There goes an hour of my life. I’ve just written a couple of hundred words but they were going nowhere, and they are now in the bin. I started off with good intentions and it went well for the first 150 words, but it just petered out and after a couple of attempts to close it in a useful and interesting manner I decided that the best way to finish was by way of the delete button.
Instead I will tell you about the most stupid enquiry I have ever had on eBay, and will then progress to the funniest.
One relates to an expensive bullion set, from one of the companies that specialises in such sets. Ours is on eBay at around £2,500. It’s a limited edition with less than 100 sets made. My expectation with this sort of thing is that if you can afford to buy one you are (a) intelligent enough to earn the money to buy one and (b) know what you are doing.
I am, it seems, wrong on both counts. Someone wrote to us and asked how we knew ours was number 45 out of 99, and how he could tell what number his was. If he’d spent a few seconds flicking through the pictures in our listing he’d have discovered the answer. It’s written on the certificate from the manufacturer. It took me less than 30 seconds to find it and I’d never seen the set before.
It’s a stupid enquiry because he should have known that before buying an expensive set. And it’s possibly the stupidest one we’ve had because he was too lazy to look at our listing and find the answer. All I can say in his defence is that he may not have a certificate with his, but if he’s spent all that money on a set with no certificate, it doesn’t make him look particularly bright. And he then has the gall to take up my time by writing to ask something he could have established for himself by pressing a few buttons. Do I look, I wanted to write, like a public information point?
Two hours later we had the funniest enquiry. A lady rang and asked if we were Collectors World, which we are. We tend to wimp out of using an apostrophe as we aren’t quite sure where it should be.
Anyway, a lady rang, I answered, informed her that we were Collectors World, confirmed that it was Collectors World when asked, and then listened to her question. It seems she has a set of ceramic carol-singing pigs and she has successfully removed and replaced the AA batteries which make the piece revolve, she just can’t seem to get the smaller batteries out which power the music. Could I tell her how to do it?
I am, I confess, seldom speechless, but for a moment my mouth moved and nothing came out. Eventually we established that there are other places that trade as Collectors World (which is why our website address is includes the world Nottingham) and that we aren’t the one that sells revolving ceramic pigs which sing Christmas carols.
We parted on good terms despite my inability to help and I really hope she managed to get help from the Collectors World that does.
Even as I search for a title I can hear my Dad talking (he had been in retail in the 1950s after leaving the Navy) – “in retail,” he would say,”every day is different”.