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Home | NEWSLETTERS

NEWSLETTER 7 - May 2013

Dear Collectors,

Firstly, a HUGE thank you for the amazing response we received to Newsletter 6. We had a lot of feedback on all topics mentioned, particularly the “good old days” and huge support on the Royal Mail issue, which we really do appreciate! Thank you for your understanding on that one. I am still amazed that a company like Royal Mail can, in some cases, almost double their prices overnight, and get away with it!

I also wanted to apologise for a few hiccups on the insurance guide. A couple of problems with values and also the Excel version steadfastly refused to calculate the total. All resolved now, but apologies to those of you who got caught out by the first version. The guide is very much “work in progress” – a document which is updated constantly behind the scenes, but only published once a year for consistency, so that insurance companies as well as collectors have only one figure to work with, rather than conflicting amounts appearing during the year.

We have been doing a considerable amount of behind the scenes work on our database over the last few months. We generate virtually all of our documents, including invoices and the Excel and PDF insurance guides from the database. With the addition of new fields and some tweaking we have eliminated one problem we experienced with the guide and overcoming this issue will bring more consistency regarding which items are included in the guide in future. The major problem with producing the guide is that the majority of work on pricing etc has to be undertaken last minute. Now that Swarovski no longer issue printed price lists and don’t always announce all the year’s retirements in advance (particularly in the home accessories category), it is becoming more of a challenge to ascertain exactly which items have been retired, and which ones are being introduced.

2013 Warner books

All 4 versions of the Warner reference books are now in stock, that is:

  • Silver Crystal volume (black and white)
  • Silver Crystal volume (colour)
  • Beyond Silver Crystal volume (black and white)
  • Beyond Silver Crystal volume (colour)

Full details can be found on the Publications page, or in the web shop (Miscellaneous / Publications page). They are a fantastic reference guide, particularly for those of you with either no, or very restricted internet access. We only make one order for our Warner books every year, so if you are interested in purchasing, please don’t delay, as once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Express an Interest

We have made some changes to the Express an Interest system, with more to follow. Unfortunately, we are finding a lot of incorrect e-mail addresses coming through, and/or people who ignore us when we find their item for them, some of whom may have had no intention of ever purchasing the item in the first place.

As a first step, we have added the requirement to type in your e-mail address twice (and consistently!) so that should help with one of the problems. Plus we now require you to answer a few questions about the item you are seeking. We realise this is a nuisance to genuine collectors, however, it should help to weed out those who are not genuine, which is a big advantage to everyone, as we can focus on searching for items which people genuinely want.

New Emotis

Two new Emotis from the Lovlots collection – Pressure and Achievement are being released soon.

Flower Power Mo

Also, available soon, exclusively from the Swarovski website is “Flower Power Mo”. This will be the last of the exclusive on-line edition Mos to be produced. We are assured that she will not be the last of the Mos. Mixed feelings about that? You are not alone …!

Repeats

Talking of another Mo, leads me to the topic of repeat issues! One of the things that was particularly evident from your feedback was that many collectors are fed up with repeats of previously designs in various colour-ways. You want new items, and feel that the constant repeats of designs in new colours are a cheap way for Swarovski to get more money from collectors, many of you saying that you now refuse to buy Mos, Panthers or any other item which was previously in clear crystal, but is now repeated in colour.

I get the impression that collectors really have been “voting with their feet” so to speak. I say this because another snippet of news from the Crystal Fanatics Club (CFC) is that collectors in Australia who were attendees at the 2013 Gala Dinner were told in a speech by a Swarovski representative, that there would be no more “repeats” like foals (clear) / foals playing, butterfly on leaf / sparkling butterfly, rose / blossoming rose, Wedding Kris Bears reproduced in a darker colourway, and so on. The amount of feedback from people fed up with such repeats surprised us as it wasn’t something we had touched on in the last Newsletter. But hopefully, this news will make a lot of people very happy. It appears that you don’t mind a new Panther, for example, but you would prefer a different design completely and not another Soulmates panther – in any colour – even pink, which some of you thought would be quite fun in some ways, in homage to the lovable cartoon character.

Perhaps Swarovski have been bombarded with complaints about this new policy, or maybe collectors have just chosen not to buy the item in the revised colour scheme, as they already own the piece in the original format. But whatever happened to change Swarovski’s mind, it appears that this type of re-issue will no longer be produced.

Repairs

We are often asked if we offer a repair service or if we can put people in touch with a “mad professor” who would be able to reassemble a piece which Swarovski have refused to repair as they would be unable to put it back to pristine condition. The simple answer is “no”!

We get our repairs undertaken by Swarovski and if they are unable to effect a repair because there is damage to a piece which cannot be rectified, then we have to write the piece off. Please remember that if you attempt your own repairs, Swarovski will realise that something has been attempted when they inspect the piece, and they will not do any work on the item at all because of an attempted third party repair. So, quickly sticking an ear back onto a piece now, could mean that in future, when you need a part replaced elsewhere on the piece that Swarovski will refuse to do it, as in their eyes the earlier DIY job renders the piece as no longer able to be classed as mint/pristine. So, the investment in a proper repair is best solution in the long-term.

The only safe way to get your repairs organised is to take the piece to your local Swarovski retailer who will send the piece off to their repair department to see if it is possible to bring it back to pristine condition. There is a charge for this service, but in comparison to the value of the piece once its been brought back to perfection, it is a small price to pay.

And finally …

Crystal Fanatics Club (CFC)

Another fabulous way of keeping in touch with the latest news – and for advance information is to join the Crystal Fanatics Club. Breaking news and information is regularly published on their website, which makes the CFC a great place to belong. In return for a small membership fee, you have access not only to daily message boards, but also their extensive and absolutely amazing photo galleries plus so much more. It is really easy to join – just go to: www.crystalfanaticsclub.com Lots more information is available on our “Links Page” – just point your mouse at our “About Us” page and select “Links” from the drop down menu to find out even more.

At the end of last year, CFC announced that the Rabbit with Poinsettia was the first of a set of 4 seasonal rabbits to be introduced. This announcement was made several months in advance of the official Swarovski announcement. We now see that 2 more Rabbits have been produced, one holding forget-me-nots, and another holding Tulips, leaving one more rabbit to be released. We are assuming that the fourth rabbit for the series will follow the four seasons theme and be an autumnal rabbit. So far, with much head scratching in the office, we can only think that it could be a pumpkin for a Halloween theme. Particularly as Halloween and pumpkins have been things which Swarovski have focused on over the last few years, with Halloween Mo, Halloween Kris Bear and Magic Mo. We don’t know yet, but that’s our best guess, but I’m sure CFC will know first! However, if you are not a CFC member, you won’t know in advance!!

Crystal Lodge News

Since our last newsletter, we have added another 2 countries to our list of countries that we have sent parcels to, namely Sweden and Finland and our 5,000th invoice has been issued!

We are updating our Reference Guides and have finally got around to adding more entries to the Testimonials page on our website. A recent addition is a temporary shop category called “May Madness” where we have added a few special offers for this month only. Dependent on how this goes, we may add more items later!

Until next time, happy collecting!!

With very best wishes,

Alison and the Team



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