Miss Terry has been busy doing her thing, stuffing envelopes with the new issue of the Gypsy Journal like a mad woman, and yesterday afternoon we dropped off the last load of envelopes at the post office in Elkhart. It sure feels good to have that chore behind us!
After we went to the post office, we made a run to Sam’s Club to buy coffee, paper plates, napkins, and other supplies for our upcoming Ohio Rally. There isn’t a Sam’s Club in or near Celina, so we needed to stock up while we were still here.
With that done, we drove to RV Parts Nation (formerly RV Surplus) to visit with our friend Trina Ambris. They’re still getting settled into their new location in the former Martin’s grocery store in the K-Mart shopping center at State Route 19 (Cassapolis Street) and the Indiana Toll Road.
I spent some time talking to Trina’s son and business partner, Brandon, and he told me that some of their old-time customers were disappointed that they don’t have the huge stock of old surplus RV parts they had in their former location on Bristol Street. But he said in the last few years the largest percentage of their sales had actually been in new RV parts and supplies, and that while those row after row of obsolete hinges, screws, trim pieces, etc. brought in a lot of shoppers, the actual sales volume and profit just did not make it feasible to continue that way. They do still have a lot of surplus parts in the back room, but like any business, they had to change with the times and their changing customer base. Brandon also said they have greatly expanded their online sales efforts.
I can understand that, we’re doing the same thing as we evaluate the future of our RV rallies. You reach a point in your business where sometimes it doesn’t make sense to continue something that is costing you money, or breaking even at best, when you can put your time and efforts into something more profitable.
Terry and I visited with Trina for a while, and I must say she looked more relaxed than I have seen her in years. I think the change will be good for them. The next time you’re in Elkhart, stop in and say hello, or visit their website at RVpartsnation.com
While we were visiting with Trina, longtime Gypsy Journal readers Maurice and Joan Fairweather stopped to say hello. They are Canadian subscribers whom we first met at Rainbows End in Livingston, Texas years ago.
Before we left, Trina gave us some very nice door prizes for the rally. She has always been a big supporter of the Gypsy Journal and our rallies. Thanks Trina!
Back at Elkhart Campground, blog readers Jim and Kay Daniels from Crossville, Tennessee, came by to introduce themselves and say hello. It’s always nice to meet our readers and put faces with the names on blog comments or mailing lists.
Today we have a lot to get done, most of it here at home, to get ready for the rally. Have you registered yet? If not, what’s keeping you? I hope we’ll see you there!
Thought For The Day – Today you are the oldest you’ve ever been, yet the youngest you’ll ever be, so enjoy this day while it lasts!
Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally
We have bought from RV Surplus for years and recently stopped and bought some items for our B+ from RV Parts nation. When checking for the fit of two plate racks, my wife found they were just too tall for the angle of the back of the cabinet. So we attempted to return and were assessed a 20% restocking fee or full amount 6 month store credit by Trina. We’ll use the credit before we leave the area, but will be very careful on any future purchases. 20% seems a stiff fee to walk 20 feet to the shelf and it is on the receipt as Trina pointed out. Quess we should have gone to Wally World.
To Terry: Sad to blame RVNation. If that policy is in place, there is a reason and I doubt it’s greed. How about supporting our nation first? Go to Wally World and you’re supporting a very large corporation that purchases most of their items from overseas. RVNation is a small business based here in the USA. If you have owned a business then you’d realize there is more to taking back stock than just putting it on a shelf.
Nick: I realize you folks are re-considering the continuation of your rallies. If you enjoy having them, how about one a year and charging fees high enough to make it worth your time?
Terry the last time I took something back to Best Buy they had a 20% restocking fee and no store credit. Not only do they have to take the item back 20 feet to the shelf, they have to reenter it into their inventory list, change their bookkeeping to reflect the return and refund, and maybe it is unsalable because the packaging was torn opening it. So if the item was $15, I think $3 is fair for all of that. Or you could go to WalMart and help them crush yet another small American business. The choice is yours.
Last week I stopped at RV Parts Nation and the owner, Trina, went out of her way to help me find what I needed. She did not have it in stock but was able to order it and have it to me in a couple of days. Great service, great prices, I have no complaints.
Gee Terry how do you cram so much negativity into one small B van? It must really get cramped in there!
Stop bashing Walmart. It is an American company. While it has expanded to be international it employees Americans in the USA. It buys from everywhere; USA & elsewhere. It’s a great American success story. The family donates to many charities and education. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walmart for more information. No company is perfect.
I choose to shop at Walmart & Sams. Love the stores & the pharmacy. Frankly they are Americans doing what we do best: capitalism. They certainly help my budget. And do you think that the Mom & Pop stores only buy American? Look at labels.