A Mini Vacation?
I spent a good portion of the day Monday responding to a negative client review we received. It took so much time because the person posted it on Yelp in addition to leaving a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and because each one was a little different, they required different responses. The review and complaint were completely undeserved, we did a miraculous job on the sale and the results far exceeded our expectations. Unfortunately the client was not present for our in-person meeting and admitted to never reading the contract so when things proceeded according to the contract, she complained about it. We mention at least four times - once or twice over the phone or in person and three times in writing that we do not clean out or clean up the homes after the sales have ended because the next step is to have everything removed. The client was able to secure a service to clean out the home for only $650 (not our recommendation) which is about half of what the folks we recommend charge on average. But she thought it was too expensive, while I contend that the low cost was due to us selling so much.
As hard as we try, it is impossible to make 100% of the people happy. I wish I could just not participate in Yelp and Google reviews. I am so glad I was able to turn off Facebook reviews. The reviews we receive represent such a tiny percentage of the people we work with and we do not have enough positive reviews to knock out the negative ones. I am not keen on paying "advertising" money to these companies to improve our status. The negative reviews are very disappointing and I am sure hurt us but thankfully we have more than enough business to keep us rolling. The moral of the story is think about what your end goal is before leaving a negative review. Are you hoping the company will go out of business?
On to other topics - that evening I took Mother to her rehab appointment but since her wounds are getting worse the physical therapist was reluctant to perform the therapy. I was about to leave the parking lot when I was called back into the building and the session turned into more of a meeting. It was suggested that we wait until we see the cardiologist Friday to be sure it is safe to push the water out of Mother's legs without it ending up in her heart or lungs. Another suggestion - try to avoid end of the day appointments - the people generally cannot wait to get out of there and go home. I went to get the car and parked it in front of the entrance. All of a sudden Mother started screaming! The therapist put her outside but did not put the brake on the wheelchair and she was rolling straight for the car. There was nothing I could do, she ran into the car but luckily neither she nor the car were hurt.
Tuesday evening Mother had a dental appointment in Park Ridge. Again, rush hour was not a good time to try and get there from Arlington Heights, we got stuck in traffic and ended up 10 minutes late. Mother had her cleaning but felt it was kind of rushed. Lesson learned, no more 5:00 PM appointments! After the dental appointment it was Mother's first home healthcare visit to get help with her wounds. We were lucky enough to have the nurse manager and it looks like for now she will be the one to make the visits. She cleaned and dressed the wounds and applied a lotion / petrolatum mixture to Mother's legs and it was amazing how much better they looked after one session. This is such a blessing because I really felt we needed expert help with this and we are so grateful not only for the help but for the fact that it is covered by Medicare. Thinking about it, I am sure it is much more cost effective to have the home healthcare than for us to go to a facility and have to interact with an entire staff. The nurse said we will be able to schedule at-home therapy as well as a podiatrist and even other services such as a blood draw. After going to endless appointments this past year this is music to my ears!
After Mother was all taken care of, it was a long evening and set to be even longer since it is newsletter night. I publish two newsletters - one for estate sales and one for jewelry. I try to get the jewelry newsletter completed Monday evening and the estate sales newsletter done Tuesday evening. It is very time-consuming, especially when we have a lot of new sales - I need to sign and return the contracts, write and post ads to three different websites, notify our group about the new sales, add the sales to the newsletter and post the sales to Facebook. I recently started tracking all this activity in a spreadsheet which has really helped me stay organized. It is usually an all-nighter so I save some of the activities for daylight hours Wednesday. I am sure our group would not appreciate receiving texts about new sales at 4:00 AM. Kuochun was kind enough to make shrimp pasta for dinner. We basically have different taste in food but this was something we could agree on. He used frozen shrimp from Amazon Fresh, my organic angel hair pasta from Home Goods and dressed it with butter, Better Than Bouillon and garlic. It was pretty good!
Friday morning was Mother's cardiology appointment. We were so grateful that the physician's assistant was able to secure us an appointment so we would not have to wait until October to see the doctor. I remembered that the lung doctor in Scottsdale had requested two tests from cardiology. Things went very well! The doctor determined that Mother no longer has heart failure and he dropped one of her high blood pressure medications as it is known to cause leg swelling. He did not hesitate to say that it is no problem to get on a regular rehab schedule and approved the two tests. One of the tests is more elaborate than the other and requires sedation as well as having to be there at 6:30 AM. That is going to be a tough one, especially on a Wednesday after a newsletter all-nighter! But it will be well worth it if the test helps lead the way towards figuring out what this lung problem is all about.
I continue to work on the consignment items I received back and posted this mixed lot on Sunday evening. This is a combination of former consignment pieces, some new arrivals and a few oldies but goodies. I had a little extra space and filled in with the two pair of turquoise earrings on the right. I tried to sell these earrings in past lots at least three times but this time was the charm! Both pair sold, as well as the very cool vintage petite squash blossom necklace, the 3-stone Fred Harvey era cuff bracelet at the upper right and the 5-strand beaded necklace. I could have sold the beaded necklace five times.
I completed posting this lot from July 30 to all of the online venues and three more pieces have already sold. The ribbon turquoise pendant sold on eBay and is going to Japan and the cluster ring in the center sold on Poshmark.
The vintage pendant at the lower right sold on Facebook Marketplace. I was not planning on selling the chain, it is more of a prop to show how a pendant looks on a neck but the buyer loved it so I sold it to her. She is not local so the set will be shipped to her. I would never have these sales from other venues if it were not for Vendoo. Posting is tedious work, sometimes I am ready to jump out of my skin but I just need to post 3-5 items at a time and not try to do too much at once.
This week it was time to complete the estate sale packages for large sales we had in Chicago, Highland Park and Lake Zurich as well as a smaller sale in Batavia. I worked very hard and was able to get them all completed on time. Melinda went on vacation for the weekend so there was a lot more administrative work to do than usual but Seija was a great help in her absence. The timing was good that Rachel came to visit, she arrived Friday evening so I did not have to worry quite as much about Mother over the weekend.
We did not have any sales materialize for next week. Even though there are four more estate sale packages to complete, Rachel will be here all week so I should be able to keep up with paperwork and finally get going with staging the breezeway for the pop-up sale. It will be nice to see everything I have remaining in costume jewelry all in one place. I have about two more lots of Native American jewelry to post but I may take this Sunday off. I am thinking it would be better to avoid Labor Day weekend and hopefully folks will start to think about holiday gifts once we get further into September. This summer has really flown by which is not something I ever say! I wish you all a great holiday weekend.