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Home | NEWSLETTERS

NEWSLETTER 5 - November 2012

Welcome to another Crystal Lodge Newsletter. We’ve been very busy since our last issue, adding lots of new products and additional photographs to our web shop, and doing a lot of behind the scenes work. So, we thought it was time for another Newsletter before the Christmas rush really starts to take hold, otherwise you might think we were ignoring you! First, some crystal news …!

TINKERBELL 2012

In early autumn, we started to hear rumours of a Red “Holiday” Tinkerbell. Originally, we were told this was to be an exclusive edition for the USA. However, we now believe that they were distributed as follows: Europe 1800 pieces, Canada 800 pieces, USA 3000 pieces. We don’t know the exact number that the UK received, although we understand that only certain Swarovski stores were allocated the Red Tinkerbell, and none were given to independent stores.

After much searching, we have managed to obtain a limited supply of these gorgeous Tinkerbells, but they are selling fast, which isn’t surprising as she is absolutely stunning in her “Lady in Red” outfit.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We’ve been asked some questions recently, which we thought would be useful to publish.

Why do you show out of stock items and current items (that you do not sell) on your website?

This is because we felt it would be best to leave items on the website as the information/photos give a great deal of information to collectors. The idea is that the website is not just a shop, but has a dual purpose as a valuable collector’s resource. It also gives collectors the opportunity to learn about the pieces and see photographs ahead of “expressing an interest” in purchasing them when they come into stock. From our point of view, leaving the items there, makes it much quicker for us to put an item back into stock as soon as its available again.

Turning to current items, while we do not sell these items as we are not a primary market retailer, preferring to concentrate on retired pieces, we have had many collectors write/e-mail us telling us how great it is to have everything in one place so they can research their pieces/make an insurance claim/identify things they have bought if they weren’t quite sure!

This system also helps us, particularly now that there are only 2 batches of retirements per year, as it means we have the item on our website and when Swarovski retire around 70 items at once, we already have those items in the current gallery, and we can tweak them, move them into their retired categories and into the shop area, adding stock numbers and prices as we go – usually in one day. The end of year retirements, in particular, were causing us huge difficulties before as we just weren’t getting enough time to prepare the web pages. As you can imagine, adding 70+ product photos/descriptions to the retired products from scratch is a huge undertaking and takes several weeks. So, instead we now add new products into our “Current Crystal Gallery” as/when they are released by Swarovski – albeit, we don’t have to rush quite so much, as it can be more of a “fill-in” job! This makes the process of transferring them into retired area at a later date much simpler.

People could argue that it might upset collectors if they see an item in the shop and then find it to be unavailable. However, our view is that if you can find it on our website, even if its out of stock, it gives you the opportunity to purchase the item ahead of anyone else as soon as we can find it for you. Re-introducing a piece into stock is much quicker as well because the main information is already there.

Do you know what the 2013 annual edition is?

Yes, we do – but there is NO way I am going to reveal that information. All I will say is that it is not a polar theme. There is a hint in the latest Swarovski magazine, by the way!

We have also had a peak at the 2013 “loyalty” gift – another fabulous item. This piece will be given to SCS members who have purchased all 3 annual editions: Siku, Paikea and the 2013 annual edition piece.

Will you be stocking more display material soon?

I know we have been promising this for a while but unfortunately we have experienced numerous problems with suppliers. We believe we may have finally cracked the case, so to speak, but it will be the New Year before we can launch the new product ranges.

WEBSITE CATEGORIES / REFERENCE GUIDES

Having felt very smug in the last newsletter that we had completely re-organised our website categories and done the same to the master copies of the reference documents and the insurance guide (in readiness for next update) to align with the latest Swarovski categories, we understand they are changing – again!

We know that the Lovlots are to be called “Characters” when the 2013 issues are launched, and that this is just one of the changes. We have taken the decision, therefore, to suspend work on producing any new reference guides and we may have to use the “old” categories for the insurance guide next year as we may not have time to change them in time to produce the insurance guide early enough as we won’t know the new categories in time to make those changes.

CRYSTAL LODGE NEWS

Since the last Newsletter, we have added the following countries to our “list” of countries we have sent crystal to: Croatia, Denmark, Kingdom of Bahrain, Jordan, Lithuania, Mauritis and Uruguay.

Back in Newsletter 2, we told you about the number of invoices (2250) that we had despatched since starting The Crystal Lodge. We are now about to issue number 4200. (Yes, unlike most people we did start at “1”). There’s definitely a lot more filing and paperwork these days!

Apologies to anyone who has had problems with our answer phone recently. We have an intermittent fault which is baffling everyone – sometimes it will record your message, other times it gives you the impression that you have left a message, but it decides not to bother to record it! So, we have put a message on there that messages can’t be left as the system is full. We realise that this is inconvenient as it means you have to call us back another time, but it would make us look really unprofessional/disinterested if you thought you had left a message, but we didn’t receive it and therefore didn’t call you back.

New items in stock

We have many fabulous items in stock – the largest range of items we have ever stocked at one time, including the fabulous Hong Kong selection piece, Iluliac iceberg and Nanuc Polar Bear, Dualita vase, Medea vase, a range of leaves vases and jewels vases/bowls, most of the Soulmates and Symbols pieces, plus the gorgeous Soccer Mo is back in stock again. We also have been able to source all 3 of the golden Chinese Zodiac pieces which were exclusively made for China/Hong Kong, that is, the Dragon, Tiger and Rabbit. These are not the same as the pieces which are widely available from Swarovski retailers, but were special pieces purely for the Greater China region.

Christmas orders and opening hours

If you are ordering for Christmas, please order as early as you possibly can to ensure that you secure the piece you want!

We are planning to close down for Christmas from Friday 23rd December to Monday 3rd January inclusive, returning at 10am on Tuesday 4th January. Orders can still be placed via our website and/or Ebay (don’t forget our website prices are generally cheaper than the Ebay ones) and we will endeavour once during that break somewhere between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, to process and pack those orders to keep things moving, but other than that, we won’t be around during that time. It is rare that we ever get a “proper” day off so we are looking forward to making the most of the Christmas holiday period this year!

It just remains for me to wish you, on behalf of all of us, the very warmest of Seasonal Greetings, and thank you for your support and custom.

Until the next time – happy collecting,
Alison & the Crystal Lodge team



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