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Thread: Tools From Japan Store Closing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Tools From Japan Store Closing


  2. #2
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    Lubbock, Tx
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    A loss to the woodworking community but from even the taste of responses I’ve seen from this community I’m hardly surprised that he has chosen to do this. All the best to him and his family.

  3. #3
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    Keeping a speciality business going is a difficult task.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. to push that further along I was ‘coerced’ to “get back to work” through some emails from some people who expected me to ship their orders out while I was at my lowest point.
    When you take an order and someone's money there's a legal obligation to deliver the product regardless of ones state of mind. It comes with the territory. Of course as a customer you can show some empathy but you also have the right to get what you paid for. How long did he expect his customers to wait?

  5. #5
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    Some of the problems with specialized Japanese tools is their being made to order. If a particular blacksmith the customer has requested has a one year waiting period, there isn't any way around that.

    Currently a DVD is on order from a well known retailer of books & other media. One of the site claims was 6-14 days for shipping. At checkout it was listed as being expected to get to me by mid February.

    My patience is able to wait until mid February before sending a polite inquiry. Some people would likely sent of an angry message immediately to register their displeasure.

    A small business person like Stu was likely overwhelmed with constant bombardments of emails about availability and how soon will my tool be shipped questions.

    One has to give some consideration to those with whom they do business. Stu was great at getting hard to find items at a good price. Maybe if he had charged 20% more he would have been able to hire the help he so desperately needed.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Doggone shame. This was disturbing, especially since I remember at least one thread on late deliveries on this forum:

    "I was not in a good place mentally (obviously) and not thinking well and to push that further along I was ‘coerced’ to “get back to work” through some emails from some people who expected me to ship their orders out while I was at my lowest point. One went so far beyond decent and reasonable that it significantly changed my attitude to everything relating to the store."

    I am a demanding customer so I get Jessica's point. But had I been Stu, I would have thanked that customer for his/her note and then cancelled their order, refunding the money if I'd already collected. I think there is limit beyond which a reputable proprietor doesn't have to go. It is ok to fire a customer when necessary.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Doggone shame. This was disturbing, especially since I remember at least one thread on late deliveries on this forum:

    "I was not in a good place mentally (obviously) and not thinking well and to push that further along I was ‘coerced’ to “get back to work” through some emails from some people who expected me to ship their orders out while I was at my lowest point. One went so far beyond decent and reasonable that it significantly changed my attitude to everything relating to the store."

    I am a demanding customer so I get Jessica's point. But had I been Stu, I would have thanked that customer for his/her note and then cancelled their order, refunding the money if I'd already collected. I think there is limit beyond which a reputable proprietor doesn't have to go. It is ok to fire a customer when necessary.
    As far as refund goes, if it is a blacksmith product I wonder if once the order is placed with the smith how much he had to pay and if he could get that back. Speculation out of curiosity.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wilkins View Post
    As far as refund goes, if it is a blacksmith product I wonder if once the order is placed with the smith how much he had to pay and if he could get that back. Speculation out of curiosity.
    I'll guess he doesnt and is stuck with a tool. But for me, that woulda been ok. I can sell the tool and make up some of the loss. YMMV though.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post

    I am a demanding customer so I get Jessica's point. But had I been Stu, I would have thanked that customer for his/her note and then cancelled their order, refunding the money if I'd already collected. I think there is limit beyond which a reputable proprietor doesn't have to go. It is ok to fire a customer when necessary.
    Bridge City Tool Works' owner had a similar encounter recently with one of his customers who grew impatient with John's explanations of an order delay. After a testy exchange to the point that John said an order cancellation was a proper thing to do, he quickly apologized the next day. John took the high road.

    Both a seller and a customer have the right to stop doing business with each other. But once an order is placed and accepted, the onus to deliver is on the seller. Yes, a seller can 'fire' any of his or her customers, but before that is done, the customers can not be faulted.

    Most of you should still remember the sawmaker (no longer in business?) who kept taking orders but kept failing to meet his obligations. Many people gave him some slack but in the end, everyone realized no tool makers or businesses can rely on sympathy or empathy alone to survive.

    Stu is no exception as a businessman, and chose to leave before his reputation was damaged.

    Simon

  10. #10
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    Simon,

    I hear you, especially about the sawmaker situation. I assume you are talking about Wenzloff. Back when I started IT, there were many more orders than we could fill, all were built to order. Back in those early days, people mailed in a check, and once a check was received, the order was accepted. The check however was not cashed until a week before the saw was shipped. That gave time for the check to clear. Amazingly, out of the several thousand saws we made, not one check bounced. A few guys called and cancelled their order, mostly because something came up in their life that caused them to reprogram the money for something more important.

    Long way of saying that there are ways to handle customer expectations. As I recall, I never had a lot of people pestering about when something would be done or shipped. Perhaps people were more patient back then.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Taran View Post
    Simon,

    I hear you, especially about the sawmaker situation. I assume you are talking about Wenzloff.

    Long way of saying that there are ways to handle customer expectations. As I recall, I never had a lot of people pestering about when something would be done or shipped. Perhaps people were more patient back then.
    Wenzloff it is.

    When it comes to handling customer expectations, few can match LV. On those few occasions where my orders were back ordered and given estimated delivery dates, they always beat their estimates by a couple of weeks to a month or two! Communication is the key, and when delays are unbearable, be proactive and offer the customer the choice of order cancellation. Radio silence and ignoring customer emails is the #1 sin.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 01-11-2019 at 1:05 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    My point is that life happens with a one man shop. I experienced this with another small tool. Asked and only found out the reason when I posted on this forum, and received a refund. That’s one instance over the half dozen small tool makers I’ve dealt with. I wonder how many people are upset with orders not fulfilled by Evan Falls Studios?

    btw, I’m very proud of my two Wenszloff Hands saws.

    My advice, fwiw i.e. nothing, to small makers is to prioritize communication. My advice to customers of these small makers, compassion.

  13. You know what would happen if I told a customer of mine: "I'll get to it when I get to it" and I stop responding to inquires after taking a down payment? I'd be out if business in no time. I've had to work after a good friend died in a car crash because my business depended on it. Bad things happen in life, there's no way to avoid it, but that doesn't absolve you from your responsibilities.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Boston, MA
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    First, every business owner has to make their own value judgments as to how much to prioritize their business (and their respective customers) over the needs of their immediate families or other matters; it's not up to us to judge. Similarly, every potential customer gets to make the determination as to whether to utilize the services of said business.

    It sounds like Stu is making a good faith effort to wind down his business in an orderly way so that customer orders are fulfilled. And, at the end of the day, he made a very difficult decision to put his business above the needs of his family, a decision that he now regrets. So I don't understand the vitriol.

    However, I do feel that a business, once it receives money from a customer, does have an obligation to either ship the product, provide the service, or refund the money, no matter the circumstances. If there is an unforeseen long delay, that should be communicated clearly, with the customer being given the option of waiting longer or accepting a refund. I've first hand experienced a small vendor (not related to this hobby) fraudulently take money and literally shut the doors the next day without any possibility of refund.

    EDIT: Misplaced cut-and-paste on a sentence.
    Last edited by George Wall; 01-11-2019 at 6:02 PM.

  15. #15
    I was bummed to hear about the closing. Stu provided an unusual/unique service at very good prices and was fairly transparent about his limits. Which requires a different yardstick in my mind.

    Best,
    Chris

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