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2 hours ago, CactusPots said:

Their website says closed for indefinite period.  My local supplier says they are out of business permanently.

I'm not surprised, they've had a pretty awful reputation online for the past few years.

https://www.bbb.org/us/nv/sparks/profile/ceramics-supplies/big-ceramic-store-1166-5004754/complaints

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A decade ago we bought a bunch of stuff from them and they were great, I heard they sold out to some non potter/artist company 4-5 years ago that was rolling up a bunch of drop ship website businesses and BCS used to keep a lot of stuff warehoused so it was probably a bad fit from the start. 

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  • neilestrick changed the title to BigCeramicStore.com

I spent some time doing rollups and to get it right the common denominator has to be a great process. People don't like change but they can adjust. We bought out a dozen small companies and many of them were run half a$$ed so we lost very few customers. We were an upgrade. Had a competitor that also bought out a few smaller outfits and they always bled customers after closing and we ended up with those customers too.

No matter what the business people mostly demand a well run process and they like to feel that they matter. The only other way to keep customers is sell or offer something that no one else does and that's hard to find these days in any market.

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Stephen

Whats your take on this rolled up business he bought and rolled and closed up.Now after really bad business (when you goggle this place the Better business bureau comes up with complaintants) the customers are pissed off and now the owner has nothing to show for the investment aqnd has lost the customer base??

Great business plan

 

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Well that is the problem when small businesses consolidate. If the new service sucks then they lose the customer base. If its mostly an asset sale then some don't care too much but if you paid based on future revenue from the customers then your probably screwed. When I bought other companies I escrowed a portion of the dough and a lot of the value paid for customers was phased in payments as we hit milestones so the outgoing owner(s) has an incentive to help us keep customers. Usually the market has been split up between a few large companies and then the 2nd tier might be a bunch of local shops. Its just about every trade, plumbing, painting, builders, HVAC and industry sectors. Most things are really local at the end of the day. 

I would think of pottery as a pretty small space and most online suppliers that have some traction seem to some geo area pottery suppliers that built up their online presence early on like Baileys, Clay King, Sheffield's etc . I have no idea how many others are just pure drop ship internet companies though. I know BCS had a warehouse in AZ because when we ordered they  offered local pickup and used to have some shots of their warehouse and it had things like pottery wheels, slab rollers and other larger studio equipment visible so they were not a pure drop ship company unless those were fake images on their website. I also remember that you had to go to the entry office and they would go out and get the stuff so I don't think they were really a retail store either. I had briefly considered picking some of the equipment up since I was flying in to Phoenix on business and thought about renting a truck, so they had some of it. 

I don't really know that's what happened though, it seems like I remember about 5-6 years ago getting some emails from the owners about the sale and then I heard from some place that the original owners got it back (maybe here)---but all of that is from this old mans 10-12 year old memory and hearsay. Might not be the story at all. How's that for hedging.  Maybe someone who actually knows the facts will see this thread and come in and tell us how all of this went down.

I do think its a shame because back when we dealt with them they were just fine and you hate to see a company that has it figured out go under. That means a lot of hard work wasted beyond a paycheck and I think all of us order a lot of our stuff online now so there is no reason they should not be doing well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

They still owe me a back ordered fettling knife they charged me for but never sent. I had to fight to get the portion of the order they did send and it took 7 weeks to get  but the class i ordered it for was an 8 week class And by the time the partial order got there we had ordered from elsewhere . That was maybe 4ish years ago and after that i told my students not to bother with them. One student forgot and had to fight for a refund when their order was not sent. I orderEd from them many times before that and didn't have an issue.

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