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January GroundStrike Collectibles Newsletter

This is most of the January 2001 edition of the newsletter.  To get the full newsletter each month, sign up now!  Benefits that are reserved exclusively for our newsletter subscribers have been deleted, and are marked in red.

January 31, 2001

Hi Friends!

Welcome to the third Groundstrike Collectibles newsletter. As always, the most important thing is that I apologize profusely if this newsletter has reached you in error. I try to limit the distribution to our customers who are "OK" with a newsletter, but I'm sure I made mistakes. I have included a link at the bottom of this note that will automatically remove your email address from our database, with my apologies.

This is cutting it awfully close to the end of January to call it our "January" newsletter, but this has been a very busy month for us - actually a record January. Thank you all for your business! There's been a lot of press about the survival of "dot.com" companies lately, but you sure can't judge it by little ol' Groundstrike!

The distribution for our newsletter has grown to over 1000 customers. Wow! We'd like your help to keep us growing, so we will PAY you a $5.00 credit for every new customer who signs up for the newsletter. Just forward this newsletter to your friend. When your friend signs up at:

http://www.groundstrike.com/mailinglist.htm

we will credit you $5.00, good on your next order from our web store. See the details at:

http://www.groundstrike.com/maillistreferal.htm


VALENTINE'S DAY IS NEAR

As I write this, Valentine's Day is only 15 days away. There's still time to get something for your "sweetie", but you might want to hurry since time is running short. We've got a number of beautiful boxes on our new "Love" page, at:

http://www.groundstrike.com/limoges/1love.htm

And if your "sweetie" is actually yourself, I won't say a word ;-)


PERSONALIZED LIMOGES BOXES

Did you know we offer personalization of Limoges boxes? We haven't publicized it very well, but we have had it done for a number of customers. We use a printer who creates raised-letter personalizations in black printing inside Limoges boxes. They are limited to about 2 lines of 20 characters each, and we charge what he charges us - $15.00 per box. This process generally adds a few days to the delivery time, but as a keepsake, it really makes the box something special. Just put "Personalization" and the text you want in the "Special Instructions" box of the shopping cart, and we'll make it happen.


CHAMART EXCLUSIVES

Our featured Limoges manufacturer this month is Chamart (pronounced "Shay' mart"). Begun by Charles Martine in the 1950s, Chamart has grown to be one of the leading manufacturers of Limoges boxes, with a line that includes over 2,500 different boxes! ALL Chamart Limoges boxes are hand-painted - they never use transfers, decals, or other "shortcuts". Because of the manufacturing process, almost all Chamart boxes are limited to runs of 750-850 pieces. They also produce some strictly limited edition pieces.

Sadly, when a box ends its limited run at Chamart, it is simply never available again - so if you see one you want, buy it now! We carried a lovely Jardiniere box from Chamart that sold out early, and even though we could have sold many more of them, they simply were no longer made. Result: a lot of disappointed customers.

You can see a full story on Chamart at:

http://www.groundstrike.com/chamart.htm

As an exclusive gift to our newsletter readers, all Chamart boxes ordered by Feb. 8 will be discounted FIFTEEN percent (15%)! [code deleted; reserved for newsletter subscribers]. The shopping cart price won't reflect the discount, but we will apply it when we receive the order, and will adjust your total. This discount cannot be combined with any other discount. Limoges Lovers members will receive a 5% discount over their usual discount.


LIMOGES LOVERSTM

Speaking of Limoges Lovers - I get a lot of questions about this. Limoges Lovers is an exclusive group of our loyal customers who have purchased $1000 or more in Limoges boxes in the past 12 months. They effectively earn a free Limoges box for every 10 they purchase, with their 10% automatic discount. See our web page for more information:

http://www.groundstrike.com/limoges_lovers.htm


NEWEST LIMOGES BOXES EXCLUSIVE TO THE NEWSLETTER!

We've got new boxes coming in all the time, so be watching our web pages for new boxes every day. We now have a new web page exclusively for the newsletter readers! It will change each month, but it will be where we put our very newest additions to our line. This month's page is:

[secret path to newest Limoges boxes deleted; reserved for newsletter subscribers]

The newsletter readers will get "first crack" at these boxes, some of which we have in very limited quantities. After about 10 days, we will move these to the regular "new" page, at:

http://www.groundstrike.com/new.htm

where everyone can see them. The new boxes include several Dubarry Tea Pots w/ Teabags (fabulous!), a number of high-end Chanille boxes, and a lot of new Artoria boxes including the whole Zodiac collection. If you don't see them at first, check back, because we'll be adding them daily.


DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!

Always deal with someone you trust. This applies particularly to the internet, where it's still a sort of "wild west" out there. I will tell some stories of things I've seen on the internet regarding Limoges boxes, as a cautionary tale so our customers can avoid the pitfalls. This month's story:

As most of you know, Limoges boxes are not made by a single company called "Limoges, Inc." They are made in Limoges, France, by a number of different artists and craftsmen. To be a genuine "Limoges box", the box has to be made in this region of France, much like "Champagne" has to come from the Champagne region of France. Since there's no single company called "Limoges", the name is not trademarked - which leads to abuses of the name, and a "buyer beware" situation.

Manufacturers of fake Limoges boxes - particularly those from Asia - often mark their boxes "Limoges". About a year ago, a lady offered a large number of fake Limoges boxes on an internet auction service. She was reasonably legitimate, though - she called them "fake" and priced them in the $10 range. What happened next was shocking...

Another lady bid and purchased all of the boxes from the auctions. About a month later, she started selling them on her web site and the auction service as "Genuine Limoges", showing a picture of the "Limoges" mark to justify her description, and pricing them in the $100 range. Since I had watched this happen, I sent her an email confronting her about this. She sent a NASTY email back, saying it was none of my business and that they were indeed genuine. Even the auction service would take no action against her since they didn't know anything about Limoges boxes.

So, please be careful! No wonder the internet auctions are the #1 online complaint to Better Business Bureaus across the US.


YOU MADE IT TO HERE!

If you're still reading this, wow! You really deserve a gift.

[instructions for $15.00 discount coupon deleted; reserved for newsletter subscribers]

That's all for now. Take care, and see you next month.

Sam and Susan Juliano
GroundStrike Collectibles
http://www.groundstrike.com

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