Saturday, March 29, 2008

In search of magic carpets

Tuesday 25th March 2008
We woke up early today because we need to get the kids back into a routine ready to go back to school tomorrow. After breakfast we went to a car paint and panel shop to arrange for the last piece of work that should have been done by the dealer in Clarkson to be done to the car. The work that needs doing is only minor and you can’t help but think that if they had any sense they would just make us an offer that we might accept and walk away without all this aggravation, but they are insistent that the job is done so we will have to let them do it although the bit that will hurt them is the cost of car hire while the work is being done.
We met a carpet salesman at the house this morning and on the way there we dropped Marisa off at one of her new found friend’s house. We are hoping to have virtually the whole house re-carpeted before our belongings turn up on 9th April so we are pushing it a bit bearing in mind that because of the amount of carpet required it will have to be ordered in which can take 2 weeks, still a little bit of pressure never hurt anyone.
After that we went and saw another carpet guy and arranged to meet him at the house in the afternoon before picking up Marisa from her friends and going to the Café to catch up on emails and have some lunch.
The Café was heaving and we managed to get the last table, Carolyn and the kids went in and ordered drinks while Ian went round to the bank to have a few words about our fax being sent to the Café, they were suitably apologetic and assured us that it wouldn’t happen again.
After lunch we headed for the house and met salesman number 2 who measured up the entire house muttering this is a bloody big place as he wandered from room to room, it sounds like it is going to be expensive but we intend to be here for a few years so we need to make sure we get it right first time. When he had finished measuring up he said if we pop into the office on the way back he will have worked out a price. The kids who had got bored with the whole thing had taken themselves off to the local park while he was measuring, so after we had locked up we drove round to pick them up and found them having a great time playing with a load of other local kids, needless to say we got a load of whinging from them because they wanted to stay but they will have plenty of time for that when we move in.
We went back to salesman No 2’s office and found that our initial fears had been proved right, it doesn’t help that Carolyn only feels comfortable on a certain type of carpet (an expensive one), but as they say you get what you pay for and we want something that will last. We haven’t got the quote from salesman No 1 yet but he is one of the guys that can afford to plague us with adverts on TV while we are trying to watch a good film so we don’t imagine he will come in cheapest. We do have salesman No 3 going in tomorrow morning, he is from a town centre Furniture, electrical, carpets, anything household type store so we may get a result there.
We then had a look round another appliance store in town and were assured that virtually everything on show was available for immediate delivery which put Carolyn’s mind at rest. When we were staying at Sharon’s house she was telling us how in that part of WA if you wanted major appliances or furniture like fridges, cookers and 3 piece suites you could be waiting up to 8 weeks for delivery, fortunately it does not seem to work like that in Busselton.
We have come up with a theory on this phenomena which may or may not be accurate or of any interest to you but it shows that we have thought about it, some might say that we have too much time on our hands but we like to think that by studying and analysing the local customs and habits we are learning about our potential customers and will hopefully be able to utilise what we have learned to benefit the business.
This is it; Busselton is a well established area which has catered for a fairly large population over a large area for many years, during that time fashions have come and gone but there has always been a market for traditional appliances and items of furniture, things that people have grown up with, know how to use and have great faith in, things that they know will last. This has given the retailer information on trading patterns over many years and although there is a fair amount of building going on in the area we reckon the local retailers will be able to tell within a couple of units what and how many they will sell within a given month.
North of Perth there is so much building going on, it is all being sold at inflated prices to migrants who for some reason will not live in the area that they work. These migrants have come out here because they are fed up with the UK, commuting to work in Manchester or London or wherever they may come from and think that they are now going to be happier commuting for a couple of hours a day to Perth in 40 degree heat. They then spend the weekend partying with their new found friends, also from the UK, who also needed a lifestyle change and are now commuting to Perth on a regular basis. Anyway enough of that, these migrants come from so many different backgrounds, have different priorities, are swayed more by fashion and keeping up with the Jones’s than the local population and have money to burn which is great for the migrant but an absolute nightmare for the retailer who is dealing with mainly new custom. Because the population is so young and a trading pattern has not yet been set up the retailer uses his head, he has a huge selection of showroom models but nothing out the back because he can’t afford to hold stock that might overnight become unfashionable and in turn become unsaleable. So the punter places the order with the retailer, the retailer places it with the wholesaler who is pretty much in the same position as the retailer but who knows the name of the rep at the manufacturer who then places the order with the manufacturer who is running on such tight margins that they don’t dare hold any stock and only manufacture to order. Hence the 8 week wait just to live happily ever after in little England, north of Perth, in fact isn’t that the way the system works in England? Amazing really.
We think we have made the right decision coming south where the economy is more stable but then we would say that wouldn’t we, after all when we order our fridge and washing machine we are going to get it the next day nah nah.
We hope you enjoyed that little bit of waffle and should we ever receive any awards for our observations we will have to dedicate them to the TV advertisers of Western Australia without whom we would have been watching a good film uninterrupted and going slowly brain dead.
Early dinner tonight and early to bed because the kids are back at school tomorrow and they are still looking forward to it so they went to bed without a peep, bless’em.

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