The business model for Antiques by Zaar was built around the notion that people were drawn to do their shopping  online…yes, even for Chinese Antique Furniture. That was in 2000 and happy to say we called it right.  For the  past 11 years we have continued on in this vein, using our website to serve as our only storefront, building  relationships/our business, creating a niche market for our competitively  priced line of quality Chinese Antiques.  Thank you to ALL of you that have taken the plunge and shopped with us online!!!!

Ruth & Jeff after a day of sorting out the warehouse in readiness for Market.

However, even when we had our warehouse in Maine, we always welcomed the customer that desired to come and see for themselves, what was represented online. And the same remains true with our warehouse now located in High Point NC. Yes, with the assistance of my sales associate Jeff Moore, who is based in Greensboro, we are able to entertain appointments for those that still like to “touch and feel” before they purchase.

Babette Glauner of Pinehurst NC, was just one of those that fell in this category. She writes…

“I  found Antiques by Zaar on the internet while searching for Chinese antiques.  Former expat experience, Golden Retriever puppies and obviously family-oriented people...looks like she read our story…. all drew me to the website as well as the wonderful assortment of furniture and Asian accents.  When my husband gave the go-ahead to look for a few new pieces to furnish our retirement home I remembered Ruth in High Point, 1 1/2 hours away.

The piece Babette spotted online was indeed perfect for her, as shown here in her home.

The antiquesbyzaar website is well-organized and depicts the offerings very well, but as long as I was close by, I contacted Ruth to see if I could see my possible choices in person.  She was warm from the start, very accommodating and arranged a time to meet at the warehouse, now the Design Center.  What a treasure trove it is!  It was hard not to want to toss out everything I had and start anew right there!  But sense prevailed and in no time Ruth and I were chatting like old friends and I had selected the piece I had come for plus another whose possibilities jumped out at me once I saw it.  Jeff Moore, Ruth’s cohort, also was very helpful, never pressuring but guiding me to all of the variations of whatever I expressed an interest in.  It’s easy to see that both women really know and enjoy their merchandise.”

Thank you Babette, for this wonderful testimonial. It was a delight to meet you as well, and enjoy staying in touch with you by way of email/newsletters, and the such.

For those that may be interested in visiting our warehouse, please just let me know and we’ll make the arrangements.

ANNOUNCEMENT: We are moving next month, even closer to the heart of High Point…for those of you familiar with High Point, it is in the old Drexel Heritage Factory, which is at 741 West Ward. So very excited!

P.S. I also wrote a blog on Babette’s decorating mantra Eclectic= Interesting: Chinese, American and French Antiques….

Advertisements

.and, the story of a  happy Antiques by Zaar customer/friend .

Katherine Kovins found Antiques by Zaar online in 2006, as she and her husband, Thom Janusz, were working  on furnishing their new Long Island home.  Wanting a Chinese sideboard, to serve as a bureau in their bedroom, was the initial impetus to shop my site.

...looking great in the, main floor, dining room.

She honed in on a beautiful, rich wood toned sideboard which she knew to be perfect in all ways for her boudoir, less the fact that this beauty, gloriously long at 100″, would not manage its way up the stairwell…no way, no how.  Katherine found a solution to her problem…. she would make a place for this piece on the main floor of her new home, in her dining room, and buy a 2nd sideboard to serve her purposes in her 2nd floor bedroom….which worked beautifully, per photos shown here.

...and Katherine looking perfect beside the sideboard that did make it up the stairs to their boudoir.

Katherine continued shopping for accent pieces from Antiques by Zaar, such as the mirror shown here,  to complement the many other Asian pieces of furniture and artifacts that she and her husband had already gathered over the years.

This past February I so very much enjoyed the tour of their home, see some pix here….I simply didn’t take enough photos..think I was in such a state of “awe”   graced as it was, with a delightful infusion of Asian furniture and artifacts throughout…beautifully placed to maximize vantage points. It truly was akin to walking through a museum, and I, the lucky gal that was given a personalized tour by the impassioned purveyors of fine treasure after fine treasure.

In Katherine’s words…”You can say that my husband and I have always loved the Asian decor as it lends peace and tranquillity to the home. We love the beauty and simplicity of Asian art and antiques.”

Thom, a renowned sculptor, showcases Asian sculptures, admist his own creative works...each complementing the other.

Couldn't resist having my pic taken in the elevator, which yes, is accented with Asian themed wallpaper.

Following this delightful visit of their home, which they have obviously poured themselves into, we continued our chat fest at the lovely Mill Pond House in Centerport, NY….where I learned more about the colorful and acclaimed backgrounds of my customers come friends….and left feeling fully infused with a heavy dose of ” peace and tranquility”, wending my way back to Great Neck, smiling from the inside out.

Thank you, Katherine and Thom, for coming into my world, by way of sharing a warmth and love for Asian antiques/artifacts. Thank you for sharing your home and your selves…and treating me to a sumptuous lunch, on that glorious February afternoon.  Thank you for giving me something so great to share with my world.

Ruth

The numbers are  growing, and will continue to grow,  for people that are shopping online. We have moved from catalogues to the computer and in order for this this portal to continue to serve us all well it  is a given  that our online shopping/selling experience  maintain a level of integrity for this venue to continue on succesfully.

As consumers we used to rely on reports by the Better Business Bureau to give us handles on the validity of any particular business, especially ones that are we were unfamiliar with, but now, with the world wide web, this information, including that of the BBB, is right at our fingertips.

If leary, the easiest thing to do is google….”company name online review”.  If there is something bad to be said about the particular company in question, you will readily see it pop up on the first page.

Also, Google the name of the person you are communicating with.  If you can’t get a full name put up your red flag.

If you are the patient type, and the business is doing what it should to be out there on social media, this reletively recent phenomenon that serves the consumer so very well,  check the assorted portals and ensure a consistency in presention of the company and the person representing the company.

Asking for referrals  isn’t a bad thing, but really…is anyone going to give you a bad referral?

Well, I take that back.  From a customer of mine… One company gave a prospective client (her)  a list of names of supposed satisfied customers. When this persons red flag started going up they started calling the names on said list…many of which had never even done business with the company in question! Guess they didn’t expect the customer to actually make the calls.

The beautiful thing is that there are many many more people out there doing good business than those that aren’t and no need to let the few that aren’t harm us.  Fact is that we, ALL, buyers AND sellers, simply are required  to exercise diligence and responsibility in our transactions, and the fact is that if the majority weren’t doing so, commerce on the web wouldn’t be the growing success it is…ie, we really can trust each other!

I for one am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this virtual shopping mall, coupled as it is, with its own consumer awareness board which just continues to grow in depth and breadth as social media cements itself as part of the fabric of everyone’s online shopping experience.

If YOU are unfortunate enough to have a bad experience, it does behoove you to share this with the world as way of warning to others….and similarly it goes without saying a good review goes the same distance…just in a different direction.

Happy Internet Shopping! 🙂

Ruth

P.S. In my early blogging days I did do an entry entitled Google Me! There you go…

Ruth Olbrych

It is not uncommon for me to hear from prospective customers a sense of insecurity as they ponder an on line purchase of a large item, like, let’s say, a desk. Such was the case for Liz, in New York City, as she was scouring the internet for pieces to accent her apartment. Our conversations online and eventually on the phone started back in January 2003 and the base of a relationship was formed.

 

Chinese Antique Desk and Chair in New York City

Chinese Antique Desk and Chair in New York City

The photo above showcases the desk that Liz was pondering, and did indeed purchase. Allow me to share with you the email I received after delivery of the desk, which you can also see in the Home Gallery section of our website.

 

 

“The desk arrived, right on schedule. I’ve been trying to compose a note that would express my appreciation for your service and how pleased I am with this piece of furniture without sounding “over the top” but I guess I’m just going to have to gush a little bit. First, the desk is beautiful. Frankly, the picture on your web site did not do the finish justice. I’m still amazed that I bought something this beautiful over the internet with no hassle and no problem. You made the entire process not only painless but fun. Thank you again for everything and I look forward to finding enough room to fit in another piece. Best to your family, (human and canine)” 02/06/03

 

 

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Desk from Antiques by Zaar

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Desk from Antiques by Zaar

Yes, I was able to garner Liz’s confidence enough for her to not only purchase the 3 piece traveler’s desk, but over the course of the years to purchase a total of 17 pieces from Antiques by Zaar; some of which she placed in her NYC apartment and some which she has placed in her vacation home in Cape Porpoise Maine, the latter which I enjoyed seeing first hand when visiting her last summer. During my visit I grabbed some photos which you can see in our Galleria of Collectors on our website. I think you’ll agree that the Asian infusion works very well in the relaxed setting of a vacation home.

 

 

Chinese Antique Traveling Desk of Elmwood

Chinese Antique Traveling Desk of Elmwood

Our pieces are indeed one of a kind and although Liz’s desk as such has not been available again to us, we do have in stock a lovely natural wood toned Elmwood traveler’s desk. Our signature rubbed wax finish has been applied to this desk which hails from the Shanxi province of China. The inverted bat hardware (Fu, which means “Good Luck”) on the drawers adds further character to this simply stated and functional piece.

 

 

And if you like bamboo we can offer you the below desk, which is en route from China along with a container of other pieces, which you can view by visiting this Link. For our complete collection of desks you can visit our DESK section on our site.

 

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Bamboo Desk

Chinese Antique Red Lacquer Bamboo Desk

Should be no surprise that I would have a Chinese desk (or two) in my own home and leave you with this photo of our reading room, with desk in place.

Chinese Antique Black Lacquer Desk and Chair

Chinese Antique Black Lacquer Desk and Chair

Ruth Olbrych
www.antiquesbyzaar.com