed finished and dressed. The back of the head was marked Germany and the body was marked Byron with other information. I recognized this to be more on the expensive side of dollmaking so off I went on the internet to find what current going prices may be. (what would I do without internet LOL)

I found a company that sold various supplies of doll making, they even have a catalog to order. Smile. Well, I don't need a catalog, just want to find a price on this particular doll body and head.
Ok, found them!

5-Pc. Side Slant
Straight Arms & Legs
B-157 12" (30.5cm)
Join with 1 yd. x
3/16" (9 ga) elastic.
Shoes 2-3/4"L (70mm)
B-614* 10-1/2" (26.5cm)
Join with 1 yd. x
3/16" (9 ga) elastic.
Shoes 2-1/4"L (57mm)

Wow, they even tell me what size shoes this doll will wear! Price, where is the price? "See pricing & ordering information below." (with a link)
I find this: "To order an item, add the quantity you wish in the blank space provided. Then click on the Order button to add it to your shopping basket. Remember: You can combine certain items for quantity pricing. You can also create a Bookmark or Favorites entry on your web browser to save links to this or other pages for future ordering." What? Where? Oh, I see a FAQ section, maybe they have the answer in there..........

FAQ section I find this: I see the item I want but no item number or price. How do I find it?

You haven't scrolled down far enough on the screen. The photo and description appear at the top of the screen. The item number and price appear below this.
(Click here to return to top of page.)

After about 5 minutes of trying to figure this out...............
I almost give up. Then I see they have a facebook page!!!! So I go there, but nothing noted I can use so I just send them a message and got a reply today.

Me: "Hello, I am having trouble using your website. I see the Byron doll parts I want, and cannot find the price.

Your FAQ states to scroll the page, and I have, all the way to the bottom and checked the sides. No prices.

I tried another browser and that is not the problem.

How do I find a price and shipping cost of the Byron Doll Style 36 B-157, 5pc side slant on your website?

Thanks so much! Dusty"
Their answer: "Hi Dusty, The item numbers we use are all 8 digit numbers. So the first step is to find our number for that mold. If you can call me at the office on Thurs aft or Friday I will be happy to work with you on that. I can consult our catalogs there to come up with the right number! Thanks, Laurie - my ext is 212 and call us at 330-***-****"
Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes 

Needless to say, but I am not spending any more time with this company.

First of all, they should have clearly stated which items are Not available on their catalog. Second, I gave her all the info of Their Product in my question, so why didn't she just look it up and let me know!!!!!!!!!!

Am I expecting too much from a customer's side of a business? All I wanted was a price of a product I found in a current catalog.

This company has been around for over 50 years, so my non-purchase won't hurt them at all. But what about the small business? Many small companies today need every sale possible. Could you afford to lose even one customer because of the customer service offered (or lack of) ??"

Dusty's post really points out a not so surprising attitude nowdays. Is your business big enough to "pooh-pooh" ANY customer, big or small? Perhaps this customer may not buy today but what about future buys? Is your website clear to the customer? Can they locate the necessary tools to make a decision quickly and easily (after all, a lot of sales are impulse shopping!! If they can't find it, they can't buy!!)?

So, for anyone in eCommerce, take a look from a customers perspective . . . . you might learn a thing or two about your own business!!

Thank you DustyCorners for posting this and bringing it to our attention!! Now, if you want some great deals, especially in the month of JULY (Christmas in July sales), hop on over to DustyCorners and poke around!! She has some fabulous finds!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rural Free Landscaping -- The Garden Path

I'm on a mission to claim every inch of the unused land on our little rural parcel and make it cute, useful, beautiful, quirky, silly, whatever I want. This is my therapy while we camp out with our kids and look for a permanent home.

My first project was a garden path. Before I started, there was no way to get from one side of the property to the other across the back. Part of it looked like this ...

... and the other side looked like this:

I asked our son-in-law to weed-whack a path for me. It's a good thing I went with him. Typical male, he would have chosen the shortest distance between 2 points, leaving me with a freeway straight across. NOT! Garden paths should meander and hold a little mystery about what lies around the next curve.

Here is how it looks now from the left:
All it took was a little "whacking," a little raking, and some dead-fall, to make this side fun and interesting. (It still needs a few more logs on the left, but it will always be a work in progress.) One hint, here, is to make the entrance flair out, as if inviting us in. Another idea is to make the path wide. This adds a feeling of openness.

This side is even more interesting, and gives us a focal point with the cluster of trees, plus an inviting path to the nice neighbor next door (out of sight on the right).

All of this was done last year, and took very little work to bring it back this year. We are in the process of adding more loops and points of interest. Stay tuned for updates on secret paths, yard art, and butterflies.

Altogether, this project took about a week of our time and $0.00 to complete, using only materials already lying around.  It has greatly improved the natural personality (and value) of our land, with plenty more improvements to come.

The best part of this project is looking for treasures to decorate our new path. Wouldn't this little birdhouse look cute in one of the trees?

When you're stuck inside this winter, you could make your own decorations to put out on your path next year.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Books . . . . . . . . are friends

You know, now days, we have all kinds of technology to read books . . . Nooks, Kindles, IBooks, and heaven knows what will be invented tomorrow!!

These are all great but there is just something about books . . . . . not a machine but the paper, the cover, the smell, the pictures, the pleasure of turning pages, the feel of ownership . . . . . . and so much more. 

Myself, I LOVE books!! I’ve always loved to read. I had an attic bedroom where the stairs went right into the room. My mom would holler up at me (stairs were pretty narrow and windy so she usually hollered at me) to see if I was doing my homework. “Yes,” I’d say and keep on reading my library book, munching on the apple!! Oh, my!! They were my friends and still are!!

There is something about reading a book to a child as bedtime approaches . . . . . and the feel of ownership that child has when given a book for their very own!! The simple pleasure!!

The computers and such are just not a book. Not that they don’t have their place!! But I enjoy the REAL thing!! The roaring fire and cup of hot chocolate or the umbrella on the deck and ice tea . . . . . and my book!!!

Here at, we have LOTS of books!! New books, old books, instruction books, textbooks, fiction, nonfiction, crafts, cooking, childrens books, and so much more!! Here is just a very small sample of what you can find!!

So, if you like a good book, come on over to and check us out!! And let's face it, not all books could be appreciated as well on one of these devices!!

 Right now a lot of us are having sales in our stores and most, if not all, combine shipping!!

Our store, KornKountryTreasures, has LOTS of books and all are 20% off listed price!!

Sit down, put your feet up and enjoy!!! Happy reading!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quite a Light Show!

We don't usually get prolonged thunder and lightning here in the NW, so it was pretty impressive to have 24 hours of it day before yesterday! Sometimes it was so close it would flash and then BOOM! The windows would shake! During the "intermissions" we were treated to torrential rain...huge drops that splattered and spread out the size of 1/2 dollars on my windshield as I drove to work. I had to pull over once because my wipers couldn't keep up. Then the sun would come out for a few minutes, and the lightning and thunder would start again. Pretty exciting!

I found some fun things at in honor of our crazy weather!

Silent Thunder from kornkountrytreasures  (ours sure wasn't!)

An electrifying lightning bolt brooch from Goldi!

Classical Thunder CD from American-Distributions!

Cool older Black Lightning comic book from neatstuff333

 Thundercats Grune the Destroyer found at Marebob1!

Dandy lightning bolt ring from tweety1958!

Love the smell of a spring rain storm! Vegan soap from latherupsoap!

Sweet little Hummel piece "Stormy Weather" from Classic_Chloe!

Whew!!! Glad it's over. Today was a nice, calm day.. no rain, a little wind and about mid 70's.  Perfect!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Great Christmas Gifts on Sale

Still looking for the great gift ideas on OLA during the Christmas in July sale. We have them and some can be found by going to Grams-Recycle-Bin for great gift ideas. She is offering 20% off items listed in her store like maybe these items

Toscany 24% Lead Crystal Tulip Candle Holder

Stuffed Garfield Stuck On You

The School House Plate by Johnson Bros. The Friendly Village

St. Nicholas Square Snowman Bowl Let It Snow

This is just a sampling of what is available in her OLA house. Please stop in and see all that she has to offer and it is quite a display to choose from. 

Be safe, be healthy and be happy.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Nothing scary about Friday the 13th at!

All KINDS of lucky finds:

Thirteen dollars? NOPE! Just 1.00 at curiocache's store!

Thirteen collectible stamps from callmemomo's store!

The 13 Gun Salute audio book cassette from vermonter53's store!

Thirteen Moons DVD for one lucky quarter in raevenhow's store!

 ..and 13 stamps for .99  also from raevenhow!

See??? You're perfectly safe here with friends at!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Are You Looking for Something Special

Are you looking for something special of that someone special. If so you can find it on from the many who are doing the Christmas in July sale. I am also doing a sale and giving 20% off on all items until July 31, 2012. You can get to my store by going to chateycathey and searching the items I have listed like this one:

Beautiful Blue Decorated Rooster Plate

Or I am sure you doggie would love this one and would learn to let you know when he wants a treat.
Dog Biscuit Cookie Jar Doggie Jar

Or maybe this new item for a friend when you are out of ideas
Beautiful Cake Plate and Server

This one for that special lady in your life
Awesome Necklace and Earring Set

Or maybe something new for yourself to keep your feet warm on Christmas morning
Two Pairs of Knitted House Slippers

If I have missed something you may be looking for you can search through my store as I have lots listed and even some for the collectors, then be sure to put Christmas in July in the search to see who is also doing a sale and what they have to offer at discounted prices for this month.

Thank you for visiting my OLA house and I hope you find something that interest you and remember it is all 20% off for the month of July. I hope you visit again as I am listing new items every week and I never know what is getting listed next.

Be safe, be healthy and be happy