Friday, August 13, 2010

Dealing With Backstabbing Antique Shop Owners

First I need to apologize for not writing in so long, it has been one helluva crazy year so far and it just doesn't seem to be getting any better.

I hired the worlds worst antique auctioneer to get rid of excess inventory, since he did not sell anything I just finished a marathon 7 day garage sale in 100 degree temp. The neat thing about the garage sale was seeing some of my shop customer's and old friends.

As to the topic in the title....
What is up with some of these antique shop owners? They will lie to you, steal from you, talk about you to other's and in general act very immature and unprofessional. I am too old (50) to play these teenage girl games with folks yet I am currently embroiled in a little kid piss fight and actually had the police called on me today. Thank goodness the police didn't see me as a real threat to anyone (I think they were more concerned about the shop owner) so I didn't see the inside of a jail.

So Michelle, what happened today? I will give a very condensed version:

My shop closed at the end of Feb. 2010. I was approached by 2 women who were opening an antique shop and asked to come on as a consultant, help them price items and basically teach them the ropes. For my time and effort I would get a free booth. I talked to my consignor's and all of them were in agreement to move over to the "new shop."

In the midst of closing my store, coping with the grief of my moms passing, raising children, sorting inventory and life in general I still managed to put in about 60 hours at the "new shop" pricing and advising.

One day I had several boxes of my inventory returned and was told "we don't have room for you to sell in our shop." Okay I want my reference books and personal inventory returned and I am out of your hair. Frankly I was ready to focus on my website anyway.

That was 4 months ago, I still don't have my personal inventory nor all my reference books and today I find out that the "new shop" is using my contracts with my name on them thereby making me responsible for items I have no control over.

So today I created a contract for the "new shop" in their name along with a letter demanding that they cease using my personal and business names in their dealings.

I go into the shop and present these to the owner... she goes bonkers.. calls the police. Mind you, for once, I was not yelling, cussing or otherwise throwing an adult fit, I simply presented the info and told her I needed to move on with my life. I guess we will end up in court over this stupid mess.

As if that is not childish enough, for the past hour I have had most of my former consignor's calling me asking why I "was picking on the shop owner."
I don't understand why the signing of new contracts has not already taken place and they are still accepting new consignments under my name.

They are the ones that backed out on our verbal agreement so why are they so angry with me? My guess is that they realized it was a pretty stupid move on their part. Neither of them are antique dealers or business people now they are stuck with what could be an amazing shop in a terrific location and don't know what to do with it.

Does anyone have a similar story?

11 comments:

Reggie said...

I have Owned an antique mall for 12 years and I started my buisness from scratch but in a neihboring town I rented a space in an antique mall with a similar situation. A large antique mall that was very well run the owner wad renting the building for $800 per month. After 4 years the building owner said he was raising her rent to $3600 per month which even though she had 70+ vendors at least $125 per month plus commission she still couldn't eat because of utilities. So she was put out of business. After a few months the owner of the buildings daughter opened an antique mall back up and left the name of the store the same. The original mall owner then started recieving all of the utility bills at her home for the business. They had even gotten the same phone number. And when they called to set that up they said just bill it like it was not knowing the previous owner had everything sent to her house. She forwarded the bills for a while, called the companies to try and stop it, and has been in court now for months. It's been a horrible & costly mess for her. And after 3 years still isn't straightened out.

I will keep following your blog to see what happens. Good luck!

Tess Hardwick said...

Hi. I'm a novelist and looking for information on a common china dinnerware pattern that someone in the southern U.S. might have ordered for her wedding china, circa 1907. Do you have any ideas for me? I don't want to buy any pieces but would love to look at any photos or websites that might have some information for me. Thanks in advance if you're able to help.

Anonymous said...

YIKES!!!

Vaevictus said...

Is there a web site to research a collectibles value? I am looking for a source that searches multiple collectibles.

Vaevictus
Http://www.beforeyoubuy.co

Brad Fallon said...

Wow, that's just not right!

Hallmark Ornaments said...

Being in the Kansas City area, do you have any Hallmark ornaments for sale?

eli said...

that is so ridiculous!!i swear the nerve of alot of people in this world!!alot of people these days do not! know the meaning of respect,manners & keeping their word!you seem like a very nice person from what i'm getting.i too have tried to help so many people always ready & eager to assist &/or teach them some knowledge of what i aready know etc.but so many people just take advantage of good people these days cause too many people are selfish self centered materialistic greedy people that only care about themselves.i cant tell you how many times i have tried to help so many so called "friends" &even some family! but people just do not appreciate anything these days!!i am going to be 40 yrs.old next month&i too do not have time for games or to put up with peoples crap!although i will never change because of what people have done to me i am just more cautious&always go with my gut or give only 1 chance&from there see if i even want to deal with that person(s).from those experiences though it has kept me from getting close to anyone.i can say i only have very very very!!few friends.that i check on to make sure they are eating&doing well because they're like 80&91 yrs.of age.&i spend the rest of my time enjoying with my kids baking cookies shopping!!&having fun or at least trying to being a single mom.but back to the subject you can sue her for using your company name&you can even get a percentage of the monies that they collect in which during that time until they no longer use your name of any profits they have made &sometimes even get ,i think,a % of the merchandise?but yea go to web site askalawyer.com for any legal questions or anything like that in which can help&pertain to your case.there is a fee though for your answer.i believe it was $35.00 or something like that for me.but i wish you the best of luck.because whats right is right!!!gosh i wonder alot these days "are there any real honest truthful people in this world today!!"anyways good luck!&you know your vintage clear tissue box i believe you posted the last time i looked on your site well i have the exact same matching trash can for it.i have lots!!!!of antiques especially glass!&collectors items of all sorts but dont know what to charge etc.those people need to appreciate you!but if not show them what real honest people are about!!because they are soooo wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark said...

Your experience sounds horrific! Thank God not all antique dealers are that horrible... it' sad that you're likely to end up in court to resolve the situation

Antique Atrocity said...

I am an antique novice, but I do enjoy the hunt for something spectacular. Often times I just find something strange. I started documenting the strange things I find and I would love some contributions as well. Check out my new blog:
http://antiqueatrocity.blogspot.com/

Chris said...

Ouch! It sounds like it might be worth spending a few bucks for an attorney to issue a cease and desist order.

Fortunately, most antique dealers are good people (based on my 35 years of collecting and dealing) but some folks seem to think a person's word and honor do not belong in the same sentence.

Good luck with this.

. said...

I am sorry about your troubles. Thank you for sharing them and giving others incite or the heads up on things that can happen to dealers and shop owners. I have been fortunate in my dealings. I enjoyed your writing style. Good luck!