by Jacob Marsh on 28 December 2013
Categorically, the worst and genuinely most traumatising experience of shopping I've ever had. If you feel like being shouted at and insulted for making an offer on overpriced wares, why not visit Tower Forge Fires!
1st rule of owning an antique shop - Don't be offended when a customer makes you an offer on one of your products. Haggling is part of the fun of dealing with these items. If the offer is too low, laugh it off and make a counter-offer. . . . . What actually happened was unbelievable.
The item in question was a five hook numbered coat rack on a piece of wood. Widely available for around the £20 - £30 mark, and on sale for the princely sum of £60. A polite inquiry led the gentleman at the till (whom I later found out to be the owner) to offer his "rock-bottom" price of £54 - cash.
Usually in this scenario, a type of negotiation labelled "haggling" ensues, in which I make a low offer, he makes another offer and we eventually meet somewhere in the middle. Now, either the owner has never heard of this black magic, or he was so tired of people offering him realistic sale values on his wares that he snapped. I proceeded to make an offer of £30 (hoping to eventually end up around the £40 - £45 mark) to which he aggressively and discouteously refused.
At first I thought that he might be joking. However, he proceeded to advance upon me and my parter whilst shouting at us that we knew nothing about the items in the shop, and how much they cost to manufacture, whipping the item out of my hands and insulting us all the way. Apparently because we're young (me and my partner are 24), we have no idea about "retail" and are "stupid" for making an offer like that. Apparently, he sells them as soon as they come in, and it was a huge insult that we'd even had the audacity to make such a pitiful offer.
I currently own and manage a very sucessful global electronic distribution business, and tried to engage him in a conversation regarding margins and stated that, even though it was low, it could be a nice sale at the end of the day. However, as far as he's aware, his items are the unavailable anywhere else (even though we'd seen the item in question earlier that day in another shop at £40, and a quick Google revealed the same item available on a number of websites for £20 - £30), and he proceeded to shove us out of his shop and slam the door in our faces.
Even though I'm "young", "inexperienced" and a "fool", I'm pretty sure the owner of a shop should not shout at and insult his customers no matter who they are. We left the shop shocked and confused at the reaction, and it tainted an otherwise fantastic day of antique shopping.
In conclusion. Nothing that this store has to offer is unique or special, and it's all disgustingly overpriced. Oh, and if you want someone to insult you, the kick you out and slam a door in your face when shopping for a coat rack - Tower Forge Fires is the place to go! AVOID THIS PLACE LIKE THE PLAGUE.