Monday, March 19, 2007

A la humble abode...

When purchasing household items, one should always hold the line when negotiating.

Or that’s what I’ve been told.

In Missouri on a recent Friday night, we were wasting time in Springfield, awaiting a movie start time. We moseyed down to Starbucks for drinks, then drove around a bit. We chanced upon a store named “Quixote – Organic Furniture.”

I said to MLH – “May we stop?”

MLH, “Certainly!”

It was 7:56 p.m. By the time we turned the truck around and parked, the “Open” light had turned off. Brave souls, we walked in anyway. The nice proprietress let us look around. She was waiting on a pizza to take home to her family. And, yep, you guessed it, we found a piece we wanted. We talked to the owner, and bought the piece right then and there. At least, that was my recollection.

This is what really happened. We both decided we liked the piece. The owner was a little pushy for us to close the sale, or for us to get out of the store, we’re not sure which. She gave us the option to go ahead and buy the piece, then come in the next day and pick it up. She would not hold it for us, otherwise. We talked about method of purchase, and picked one. I went to the counter, and purchased the piece, thinking MLH & I were on the same page.

We started to leave, and MLH said, “I didn’t think – I really need to measure that piece to see if the components of our entertainment system will fit inside.” The owner said we could trade within the store, but no refunds. MLH got really quiet. He said, “You seem to be the one that’s concerned about a sale here. Don’t underestimate us – we really are interested in buying some furniture, and we’re heading home tomorrow. I’m feeling pushed, but we’d like to come back and look at your other items. I need to measure, no matter what.”

She said again, “No refunds, but you can trade within the store. And my husband will look at your shipping options tomorrow. We open at 10 a.m. We’ll have people available that can help you load your purchase.”

Need I mention that we are still some 14 hours from home? I’m starting to think logistics. 10 a.m. – my Gosh, we could be almost to Dallas! What have I done?

We walk out to the truck, and get in. MLH is not a happy camper – he talks to me about folding under her pressure. I look up, and the proprietress is walking towards our truck.

MLH rolls down the window. She says, “We don’t normally do this, but I will give you a full refund in the morning if you decide that piece isn’t going to work for you. I wasn’t meaning to put any pressure on you. Please forgive me.”

MLH said, “Well, you just did what I needed you to do. We will be back in the morning to look at your other items. I appreciate your apology.”

We went back.

Boy, did we go back. And four hours later, we left Springfield.

This little 5,000 square foot store is amazing. The owners, Stan and Sherry Fauscett bring in furniture from Mexico, Indonesia, all over, and the price is very reasonable. So reasonable that we rented a U-Haul trailer and filled that baby up! The furniture is very funky and eclectic, while stylish and stout, and will go well in our rather contemporary styling. And we’re not the only Texans shopping at Quixote. Stan said they have a customer from Dallas that comes up with a huge trailer every 3-4 months and buys them out. Stan and Sherry also have an 11,000’ warehouse. They have 3 warehousemen that work full time moving furniture to the store just to keep Quixote full. Just this week, two interior decorators cleaned them out, which means the store totally turned over, merchandise-wise, twice this week.

That means this store moves merchandise quickly – which has to do with pricing and quality. After today, I believe it.

We bought a new 7’ long cabinet for our components to put under our wall-mounted flat screen (and no, the first cabinet wasn’t deep enough!). We bought an 8’ sidebar for our dining room. We bought the coolest red twig lamp, and some pottery. We chose a 4’ chest for a wine/liquor storage cabinet for the kitchen. A 4’ X 7’ long wall mirror, beautifully framed with woven silver metal was purchased for our living room wall. Due to the amount of our purchase, they cut us an even better deal (hey, it never hurts to ask!) plus threw in this cool rice mill stump table for remotes(I promise, the pix doesn't do it justice), and some more decorating accents. The stump table may go to the music room, but for now, it's tucked into the huge red couch corner.

Now that’s the way to meet a concerned customer half-way.

Even with the rough start we experienced, I highly recommend visiting this store. We have stores somewhat like this in Texas. I believe the difference in the Quixote store and the other Texas stores is that Stan and Sherry personally go to the various countries and hand pick the items that they will sell in their store.

All in all? We gave this store a 10…well, maybe a 9 – because MLH practically had to load the trailer himself, due to the high customer flow in the store today.

We are well pleased with our purchases, and plan on doing more business with Stan and Sherry Fauscett at Quixote.

As to our negotiating skills, I’m not sure we completely held the line - how do you hold a line when somebody’s pricing is WAY beyond fair in the first place? - so I’m calling this one a win-win. And finally, we crossed the Texas/Oklahoma border. Homeward bound - finally.


Eric said...

Consider your blog off-limits until this post drops off the home page. I can't afford to let my wife see it! ;-)

Pam said...

Finally I get to see the furniture! Looks great, especially the rice bowl. (Only a person with 6, count em 6, remotes in her living room could appreciate such an item. Love to all there!


Trace said...

Very nice stuff. Enjoy your new things. Would love to visit such a store of goodies for myself!

Rachel said...

The furniture does look great! You and Y.L.H have a good eye!

Bob said...

Nice looking stuff though I'm sure pictures don't do it justice. With all you've been doing you must feel drained so good furniture helps that.

Janie said...

Eric - I think there's a neat bike ride in Missouri! Road trip!

Pam - it looks a lot better than it did wrapped in moving blankies, huh?? Love back to y'all. Also, please send me the name of those neat DVD storage thingies, okay?

Trace, Rachel, thanks! I'll send better pix when we've got it all arranged...

Bob - the pix don't do justice, at all...and thanks for your sensitivity to how we feel - I had this post pretty much ready to post last week, but didn't think it was appropriate.

To all - we appreciate your prayers for Elder Son and his friends. Please continue as the Lord leads.

Gwynne said...

Uh-oh! Springfield is only 3 hours away for me and I LOVE that stuff!!! 8-}

Janie said...

Gwynne - I thought about you, girl...I knew it was within your ambit...

I'm sure we picked the low-end stuff, but, golly do they have neat things!

Next year we'll have to plan to meet!

Foo said...

I like the looks of those pieces, Janie. Fortunately, I won't have to place your blog on restriction from Turtle because we're going with more of an arts and crafts/prairie style for our house.

Here's a dangerous combination: Turtle recently sent me here, and I recently got a check as a side effect of my company's recent acquisition. The answer may be arrived upon by combining two and two through the use of simple addition.

"Hmm..." I mused.

"WARNING!! WARNING!!" Turtle replied, flailing her arms about like the robot from the original Lost In Space.

But I digress. Your experience with the attitude of the shop owners strikes me as being typical of art/furniture/antique shops. Yet, as you discovered, nothing changes their tune like the acted-upon threat of a sure sale walking out the door with checkbook still firmly planted in pocket.

WV: "sfxhfuws" Gesundheit. Now, have you got a towel you could lend me.

Janie said...

Foo - I probably shouldn't have used the term "contemporary"...this stuff would definitely fit into an arts/crafts type of house...

And that awesome clock would so fit into ours, should you so decide to purchase it...oh, did you mean buy it for y'all???

PS - women do not flail, nor do we look like robots. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it! ;)