Thursday, May 7, 2015

Reviews

  Yesterday I came across a posting on a For sale group on Facebook.   I read it several times to make sure I had the full understanding.   This was on a wedding for sale group.
  The woman was explaining that she is getting married this coming weekend and she planned to have an outdoor wedding.  However, there is an 80% chance of rain in the forecast.   She rented some chairs from a local business for the ceremony.  She now plans to have the ceremony indoors and no longer needs the chairs. She called the business and they refused to give her a refund.  She states she never signed a contract with them (which I find hard to believe) and was just told verbally that she would not be granted a refund due to weather.  she said in her post that she didn't understand why in 5 days notice she was not able to get a refund.
  First of all I want to say that I sympathize with her delimea.   However, any outdoor event is risky no matter what time of year.  You are taking a risk with that and I am not sure she understood the full risk involved.
  Also, she said on her post that she went to their Facebook page and gave them a bad review.  Well, that triggered a response from me.  I normally would not answer a post like that.
  So basically she was holding the business responsible for the weather and for the risk involved of planning an outdoor wedding.  So I respond to her in this manner:
  So let me get this straight?   You are giving them a bad review for something that is not their fault?   You are holding them responsible for the weather?  This is my policy in my rental business.  You are reserving these rental items for your event.   I cannot and will not be able to rent these items to someone else on your day.  The likelihood of someone calling and wanting those rental items for that day is almost zero.   So if I refund you then I lose money.  Businesses have policies in place to protect themselves.  It is unfortunate that the business didn't offer you something else in place of the chairs, but they are not obligated to.  She was warned ahead of time that she was not going to get a refund due to weather.
  Her response to my post was that she was going to file a small claims against this business to get her money back.   And she stated that she did not sign a contract with them so she will win and get her money back.
A few other people responded to her post also.  One in particular was a Dj in the wedding business that basically said the same things I did, but also added how immature she was to post a bad review.
  So in my opinion, this woman was wrong for posting the negative review to the business.  It frustrates me as a business because I have had negative comments made to my business for similar situations.  One in particular was a bride who rented chair covers from me and when I arrived to put the chair covers on I discovered that the chairs at the venue were a different type and the chair covers she rented from me wouldn't fit.  She gave me a bad review although I refunded her money for the chair cover portion of the rental.
  My advice to anyone renting items is know all the details of your rental before you rent.  If the business you are renting from is a good business they will know to cover all crucial areas of the rental like refunds.  It seems like this business did clearly state their policy the renter in this case just didn't agree with their policy.  She said she was posting to warn other brides about renting from this company.   From other postings on this site and in this post it seemed like the rental business was reputable.   In this case, I took the side of the business and sorry to say, the customer is not always right.

I checked this posting before I published this blog and found the bride has deleted the posting from the Facebook group.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The wedding dress decision--to keep or not to keep?

This is not a trend yet, but I am hoping it will soon be.  Feel free to leave me your comments on what you think.

Brides buy expensive wedding dress costing sometimes upwards of $1,000.00.  You wear this gown for a few short hours.  When the wedding is over you have this beautiful dress with lots of memories (I hope) that sits in a box or a dress bag and it sits in your closet.

A few years ago there were only a couple websites where brides could sell their used wedding dresses and now there are dozens.  You can even sell your dress on Craigslist or Facebook.  I have read so many posts from brides trying to sell their dresses after the wedding, "reduced."  "cost me $1,000.00 and selling for $300.00,"  "the pictures don't do it justice."  "why isn't my dress selling?"

I had a bridal consignment store and in a year's time I only sold 3 dresses that brides had consigned with me.  Before I opened my store I thought (and researched) this was going to be easy.  If a bride found a dress at David's bridal for $1,000.00 then why wouldn't she want to buy a used dress for $300.00?   Some of the dresses I had even still had tags on them.  So what was the problem?   Well, it apparently was not that easy. I am wondering if part of the whole bridal experience is going to a bridal store (like David's Bridal) and picking out that perfect dress, ringing the bell or saying "yes to the dress."  That it really wasn't about the price, it was more of the experience of it all.

Since I had my store I have about 40 dresses that I accumulated by buying on my own to stock my store from Ebay, Craigslist, and wherever.  I have also been trying to sell these dresses and I am still not having any luck at selling them.

So recently I just came up with an idea that I was going to throw out there an opportunity for brides to rent my dresses instead of buying.  So I am offering a new program in my business.  Now since I already have the dresses I don't see the harm in trying this out and if it doesn't work then I can always just try posting them again for sale.

For example, I have a Da Vinci dress that is new and originally priced at $750.00.  I am trying to rent this dress for $100.00.  So far I have not had any hits off this, but I have only just begun.

I would also like to open this up to bride's who want to rent their dress as well.

So I can hear what some of you are thinking.  But, a wedding dress is not like a used car.  It really doesn't depreciate once you take it out of the store and wear it.  Yes, you paid $1000.00 for this dress originally and you probably won't be able to re-sell it for even half that much anyway.  So I am thinking that while a bride is trying to sell her dress she might as well earn some money on it in the meantime.

Also, I have done some research on cleaning of wedding dresses.  I have actually done my own hand washing of a few of the dresses I have in my inventory.  It's really not that complicated and it really isn't necessary to dry clean the dress after you use it.  The bride is going to only have the dress on for a few hours anyway.  Now if you were to dry clean it and then get it preserved as a keepsake then that is different.  I would definitely recommend dry cleaning and using a professional preservation if you plan to keep your dress for years to come.

So this is my thought.  Any bride who wants to rent their dress through us can do so.  You can earn 75% of your rental fee back and we will have a 25% commission fee.  So basically you are looking at $100.00 rental = $75.00 back to the bride and $25.00 for us.  Rent your dress out 3 times and there is your $225.00 that you didn't have in your pocket before.  Then if you decide that you want to sell it after you have rented it out a few times then it will still be in excellent shape for someone to wear again.

I do have some dresses of my own that I will be renting out for less than $50.00.  These are dresses that may not have the fullness as other dresses but are still pretty and practical for any bride on a budget.

Feel free to give your input and let me know what you think of my idea.  I would welcome feedback on this issue.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Would you plan a wedding without a proposal?

I hope I don't offend anyone by this, but something came to my attention recently that I thought I'd share.

An email came to me the other day from a "bride" who was looking for linen rentals (that's what I do).  She had a date, potentially a reception hall, and other services.  The only thing this "bride to be" was missing was a proposal from him.

I met with her and her "fiance."  They were both very nice.  Good jobs, two children together (which is not unusual nowadays), but no ring.  I didn't notice before until she pointed it out to me.  Sure enough, no ring!!  She said the only thing that was missing was the Proposal from him and she was still waiting after 5 years of being together.

So the question I have is how many women would plan a wedding without that one small little detail?
They both seems secure in what they were doing.  He wasn't opposed to the planning process and was even taking part in the planning--calling and emailing vendors, etc.  Just the words have not gotten out yet.

So I found this article on google from brides.com.  So apparently it is not totally unusual.
http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2013/10/man-uses-girlfriends-pinterest-to-plan-proposal-wedding-same-day.html

I have no doubts that these two will get married next year.  It may not be the date they picked out--March 28, 2015, but I would think that sometime next year they will get married.  I joked that there were a few major holidays coming up soon that maybe he would spring it on her as a surprise.

Maybe he has something really awesome planned for their engagement that they didn't share with the rest of the world, let alone, me, a stranger.

Monday, October 13, 2014

How to correctly redeem a Facebook offer

 I use Facebook for my business and one of the nifty things is the Facebook offer.  this is where you can "offer" a special to your potential customers.  I have used this often in my business, but I have been unsuccessful at the # of redemptions from these offers.  Let me explain.

When you set up the offer Facebook has you fill in some details explaining what your offer is.

Title:  (easy enough, right?)
Description of your offer:  ie:  25% off (easy enough, right?)
Image:  (easy enough, right?)
Expiration date (how long do you want to run this offer)
Claims limit:  (if you are smart you will choose "no limit.")
More options:
Terms and conditions:  this is the place were you put the terms of your offer.  Like the restrictions or rules to the offer.
        Online redemption link:  Ie:  your Facebook page or website address.

so, now I have created my offer.  Facebook even sends me an email with the preview of my offer.

My offer is published and it is on my page for people to see.  This is where time and time again people are unsure about how to redeem the offer.
Facebook even keeps a tally of how many people have clicked on your offer.  By clicking "get offer" you have now added a tally to that number.

HERE IS THE CATCH PEOPLE:  WE DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!

Here is a copy of a recent offer I put on my Facebook page.  Do you see the little padlock at the bottom of the page?  It says "your information hasn't been shared with  Best Dressed Bridal and Linens."
I can have 500 people click on this offer but if you don't contact me with your offer then I have NO WAY of knowing who has clicked on my offer.

I understand the privacy policy of Facebook, but I also am frustrated by the number of people who look at my offer and click on it and then I never hear from them.  It kind of is a waste of time and trouble for me to go through all this posting and then never hear from a single person.  

IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CONTACT US TO REDEEM THIS OFFER!!!

How do you properly redeem an offer on Facebook.?  Go to where it says "click here"    This will take you to my Facebook page and enter your comments at the bottom of the offer or you send us a message and say "I would like to offer you $X for this rental package please."  Thank-you.


See the small print at the very bottom?  These are my terms for the offer.  "Make an offer of $30.00 or lower per table............"

To use the offer online, click here and enter "Make an offer" at checkout.
To use the offer in-store, visit Best Dressed Bridal and Linens and show this email.
    
Best Dressed Bridal and Linens

Make an offer on rental

complete table linen packages. Normally priced at $30.00 each table.
 
 
Like Offer
 
 
    
 
 
Share Offer
 
 
Expires October 31, 2014
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52405
Your information hasn't been shared with Best Dressed Bridal and Linens.
Make an offer of $30.00 or lower per table. Includes table cloth, table runner, chair cover, and chair sash, and set up for all rented items. Mileage is separate if you are more than 50 miles from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Deposit is required of at least 50% of your total. Send us a message with your offer to the facebook link provided or text to 319-423-1917. 2014-2015 events are eligible. Free table napkins when you pay your entire balance upfront. Not all offers will be accepted. we will send you a message with a counter offer or denial of your offer.


       

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Table skirting issues

I have been in this business for about 7 years and things definitely do change.  Lately I have been having issues with my table skirting.  My clips do not fit on the tables correctly (too small).
The lip (side edge) of the table is thicker if the venues are using newer or plastic folding tables.

If you decide to rent a table skirt that uses clips make sure that you check the width of your table and let us or whoever you rent from know.  Also, it would be helpful to tell us what your table is made of --wood or plastic.

I did find a site online that sold banquet tables that said in the description how thick the table skirt clips needed to be to accommodate their tables. It appears that most were 1 1/4",  Which may not mean much to you, the bride, but it means something to us--the rental company.  It means that all these little skirt clips that I paid $1.50 each for do not fit the newer banquet tables (mine are 1").

I was at a venue two weeks ago and ready to put on the table skirting on their (6) head tables and found that my clips didn't fit.  Luckily I came prepared and had brought just large table cloths that went to the floor.  They weren't as nice as the pleated ones but at least we were stuck with nothing considering I was almost two hours from Cedar Rapids.  The other plus was the bride had Cinderella skirting that went over the plain white cloths so my fabric for that skirting covered up the plain white tablecloths anyway.

Here are a couple pics of some banquet tables and table skirt clips so you can see what I am talking about.  I guess I will be on the search for different table skirting clips now.
You can see this plastic table has a thicker lip around the edge of the table
this one is more like what my clips will accommodate





Saturday, August 2, 2014

Re-structuring of Best Dressed Bridal and Linens

Change is good.  I like change.  I think that too many times we get complacent and get too much in a groove that we forget the reasons we are doing things for.  I love my part time job (outside the wedding biz) because each day is something new.  I look forward to new challenges and all the new people I am going to meet.

For those of you who don't know I have been battling some health issues for about a year.  This has made me very complacent and very unwilling to change anything.  Now that I am feeling better (through help of doctors and medicines) I have a new focus on life.  And I am starting my new focus with my business.  So I have some exciting news to reveal.  I have some changes going on that I am going to start implementing.

First off, I wanted to say that when I originally started this business 6 years ago I had big dreams and ideas of wedding dresses and a consignment store.  I tried this venture about 2 years ago and was sadly unsuccessful.  Why was it unsuccessful?  I believe it was because of cash flow.  I started this business with $6000.00 and that was quickly eaten up by leasing fees and utility costs.  Besides the fact that I shared a business space with someone who stiffed me over $2000.00 and I never was able to really climb out that and get into the "black."    I also quickly came into more debt and had to move my business back into my house.  since that time I have put every dime back into the business and seemed like I have gotten no where.  But, the optimist person that I am said I have gained so much experience from everything that I have done.  I want to continue doing what I do, but hoping to step it up a notch or two.

I realized also that I have established a lot of things with this business' name and the thought of changing everything (the name) has gotten kind of overwhelming.  But I really am excited about what I am doing so I am going to take the plunge and slowly work my way into the new business name.  Facebook pages can be re-established, websites can be re-established, credit card processing can be re-established, etc.

Oh, by the way.  I already have a new business name picked out.  We are changing our name to A+ Reception Connection.  For the time being we are keeping our Facebook page the same  (Best Dressed Bridal and Linens).  Currently I am working on a new website that should be up and running shortly.

I have no desire to sell wedding dresses or do consignment anymore.  I will probably just continue to try selling the dresses I have in stock and give back the ones that I got from people on consignment.

We are still providing rentals on linen for the DIY brides.  We are stepping this up a notch and providing more high class linens that will be higher priced to rent.  We still plan to keep the DIY and budget friendly linens available to those brides who want to do their own decorating and set up of their rented items.

NEW THINGS:  We are hoping to add these items eventually to our rental items.
Vases
High quality items like arches, columns, and candelabras.
Catering equipment
Photo booth equipment
Chairs and/or tables for rent
Custom made centerpieces for rent or for sale

We are also looking to sell linens as well as rent them. So for those brides that want to buy their items instead of renting can have this option in addition to renting.  So this will mean buying in bulk to offer purchasing  prices.

The biggest and most important thing is I want to go to more bridal shows.  Currently I have only been able to afford two bridal shows in my business.  I think this is a vital part of success in this business.  i feel like getting out there and meeting potential clients at bridal shows will be very advantageous.

so if you currently have contracts with us, nothing will change.  We are still in business. This is just a restructure.  So if you see our name anywhere on the internet give us a shout out.

Stay tuned for more news about or progress.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wild about Chevron!!

Wild about Chevron pattern linens for rent from Best Dressed Bridal and Linens.

choose from table runners, overlays, napkins, and chair sashes.  Finish off your decorations with decorating tape to add to florals and vases.

Several colors to choose from to coordinate to your wedding colors.
For more info visit http://www.bestdressedbridalandlinens.com/chevron-pattern.html
contact us for more info about renting/purchasing items for your event.

Black/white Chevron pattern on white chair covers and white  table cloth
Black/white Chevron pattern on black chair covers and black table cloth

Chevron pattern satin overlay in 54" square, 72" square, and 90" Square
Several colors available
Chevron satin chair sash
Chevron satin table cloths in 120" round and 132" round only!
Chevron pattern satin napkins 20" X 20" square

chevron pattern should not be only used for weddings, but would be great for birthday parties as well.  

16" Chevron pattern paper Chinese lanterns for sale
Chevron pattern paper straws for sale