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Christmas is coming - Gliga orders

Elizabeth Ward

There was a time when I could pretty much guarantee that all Gliga orders received by the end of November would be delivered in time for Christmas.  Unfortunately those days have passed.  The past two years have seen a small number of items arrive too late.

Please, if you want a Gliga for Christmas, take note of the following.

1. Demand for Gliga has outstripped supply for the last three years.  This means that

2. Gliga are making almost everything to order and so

3. Retailers have to take their turn in the queue.  And at the risk of stating the obvious,

4.  There is absolutely nothing I can do about sending you a violin until it is here!  Even travelling in person to Romania to collect does not solve the problem, as I found out when I requested two double basses to collect in person when I visited.  They only had one.

5. Gliga do not give me any indication of when my order will be ready until they are about to send it.  The most I get is "I will tell you when we are making it".  I may be the biggest contributor by far to Gliga's UK success but I am still a very small retailer.  They send to the US by the container load and that is all tied down to the date the ship leaves.  Unsurprisingly that takes priority!

6. There is very little that is more annoying than when a customer waits almost long enough but then gets fed up and decides to buy elsewhere.  Usually that doesn't cause me any problems beyond the annoyance factor (if it is likely to, you will be asked in advance to give an absolute assurance that you are not going to suddenly turn round and say you have changed your mind when the violins have left Romania!).  It does not, however, do the customer any good.  If you order from the US you will pay VAT and customs duty on the full cost including shipping when the goods arrive (this means that imports from the US are A LOT more expensive than buying from me).  If you get fed up and go for something else rather than wait another couple of weeks, what have you gained by buying something you didn't really want?  And why does a wholesaler stock item suddenly become more desirable from another retailer than it was on my website?  I can only assume that customers blame me for the delay but really there is not very much I can do.  Once the violins are here, I can move very quickly.  Once I even delivered a cello in person on Christmas day.  Until they are here, it really is out of my hands.

7. Although it doesn't happen very often, in the run up to Christmas the possibility of snow closing down the whole country(!) cannot be completely ruled out - it did happen one year.  When that happens, the queues for goods to be released from Heathrow mean that MANY retailers will be unable to fulfil orders by Christmas.  I cannot physically turn up in the Parcelforce shed at Heathrow and demand that I am allowed to search for my boxes.  They don't work that way!  The year when snow closed Heathrow, Parcelforce kept insisting that my goods were not yet in the UK.  Pointing out to them that Heathrow is actually in the UK did not good whatsoever!

8. I am a very small business - people don't seem to realise that, because my reputation is a lot bigger than my business size suggests.  Because I am so tiny I cannot hold items in stock that I do not expect to sell reasonably quickly.  It is a matter of cash flow.  So stock levels are always low.  They have to be.

CONCLUSION: If you want a Gliga for Christmas. PLEASE ORDER IT NOW.  I am not saying that I won't be able to get it if you order it a month from now.  I am saying that I don't want the pressure of not knowing whether or not it will be here.  I do care about my customers and hate letting people down, but I can only control what happens once the goods arrive here.

NO THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANNOT RETURN IT!  My customer service is second to none.  Am I going to stand on a point of law that says you only have 14 days to return items, when Christmas orders are involved?  Of course I'm not!

Alas many Christmas buyers will not even look at the website until it is already too late.  But hey ho, there isn't a lot  can do about that.

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