I received a letter in the mail the other day from a long time customer which was upsetting. I've always tried to be forthright and honest with our customers, but in one area I think I have failed. The person who had written the letter had been a customer for many years. Actually way before we dove into the Internet as we have. Things were a little bit simpler and quieter back then than they are now.
He had sent a list of trains that he was trying to sell for a friend who needed the money. Not only had he sent the list, but a couple of weeks later he had called and left a message asking me to get back to him.
Although I had every intention to reply, I never did, and that is more or less what he was chastising me for. And to be honest with you, I don't blame him a bit. The only thing I could do was write him and apologize, which I did immediately.
We have bought more trains than any other year that I can remember so far this year. We have bought some pretty big collections as well.
I receive many lists of trains for sale, and I would love to buy them all. However that is impossible not due to lack of money, but because of lack of time.
Since last November when we launched choochooauctions.com, I have never been so busy in my life. I don't know if it is just a coincidence or not, but there hasn't been a minute while I am at work that I don't have three or four things going on at the same time.
And I guess that is my excuse for not getting back to my long time customer. But it isn't a good excuse.
There are a pile of lists stacked in my office that I have not replied to that stands some six inches high as I write this. And that isn't right that I haven't gotten back to any of them. I can just imagine that they are thinking the same thing my customer said in his letter, and rightly so.
And if that is the case, I apologize to you also. My lack of response isn't due to ignorance, but lack of time. And I am working on a remedy to that problem.
I have hired two new people recently including an assistant who will take over the auction duties as well as some secretarial work. I am hoping this will give us more time to reply to letters which defiantly deserve a response.
I am toying with the idea of hiring a buyer, however that has always been my job, so it is hard to make a decision along that line.
However please be assured that I want to buy as many trains as I can get my hands on. These are the lists that I look and respond to immediately: Large lists of trains with $25,000.00 and preferably more. Lists that are well organized with grading and book or retail prices for items included. (The pricing saves so much time, I can't tell you how tickled I am to get lists with pricing information included.) Also those that follow up with a phone call, I do my best to get back to you.
Let's face it no one can buy everything offered to them. And I think it is probably a general practice that if a dealer receives a list that they aren't interested in not to respond. But I want to be better than that and will make every effort to respond to lists that I receive from now on.
I hope you will accept my apologies if you are someone I didn't respond to.
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