You just have to take a peek at the thousands of used items we have sold on our site and the 10k+ items of furniture we have sold on ebay to see we are pretty much a force to be reckoned with in the second hand furniture world. But we wouldn't have been able to grow at the pace we have or with the reputation we've earned without the help of a really fantastic Furniture Logistics partner - Teesside10. So we want to give you a wee insight into March delivery statistics, challenges, problems and key moments.
Where have we been?
It was a standard month as far as the UK spread was concerned, this is pretty normal each month and just has slight variances. The interesting thing to note here is although we are based in the North East - just 3% of our deliveries were local (1% within our direct local market) now that just shows you both the power of our website and also the reputation we have that people form all over the UK are comfortable ordering without viewing. If you were wondering this is why we only have short opening hours to the public as the local market is such a tiny part of our business:
Cheshire 4% London 20%
North East 2%
North West 12%
West Midlands 8%
South Coast 3%
Well this month was all about the white stuff. It was going remarkably well until the snow caught us off-guard and kicked us in the teeth. We had a nightmare in Huddersfield and one driver was stuck for 4 hours on the M62, but thats not as bad as Mark who spent 8 hours just North of Aberdeen stranded with about 30 motorists when a lorry jack knifed and caused chaos. I was actually travelling up form London back to Teesside after setting up a show home in Milton Keynes buzzing as I avoided all the snow, I actually text the guys to boast of my driving skills and then there was a Crane fire on the M1 and the road was closed for 6 hours with every route north completely blocked. This meant yet another night away from home in a budget hotel and drown my sorrows. Other than that we had the usual problems that could have been so easily avoided if people didn't tell fibs when confirming their deliveries:
No Parking outside the house and the customer left his Gran (in a wheelchair) to take delivery of a 8ft Solid Oak Sideboard bearing in mind he knew it was one man with assistance at his end.
Customer never told us of a ford to get to their house that was 6ft deep and not passable with any vehicle (after heavy rain). Customer demanded the driver to walk through with her 2 sofas to her house which was only half a mile further down the road - driver obviously never.
Customer confirmed a delivery slot of 0700-0900am and was text the evening before out of courtesy with a timed drop (which they replied "fantastic thanks") only to find they weren't in and had to "nip to Paris last night".... seriously! They ordered 4 sofas so completely ruined the delivery route.
Customer never advised us they live at the top of a dirt track on a 1:3 Hill. Kept asking for their what3words wouldn't give it for some reason, google maps showed a road but that was an old image on google maps as it was dug up! Shouted at the driver "You will never get up there in that, you should have come in a jeep you fu**ing idiot"...... yes the driver shouted back before driving off. Oh he ordered 2 x 3 seaters, 1 sideboard, table and 8 chairs and a double wardrobe - seriously a Jeep!
Customer never advised us of a low bridge (believe it or not it was 6ft 6") and then said thought you would come in a car - customer ordered two 3 seater and one 2 seater sofas.
Customer tried to change delivery address from what they gave us to what they were telling the driver. Word of warning no courier company in the UK should accept a change of address off anyone else other than the retailer. He was shouting and cursing at driver but remember the driver will always use the same language back (nice to them nice to you, arse to them arse to you). Turns out it was a scam and had it not have been for the driver standing his ground, both the person that was scammed and us would have lost money. Thankfully everything turned out right and we were commended on our professionalism.
Honestly freight is by far the most difficult and challenging part of every business, we thought we made our delivery terms and conditions foolproof so things like this wouldn't happen, but every week a few fools still find their way through. We are going to tighten up further to stop them and can only apologise to the 95% of our amazing customers for any further measures we put on freight confirmations. We thank the 95% of you wholeheartedly for being honest, reading the delivery terms and not being a dick.
There are many moments we feel are worth a mention, but here are two that really stand out to me. We had a call from one of the production companies we work with who had been let down by another company on a set that needed to be ready by 10am Monday - we got the call on Sunday Lunchtime. To make this even worse they are based in Bournemouth so logistically this was going to be hard as Bournemouth is a whopping 325 miles (almost 7 hours) from Gods country (Teesside). But 8am my lads were unloading and starting to set up with plenty of time to spare. He was beyond happy and took the boys for slap up breakfast and even gave them some signed merchandise to say thank you. The other moment that stood out was when a customer called us in tears to tell us of her delivery. On the morning of the delivery she fell ill and couldn't help with the delivery. The driver carried the sofa into her home, set it all up, made her a cup of coffee then went to the store and bought her food, treats, pain relief and even a hot meal. Honestly I was moved to tears, you see above all our guys are all genuinely nice people that will always help anyone - its only the aggressive, nasty, bullying and bombastic ones they are encouraged to fight back with.
So there you have it, a snapshot of March logistics courtesy of Teesside10. Remember to check out our delivery terms and also the terms of TS10 on their website.
Vintage Home Stores is one of the leading suppliers of Second Hand Furniture Vintage Furniture Antique Furniture and Quality Used Furniture to the UK markets. Our delivery is amongst the cheapest in the country and all items are in stock ready to go.