Saturday, 24 November 2007

I love the Dollar rate !

The great thing about the current dollar rate is that it makes imports from the USA such a bargain ! I've been talking to a new supplier for a little while now, but the original rate meant that the prices I'd have to charge wouldn't be too competitive. But with the value of the dollar slipping relative to the pound, it has improved to the point of being worthwhile.

I placed my first order with them last week.... a selection of really nice unusual dice. It'll probably take a week or two for them to arrive, but as soon as they do, I'll put them in my website and you can drool over them for yourself (and hopefully buy some !). You can look forward to all kinds of nice dice - hit location D12's, D30's, glow in the dark dice and dice with luminous spots, braille dice, and maths symbol dice, to mention just a few.

Since I haven't got them in yet, I can't post a piccy, but the one above is a shot of the Crystal Dice I sell. Nicely alternative, although the D20's tend to roll for a while before stopping !

(PS as a follow-up to my last 2 posts, Tabby is back to his normal loveable self, although a bit clingy. Not that I'm complaining.... he's cute when he snuggles up at the end of the bed at night)

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Good News :)

To say I'm relieved is an understatement..... looks like we got Mr Tabby to the vets just in time. They've put stitches in his tongue, but when we took him back to be checked up, they said that it looked like they were (just) holding, and he should make a full recovery although he might have a small notch at the edge of his tongue where they had to remove some bits that were too badly damaged to heal.

Poor little thing has been moping around the house for the last couple of days, and is generally out of sorts, but I guess I would be too after what he's been through ! He's been very clingy and lacking in confidence, but we've been giving him lots of love and attention, and it seems to be helping. With luck, he'll be back to his normal superior self in no time !

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Tabby and the vet

Not a business-realted post this one....

Tabby Cat is our SnM office junior in charge of morale boosting, milk drinking and general cuteness duties, only he's convinced HE is in fact in charge. Well, actually he is; as they say "dogs have owners, cats have staff".

But we had to take him to the emergency vet last night, with a terrible wound to his tongue. We think he tangled with a hedgehog and (never having seen one before) didn't realise that all those spikes are sharp. He hates travelling at the best of times, and somehow telepathically knows when he's going to the vets. So of course, he made himself scarce while we were on the phone to them.

By the time he reappeared, it was midnight. Even though he put up a terrific fight to avoid being put in his box, and cried a bit on the way down, he was ever so good. Not once did he lash out and try to claw or bite anyone. But he's really a very good natured little thing, and I think he knew we were doing it to make him better.

They gave him antibiotics and pain killers, and we've had to take him back again this morning to be knocked out and have stitches. Hopefully we'll get a call in a couple of hours to say he's okay and ready to come home..... we're both missing his company already.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Customer Service ?

I like to think I give good customer service. How do I define that ? Well, it's simple; I think how I would like to be treated when I'm buying something, and do the same for my customers. Also, I look at cases where I've come away feeling like I'm not valued as a customer, and learn from that, too.

How NOT to do customer service really is exemplified by the Royal Mail. Not content with going on strike, which really caused problems and steep extra costs for a host of online retailers, they now seem to be determined to drive away those customers who still have to use them. I've had a shocking number of items I've posted go missing or turn up damaged (despite being something of a bubble-wrap addict). Their claim procedure is convoluted and so far has resulted in pay-out on precisely... zero... claims. And their latest stunt is to return packets marked "not called for". Well of course they weren't called for ! The Royal Mail didn't even try to deliver, and when my customers went there to try to collect their goodies, they found the sorting offices all closed up by the strike and with picket lines outside. Makes it pretty hard to collect !

Anyway, rant over....

One consequence of trying to give good customer service is the number of emails I get with obscure requests. I love these, they are a real challenge, and it's fun to do some research and expand what I know ! Sometimes it's people looking for an obscure colour match, or wanting to know what colour a particular uniform should be.

But I did get one the other day which flummoxed me. Bear in mind that the paints I sell are small bottles mostly for painting models and figures. This email, though, was asking how many it would take to paint a 10' by 12' office in the colours of the German 2nd Naval Infantry Division, 1945. After spending an hour researching it (especially the coverage of the paint, which isn't specified on the bottles, as it depends how much you dilute them), I heard laughter from upstairs..... it turned out the my wife and nephew had colluded to create this outrageous request !! I feel really silly that I fell for it, but then I've had emails asking the oddest things, so nothing surprises me any more. On the upside, while I was hunting around on Google, I found an idea for a possible future range I could carry, so it's not all bad.

But I'm looking for ideas to get my own back (in a fun way) on my beloved wife and her scamp of a nephew.....

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Hello ! Here goes......

Hi everyone ! Here goes with my first post on Blogger.....

Allow me to introduce myself; I'm Sean, the owner of SnM Stuff, a small UK based company selling model making and gaming things, specialising particularly in Vallejo acrylic paints, brushes etc. You can see my website at although I suspect a good few of my readers will have come from there anyway !

Hopefully, this blog will be a way for my customers (and everyone else reading it !) to let me know what they think I'm doing right, what I'm doing wrong, and what I could do better. Of course, it'll also be a way for me to put random thoughts out into the wider world..... sometimes after a hard evening packing orders and answering emails, it's nice to just kick back, relax and be silly.
Enjoy, everyone, and I look forward to seeing some comments !

As Caesar would have said if he lived nowadays....
"Veni,vidi,velcro" - I came, I saw, I stuck around.