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----- Original Message ----- |
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 10:02 AM
Subject: Good Morning Phil!
February 14, 2012
Good Morning Phil!
After receiving your most recent emails that you have switched over production of Suzanne's Precious Pet Painting garden flags to a new manufacturer and especially your praise regarding their high quality, I was really eager to compare these new flags to the ones I have received from you in the past. Luckily my recent order (Invoice IN21-LJ001) contained (6) six of the newly produced flags, which gave me the perfect opportunity to compare their quality and packaging.
However, I was sad to report that unfortunately these new flags produced by Chesta had several defects and were not of the same quality as the previous flags I had received. From our previous email conversations I know that you are very concerned with maintaining the high quality and durability reputation that you and Suzanne worked so hard to achieve and maintain, that I felt it was only right for me to bring these concerns to your attention. I knew that not only would my customers want the same high quality they had received in the past, but that your customers would as well. It is hard to wrap your head around accepting something of a lesser quality when you are accustomed to the best! You know how much I love Suzanne's flags and how thrilled I was to find you. I really felt honored to be able to offer Suzanne's flags to my customers.
On January 25, 2012, I sent you an email outlining several concerns with the first being the textile itself. It was a much thinner textile and the structure of the piece itself was just not there.
Secondly, the packaging and presentation was unacceptable. The flags did not lay flat in the packaging. While this may be a cosmetic issue, it was all about first impressions, appearance and appeal which we both know is so important to our customers and how they make decisions in their purchases. I had this discussion with Bethany Navin at Chesta and she in fact agreed this was an issue that needed to be remedied quickly. I sent her photos of the flags showing her my concerns. She offered to take the flags back and the return process was completed.
Thirdly, the made in China labels sewn into the header of the flags was more than disappointing. Actually, I think I was a bit stunned only because you and I had previously discussed how much it meant to offer flags made in the USA. I could tell from our discussions how proud you and Suzanne were to offer USA made products. And after receiving flags from you, I knew why you felt that way. I felt the same way for a variety of reasons. There is a huge difference in the quality of the textile. I was honestly heartbroken to see the Made In China labels.
Aside from the above concerns, I also received an email from Jeff Berman from Chesta which basically stated that going forward Precious Pet Products would only be supplied to vendors/retailers with a physical store (brick and mortar). Solely internet based businesses, like mine, would no longer be allowed to order these flags wholesale. Furthermore, that since my FlagTales store is solely internet based, Chesta is requesting that I remove all of Suzanne's flag images from my webstore and that I stop selling Suzanne's flags (including the ones from my previous purchases directly from you) within 30 days. There was no business/working or purchasing relationship between Chesta and me or even with Chesta and you with the exception of the last order in January. Orders previous to that were between you and me directly. I have attached Jeff's complete email for your review.
To say the least, I was very confused and disappointed when I received that email from Chesta. While I understand the need to switch over the future production of these garden flags to a more cost productive manufacturer, I do not understand why this change should result in the elimination of our established and mutually beneficial business relationship. At the very onset of ordering I did ask for your permission to use your images. As per your wishes, I have made certain that I only use your flag images in the actual product page and I have made certain that I give all credit to Suzanne.
It is my sincerest hope, given my numerous wholesale orders, and the established account relationship that I have had with you directly, plus my careful use of Suzanne's images, that you would allow me to continue using Suzanne's images while I try to sell my remaining stock of Precious Pet Painting garden flags. In addition, while Suzanne's flags are very popular, given that this is the winter season, garden flag sales have significantly slowed, so it will be impossible for me to sell my remaining stock within the 30 days Chesta has requested. Lastly, I purchased these flags prior to Precious Pet Paintings partnership with Chesta, so while the new partnership may not allow wholesale orders to only retailers, I do not understand why Chesta would expect me to sell out my current stock within a certain and unreasonable time frame (30 days). Therefore, I would like your permission to continue using the images until my remaining inventory is sold out. After I have sold all remaining inventory of these flags, which will definitely take longer than Chesta's 30 day request, I promise that I will remove Suzanne's images from my webstore, if you wish.
I take great care in packaging my items for my customers and just received all of my packaging materials yesterday that I had ordered. This is an additional expense for materials/supplies that I will not be able to use if I am unable to sell my remaining stock via my webstore. These are not packaging supplies I can use for any other flag that I sell. They are all PawPrint supplies & packaging. I would add here that I take issue with Jeff Berman's reference to other items I sell. I sell flags from any number of suppliers as well as garden accessories. He appears to have a very limited interpretation of what I sell.
Given our previous communications and good business relationship, I would really appreciate if you would please give me your personal permission and assurance that I can continue to use Suzanne's flag images until I sell out of my remaining stock of Precious Pet Painting garden flags.
Phil, I really do love Suzanne's work and my customers have also greatly enjoyed the ability to purchase them on my webstore. I have also enjoyed working with you directly to bring her passion and talent to other garden flag dog lovers through my webstore. However, I will understand if you no longer wish to allow me to place future wholesale orders as I had attempted to place such an order on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. I was not allowed to place an order for your flags but instead received the reply from Jeff Berman that I have attached. All I ask Phil is that you please allow me to continue using Suzanne's images & product information until I have completely sold out of my current, remaining stock. Please let me know if this will be agreeable.
Thank you in advance for your help and giving this much consideration. Please see Email Attachment.
On a personal note Phil, I will miss our business relationship. It has been such a joy working with you and selling a product that I so loved and believed in. I am in tears writing this to you and I am feeling such a loss. You must be thinking hey, it's only a garden flag! While it is 'only a garden flag' it was much more than that to me. My biggest fear was losing this relationship and now it appears that exactly what I feared is exactly what happened. You and I talked about my concerns several times, but you were always reassuring that we would move forward, work out any issues, and continue on as we had in the past. I valued our business relationship and always felt as a valued vendor to you as well. I always felt like you handled each & every order expeditiously, with trust and care, and I felt I lived up to any agreement I had with you. I was a loyal customer. I really cannot begin to tell you how this feels. I have never had a company deny my order and have always had a good working relationship with my suppliers and still do. Likewise, I have wonderful customers and I know they receive the exceptional customer service from me.
I hope you are doing well as I know the past year has not been easy. I know that you will give careful and thoughtful consideration to everything I have said and I pray you will allow me at the least the courtesy of selling my remaining stock that I purchased in good faith and directly from you with all images intact and in my webstore with any time frame removed.
Your items have been represented well by me. I cannot tell you how many packages I have sent with special greetings enclosed, birthday wishes and cards I have purchased at my expense to make it a special gift for someone. Honestly Phil, you do not know how well your product has been promoted and presented by me. I wish you did.
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