Q: Will you buy my old ____? It’s in great shape—here’s a blurry picture on my iPhone.
A: We might buy your old ________, if it fits in with the rest of Ethel’s merchandise, i.e. it’s from the period and has design interest. We will not buy from photos, however, as we need to see it in person, so either you haul it in here, or set up an appointment with us to come to you.
Q: I saw my sideboard (or teak chair or boomerang-shaped coffee table) at another store (or on eBay) for $600. So you’ll give me $500, right?
A: No, sadly, we can’t give you 80 – 90% of the price you’ve seen in other retail establishments or on the free-for-all that is eBay. Like all small businesses, we have overhead—heat, electricity, taxes, licenses and once in a while the shopkeeper has to make a few dollars—so we can only offer you somewhere between 25 – 50% of that price, depending on condition. And remember, sure, you’ve seen it on eBay for that price, but has it SOLD for that price?
Q: If I pay cash, do I have to pay tax?
A: Yes. Ethel has to pay tax, so why shouldn't you? Taxes pay for our roads, our schools and our sewers and so much more. Really, do you want the sewer system to be underfunded?
Q: Do you deliver?
A: It depends on the size of the piece. If it will fit in Ethel's vehicle, and you are in Toronto, then yes. If it is too big to fit in our vehicle, then we can recommend a mover. Basically, you buy it and it's yours to get home.
Q: Do you ship internationally?
A: Sometimes, if it's a small item and easy to pack and ship. We will not ship furniture or large items. Also, we are not set up for e-commerce, so you would have to contact us with your credit card information, and be prepared to pay for shipping costs as well.
Q: Do you have this sofa/lamp/chair in another colour/size?
A: It's vintage, therefore one-of-a-kind, so the answer is no.
Q: Can you recommend an upholsterer?
Q: I am interested in this table/chair/lamp. Can you hold it for me till the weekend?
A: We will hold an item for 24 hours by request. Holds longer than 24 hours require a 20% refundable deposit.
Q: Can I borrow this coffee table/hanging lamp/plant stand to see if it "works" in my space?
A: To borrow an item on spec, we require a valid credit card and will process payment if the item is not returned by end of next business day. We take this very seriously so don't even think of borrowing a dining set for a dinner party and returning it afterwards. We'll know.
Q: Do you do prop rentals?
A: Yes! We love it when our merchandise is made famous. The cost is 20% of the retail price for each week it's out of the store.
Q: I bought this lamp/table/footstool and it just doesn't work in my space. Can I return it for a refund?
A: We will gladly allow a 24 hour approval period for your new purchase. After 24 hours, the sale will be considered final. Returns after this period will be charged a 50% restocking fee. We also take this very seriously.
Q: I don't see what I am looking for in your store. Can I leave you my name and number so you can call me when you find something like it?
Q: This table has a scratch on it. Can I get a discount?
A: It's over 50 years old. Its called character, so no.
Q: Do you have any more furniture in the back?
A: No. All inventory is on the sales floor.
Q: Where do you get your stuff?
A: Mostly from original owners but we do buy from collectors as well.
Q: Why is this chair so expensive and this one isn’t?
A: We often get pieces reupholstered or completely rebuilt, depending on the original condition. The cost of this is reflected in the price.
Q: If I buy this large piece of furniture, will you hold it for me until the end of the month?
A: Only if you pay full price for it and are nice to me and move it out yourself. However, once it is paid for it is technically yours so we are not responsible for any damage to it if it gets banged into by a baby stroller or a large handbag while still on the store floor.
Q: Do you do consignment?
A: No. Ethel likes to own everything she sells. She's too classy for consignment.
Q: How often do you get new stuff in?
A: As soon as we have room for new stuff. Therefore, we have to sell the stuff that's already here to make room for it. That being said, we're always getting new stuff in.