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OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 11:52 AM   #1
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OK, I'm spooked

Dad sells jewerly, ranging from $50 trinkets to $50+k fancy stuff. For as long as he has been doing this (early 90s), late November through the end of the year has been an extremely busy season. People buy an astonishing amount of jewelry, coming back repeatedly and often dropping what I would consider to be absurd amounts on what is an ostentatious luxury. Through good times and bad, even (very surprisingly to me) through the pit of the early 2000s recession, people have bought ever greater amounts of jewelry. All of a sudden, things have slowed to a crawl this holiday season.

Why? Boy, given the anecdotal nature of this, I could probably come up with a gazillion plausible explanations. But one floats to the top: the RE market has stopped dead in its tracks in these parts.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 12:05 PM   #2
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

WalMart has taken over the jewelry business.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 12:07 PM   #3
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Maybe jewelers and real estate agents should get together and create a new line of bobbles for your property -- a diamond necklace for your garage, pearl bracelets for the living room window, . . .

The jewelers would benefit directly and property owners would be upgrading their property for quicker sale.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 12:51 PM   #4
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
WalMart has taken over the jewelry business.
Sam's Club, Costco, and eBay are killing the family jewelry stores...........we have had 3 close in Milwaukee in the last 2 years, all with over 65 years in business...........

Same thing with furniture stores...........wonder what's happening to them?? FWIW, I don't buy furniture at Wal Mart..........
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 12:57 PM   #5
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
Sam's Club, Costco, and eBay are killing the family jewelry stores...........we have had 3 close in Milwaukee in the last 2 years, all with over 65 years in business...........

Same thing with furniture stores...........wonder what's happening to them?? FWIW, I don't buy furniture at Wal Mart..........
Dad doesn't have a store. He is easily able to undercut any retailer (Costco included) since his overhead is zip.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 12:59 PM   #6
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
Maybe jewelers and real estate agents should get together and create a new line of bobbles for your property -- a diamond necklace for your garage, pearl bracelets for the living room window, . . .

The jewelers would benefit directly and property owners would be upgrading their property for quicker sale.
This is an excellent idea. Harley-Davidson began paving the way for this trend some years ago with their expansive line of driveway jewelry.

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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 12:59 PM   #7
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Dad doesn't have a store. He is easily able to undercut any retailer (Costco included) since his overhead is zip.
Then he can weather the storm..........however, he sounds like a good economic barometer for you........

I remember how I knew the economy was getting better........when the small local tool and die shops had "help wanted" signs out.........
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 01:06 PM   #8
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

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Then he can weather the storm
He hasn't needed to work in years, but keeps it up because he feels like it and gets to spend his "play money."
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 01:11 PM   #9
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
I remember how I knew the economy was getting better........when the small local tool and die shops had "help wanted" signs out.........
My niece's husband is a machinist. His company is running three shifts a day, seven days a week. He passed up triple time to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
Same thing with furniture stores...........wonder what's happening to them?? FWIW, I don't buy furniture at Wal Mart..........
We've been shopping for new bedroom furniture since just before Thanksgiving. I've noticed that the quality of the low end stuff has really gone downhill. We got tired of looking at cheap junk and started shopping the "high end" places. First place we went to I opened a drawer and looked at the glue blocks and screws holding it together and commented to my wife "this is some cheap @#$%". Just at that moment some sales critter glided up alongside me and said "Oh, don't you simply love our Whatchamacallit Collection? It is one of our very best lines."

The really good furniture is very expensive. $1,000 - $3,000 for a night stand made with real joints and real wood. We only found a few places that sold the really quality furniture, and everyone else is selling cheap junk that is barely a step above what Wal Mart is selling.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 01:36 PM   #10
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
My niece's husband is a machinist. His company is running three shifts a day, seven days a week. He passed up triple time to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

We've been shopping for new bedroom furniture since just before Thanksgiving. I've noticed that the quality of the low end stuff has really gone downhill. We got tired of looking at cheap junk and started shopping the "high end" places. First place we went to I opened a drawer and looked at the glue blocks and screws holding it together and commented to my wife "this is some cheap @#$%". Just at that moment some sales critter glided up alongside me and said "Oh, don't you simply love our Whatchamacallit Collection? It is one of our very best lines."

The really good furniture is very expensive. $1,000 - $3,000 for a night stand made with real joints and real wood. We only found a few places that sold the really quality furniture, and everyone else is selling cheap junk that is barely a step above what Wal Mart is selling.
Amish stuff is usually pretty good...................we have access to it in Wisconsin. I bought Hooker desk 7 years ago, and they make nice stuff.

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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 01:43 PM   #11
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
The really good furniture is very expensive. $1,000 - $3,000 for a night stand made with real joints and real wood. We only found a few places that sold the really quality furniture, and everyone else is selling cheap junk that is barely a step above what Wal Mart is selling.
Agree with you here. OTOH, the Midwest is full of nice real wood used furniture. It takes a little looking, but it is there, nice and not too expensive. I bought my sister a really nice solid maple sideboard a few years ago for $350.

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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 02:02 PM   #12
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Dad doesn't have a store. He is easily able to undercut any retailer (Costco included) since his overhead is zip.
OK, I'm picturing Dad Brewer, with a big bulky overcoat, "PPPSSST, fella, wanna buy some stones?"
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 02:03 PM   #13
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
OK, I'm picturing Dad Brewer, with a big bulky overcoat, "PPPSSST, fella, wanna buy some stones?"


Not too far from the truth. Dad also worked in NY's Fulton Fish Market for over 30 years.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 02:24 PM   #14
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

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Not too far from the truth. Dad also worked in NY's Fulton Fish Market for over 30 years.
I haven't been to NYC in years, but I used to stay at a hotel right there by the Fish Market on Peck Slip (one of the few place convenient to where I needed to go that were within per diem). The last time I was there it was changing a lot, the Seaport was really taking over the area and it was becoming super touristy. But there was still some of the old "flavor" of what the market was like during the old days - usually in the middle of the night and the early morning. I bet your father has a lot of interesting stories from those days.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 02:30 PM   #15
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

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I haven't been to NYC in years, but I used to stay at a hotel right there by the Fish Market on Peck Slip (one of the few place convenient to where I needed to go that were within per diem). The last time I was there it was changing a lot, the Seaport was really taking over the area and it was becoming super touristy. But there was still some of the old "flavor" of what the market was like during the old days - usually in the middle of the night and the early morning. I bet your father has a lot of interesting stories from those days.
The Fulton Market is gone now, sadly. The city decided that RE development was more important that centuries of heritage, so they finally forced the market up to the Bronx at Hunt's Point. A great loss, IMO.

Yeah, he has plenty of stories. His old partner is still in the business - "Joe Tuna." If you call his firm and ask for him by his legal first and last name, you will be lucky if anyone knows who you are talking about.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 02:38 PM   #16
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Joe Tuna - now there's a nickname!

There was a little cafe on Peck where I used to eat breakfast all the time. In the early morning there would be guys from the Fish Market hanging out and talking. The place was tiny and you could overhear most conversations. Everybody there had a nickname. I never heard Joe Tuna's name, but I heard "Beansey", and "Silent Sam" thrown around in there a few mornings - along with all the mandatory "Richies", "Frankies", and "Joeys".

Sorry to hear that the market has moved. It seemed like a slice of the genuine old New York.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 02:44 PM   #17
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Heheh, you must have missed the bar near the market. $1 a quart Michelob (mid 1990s) at happy hour - starting 11AM. A tad early for the rest of us, but if you went to work at 2AM...

I suppose if I ever really needed to have someone "disappear" or engage in the trade of, um, contraband, I know who to call.
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 02:57 PM   #18
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

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I started having all of our wood furniture custom made about 10 years ago. Not only is the price about 50% less but the quality is 10 times better than the top of the line stuff. Find a local woodworker that does this kind of stuff. It is usually their hobby and do enough to write off their tools and keep busy.
Beautiful piece, Cutthroat. How did you find your woodworker?

Ha
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 02:59 PM   #19
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

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Heheh, you must have missed the bar near the market. $1 a quart Michelob (mid 1990s) at happy hour - starting 11AM. A tad early for the rest of us, but if you went to work at 2AM...

I suppose if I ever really needed to have someone "disappear" or engage in the trade of, um, contraband, I know who to call.
If it's/was the place right under the bridge (Front and Dover maybe?) I've been there. I liked the fenced in patio with the bare light bulbs and the view of the underside of the bridge. Most of my imbibing was at Hogs N Heffers in the meat packing district (what an interesting nightlife that area had) or some other place that was right across from the DEA building.

I gather that the fish market had it's share of "connected" people who could perform all kinds of interesting services and favors. One night, coming back from the Hogs N Heffers, we were trying to drive past the fish market to get to our hotel. Some kind of cops had the street blocked off and when the guy driving tried to go through they had a fit. He was NYPD and badged our way past, but I asked him about what was going on. He said that the city had some kind of special unit that did nothing but patrol the fish market when it was in operation because of all the mob activity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I started having all of our wood furniture custom made about 10 years ago. Not only is the price about 50% less but the quality is 10 times better than the top of the line stuff. Find a local woodworker that does this kind of stuff. It is usually their hobby and do enough to write off their tools and keep busy. The downside is that I usually have to wait about 10 months to get a piece of Furniture made.
It looks like it's well built - I can see the joints in the drawer in that one picture. For what you received, you got one heck of a deal for the price.

Any tips on how I go about finding somebody near me who is like the guy you found? Do I hang out at places where they sell nice lathes and bandsaws and say "Pssst, buddy, want to make some dough?"
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Re: OK, I'm spooked
Old 12-04-2006, 03:21 PM   #20
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Re: OK, I'm spooked

Brewer,

My step brother sells jewelry through his site on on Ebay and is also experiencing a slow down, hope it turns around soon.

Dave
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