Due to a number of recent enquiries arising from the developing situation around the UK and indeed the world, we thought it prudent to update our current policies on Covid-19.
For our valued customers
We are absolutely still trading!
Government guidelines are clear, in that e-commerce business may remain open (and are encouraged to do so) regardless of local or national lockdown. As long as postal and delivery services continue to operate we will continue to dispatch your replacement china items.
Of course, we are operating with additional precautions, protocols and restrictions and these occasionally lead to short delays (currently 1 to 2 working days) between order and dispatch.
Additionally, our couriers both here in the UK and overseas are under additional pressure right now. Please therefore, note that UK deliveries may take a day or two longer than the usual 24/48hour services.
For overseas deliveries please note that most countries are experiencing minor delays of 2 to 3 days. Some are experiencing significant delays (notably Canada and New Zealand), and a small few have suspended services. Please see the following link to see if your country is effected.
For private individuals selling their china
We are still quoting for the purchase of china throughout mainland UK, including highlands of Scotland. However, please keep in mind the following: -
Increased demand: Lockdown has brought about a huge increase in people spring cleaning, sorting out unwanted items, house clearances and estate management. We are currently receiving hundreds of enquiries per week offering to sell us discontinued tableware. We have no option but to decline to quote on most things (we only have so much space and money), and those we choose to quote on we do so on the understanding that we will collect as soon as we can but are currently operating with a 6 to 8 week lead time (8 to 10 weeks for Cornwall, Scotland and Highlands).
Reduced capacity: To protect our team and our customers we have reduced the size of our Collection Team. Due to the increased demand, this places the remaining team members under huge pressure.
National/Local Lockdown Restrictions: Technically we are still allowed to collect china from areas that are under Tier 2, Tier 3 and during National Lockdown. In all cases we will only do so where the seller is able to meet certain conditions: -
- Confirm that no-one in their household has tested positive, is self-isolating or has come into contact with anyone who has tested positive.
- Is able to provide a safe space for the goods to be inspected, separate to the main living area of the home, e.g. garage, shed, porch, in the garden (in good weather) and where face to face contact is avoidable.
- For our part we take the usual measures to protect ourselves and you; e.g. masks, cleaning gels, disposable gloves.
However, in Tier 3 and National Lockdown areas the booking of collections is very much at our discretion, dependent on the location, available safe space and reported situation at any given time in that area. Please keep in mind this is an evolving situation and so booked collections will sometimes be cancelled if a situation changes in a given area.
We cannot emphasise enough that all of this is to protect not just our team but YOU as well! Our team may visit up to 15 private sellers in a given day.
Finally a note from our Managing Director:
"I can't believe, that under the current circumstances it is necessary to raise this. In nearly 30 years of business we have enjoyed a good relationship with 99% of the private individuals we buy china from. Since the beginning of this pandemic however, our Collection Team members have been on the receiving end of in an increasing amount of unacceptable behaviour.
This seems to arise from 2 areas: -
1) Where we turn up to collect and either choose not to buy something or reduce the amount offered because the condition of what is being sold is poor.
This can be avoided by being honest about the condition in the first place. Simple as that. We understand that things can be subjective. However, the ones where people get upset are the ones where they were trying it on, because they didn't think we would actually check the condition that carefully. We do! We are very clear about this in the terms of our offer. This has never been an issue in the past. Maybe the economic situation is pushing people to take a chance? However, doing so just wastes your time and ours.
2) Where people have been waiting longer than they feel reasonable for a collection despite us making clear the factors mentioned above.
I'm sorry but to be blunt, if you want to sell to us, you have to be patient and understand we are genuinely trying to get round everyone we can as soon as we can. It is in our interest, as well as yours, to do so. However, we will only do so while it is a) safe and b) cost effective.
In addition to the reasons above, collecting at the moment takes longer as less hospitality venues are open (we have to eat and sleep somewhere) and less public facilities are open. A lot more planning is involved and a lot more driving.
If you don't want to wait, sell it elsewhere. We will not be offended.
Finally, I would like to make the point that in this instance, WE are buying from YOU. You want our money. Not the other way around. One could argue WE are the customer. As touched on above it is currently a buyers market, so I have no problem instructing my team to walk away from any collection where they are on the receiving end of rudeness, intolerance or any kind of abuse.
Fortunately, these cases are in the minority and most people are lovely, and to those people I say... we look forward to meeting you and viewing your china as soon as possible. Until then, stay safe and be well."