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November GroundStrike Collectibles Newsletter

This is the November 2001 edition of the Newsletter.  To get the full newsletter regularly, sign up now!  If you received this newsletter but it appeared to be "scrambled" and unreadable, email us and we'll correct it.

GroundStrike Collectibles Newsletter
Vol. 2 No. 5
November, 2001

Hi Limoges Collectors!
Back in August, I promised you that we'd send out the next newsletter sometime in September. Who could have imagined how the world would have changed since that time? We just haven't felt that it was appropriate to "hawk Limoges boxes" during this time of tragedy and mourning - we even put the launch of our new Flash! bulletin on hold. We appreciate all the newsletter subscribers that have signed up for the Flash!, and we plan to send them regularly beginning RSN (real soon now!).  Remember, the Flash! is totally opt-in, so you have to click here if you want to receive it.  And, as always, we don't want to offend you with our email... so if you'd like to be removed from all our email lists, simply click here.

We have received several emails about various Limoges dealers offering to donate money to some charity based on sales of boxes during this time. I'm sorry, but no matter how well meaning that sounds, in my mind it still boils down to a sales pitch to sell Limoges boxes. We felt that the events of September 11 should never be exploited in any way for the purpose of sales, so we made a donation in our company's name that was not tied to box sales. We did get overwhelmed with orders for Limoges boxes that had pictures of the New York skyline or had a patriotic theme. For example, we had backorders for over 40 of the Dubarry and Rochard NY Shopping Bag boxes! We were backordered for a time on a number of other boxes, too, including the Chamart American Flag and the Chanille New York City boxes.

The tragedy hit us hard, because so many of our customers are in the NY/NJ area. We have many customers whose shipping address was in the World Trade Center complex. And when we took packages to the post office on Sept. 12, we learned that our regular postal clerk, Lowell, was out on bereavement because his brother was the pilot of the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.

What a terrible, terrible tragedy. Even though as a country we have been urged to "get back to normal", we know that for some of our customers life never can be "normal" again, as they have lost friends and loved ones. Our hearts and thoughts forever will be with you.


The Holidays are Coming!
Here it is early November, and already we're seeing holiday purchases underway. We're going to start our annual "Holiday Countdown" on November 5. This is the little box on our home page that tells how many days are left until Christmas, and when you can expect to receive Priority mail and Express mail orders made on that day. Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, so all the procrastinators like me can wait until Saturday, Dec. 22 to place Express mail orders and still receive them in time for Christmas. Since Express mail is "next day to most areas" service, and since the Post Office delivers on Christmas day, you could wait until the 24th if you are a gambler!  In conjunction with the Post Office, we're going to guarantee that orders placed before 10:00 AM CST on Saturday, Dec. 22 will arrive before Christmas day.


Rochard Ornaments
We've added a new product line to our Limoges boxes... Christmas ornaments in the shape of Limoges boxes! Rochard recently introduced a line of "mouth blown glass" ornaments that are styled like their famous Limoges boxes. They are hand painted and even have a faux hinge just like the boxes they mimic. They are packaged in exquisite Rochard gift boxes, and at our selling prices between $22.00 and $50.00, they make excellent gifts for the Limoges aficionado. Rochard also makes 3 different "Tree Toppers" of mouth-blown, hand painted glass, that run from $80.00 to $99.00.

The truly decadent among us can picture their entire tree trimmed in Limoges box ornaments... and we can't wait till it's time to trim our tree, 'cause that's what we're going to do!!! As soon as we have our tree up and decorated, we'll add a picture to our web site. It's going to be fabulous! Click here to see all the Rochard ornaments.

We have a few more coming, but all of these are in stock right now.


New Feature: Today's Special Limoges
We have a new feature on the home page of our web site... "Today's Special Limoges". This is a selected Limoges box that, for a very limited time, we are offering at a large discount from our regular price - as much as 30% or more. The featured box will change without notice, and the special sales price will be valid only while it is the "Today's Special"... so it's a good idea to check our site regularly to see if the "Special" is one you've been waiting for! Click here to see today's special!  Write us to nominate a box as "Today's Special".  Watch for other special offers on our web site in the coming months.


Rochard Crummles
We have a limited number of "Crummles" from Rochard, which are similar to Limoges boxes but are made of fired enamel on copper with a brass hinge. These are beautiful works of art and our prices reflect a 30% discount from Rochard's normal price. They're not listed on our web site, but you can see them and read more about them on this "exclusive to the newsletter" link.


Dr. Seuss is On His Way!
We're very excited about this! A new line of Dr. Seuss character Limoges boxes (such as The Cat in the Hat and the Grinch!) will be available soon. These are sure to be very popular and initially will be available in limited quantities. We'll let you know more about these as soon as we get the pictures ready.


Investing in Limoges Boxes
Every day I am asked "What boxes are going to appreciate in value?" My answer is always the same: "Don't buy a Limoges box expecting to make money on it; buy it because you love it."

The truth is, some Limoges boxes DO appreciate in value, sometimes to many times their original sales price. As collectors, we've found that over the years, many of our boxes have held their value, meaning we could sell them for at least as much as we paid for them originally. We used to find small collections of Limoges boxes at antique and jewelry stores, and we paid retail (and sometimes higher!) prices for them. We have never lost money on the few that we've sold from our collection!

However, we've seen some boxes skyrocket in value - boxes that originally sold for under $200 now selling for $1000 or more on the collectibles market. We've tried to analyze that trend but it is impossible to say for certain what boxes will go up in value. We have noticed several factors that may influence future value. These include:

  • Rarity. Certain true limited editions (and not the pseudo-limited editions I discussed in the June 2001 newsletter) can go up in value. An example is the Chamart Flower Box series of Limoges boxes. When Chamart introduces a new flower box, it discontinues the previous style box - and each style is limited to 250 pieces. Serious collectors who have missed one of the series often will pay "whatever it takes" to obtain one. We've had large offers for boxes we simply can't get anymore. The Chamart Hyacinth box is their current feature in this series.
  • Characters. Certain characters - like Mickey Mouse - are timeless, and collectors are often willing to pay high prices to obtain a character that is no longer in production. We've seen prices in the $1000's for boxes made as late as the 1980's that are no longer available.
  • One-time events. Millennium boxes were hot throughout 2000, but they went cold as 2001 began. We sold off our remaining boxes at deep discounts, but I believe that a few years from now these boxes could be hot again. After all, a new millennium is commemorated only once in 1000 years!
  • History. After the tragedy of September 11, patriotic themes and boxes with the New York skyline have sold faster than we can keep them in stock. I believe these boxes will continue to be in demand as they are a remembrance of a tragic event in all of our lives.

In summary, it is a risky proposition to try to guess which of the hundreds of boxes in production today will be a high-priced rarity tomorrow. Some will, but your best bet is to buy the ones you like and that have a special meaning. These will ALWAYS be priceless to you!


Refer-a-Friend Program
We recently started a program that let's our customers invite their friends over to see our web store. If you know someone who loves Limoges boxes, refer them to GroundStrike Collectibles by filling out this simple form.

We'll send them an email inviting them to visit our web store, and we'll include a coupon good for $10.00 off their first purchase. We'll only send it once and will never use their email address again without their express permission.

As soon as your friend uses the coupon we send, we'll send YOU a coupon good for $10.00 off your next purchase!


Thank you! Thank you!
Our newsletter distribution continues to grow. We thank you all for your help! Remember to send this newsletter to all your Limoges-loving friends and you'll both be rewarded! Click here to find out how to get your rewards!


The "You Made it to Here!" Reward!
Whew! This was a long newsletter. I hope you enjoyed it, but as usual, you deserve a gift just for getting through it all! Let's reward the early holiday shoppers with a 10% discount on all purchases made between Monday, Nov. 5 and Friday, Nov. 9! If you're a Limoges Lover, your discount will be 15% and it will start immediately (so you will have first crack at limited quantity items)! Just use the code:

novnews

(or your regular Limoges Lover's code) in the shopping cart where it asks "Enter Gift Certificate Number" and the discount will be applied automatically. This discount is good only on orders placed through the online shopping cart by current newsletter subscribers and does not apply to phone orders or to items already on sale.

We love hearing from you! Please send your articles, comments, suggestions, concerns, etc., to us - see our Contact Us web page.

That's all for now. Take care, and get ready for a joyous holiday season!!!

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

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