You Guys Are Still The Best Customer Service

Today I got an e-mail that said: “you guys are still the best… customer service, literally like calling a friend and then of course you sell the most awesome bags!”–I couldn’t ask for a better e-mail to start my Friday. It embodies exactly what we are trying to do: treat everyone like we would treat the people that are important in our lives because our customers are important in our lives. And the other part, “the most awesome bags” is a tribute to the artisans that we seek to support. They do really amazing work.

Emi and I try to focus our efforts on customer service a lot. We try to do it because we think that customer service is the most important business function. This is where we get to know customers and develop long term relationships. Although customer service means dealing with all the headaches, if we weren’t the ones dealing with them how would we ever find out about the pain and joys that our customers experience?

So here is a little bit about one of the people who started Marcopoloni and, ten years later, is here to address your needs. I, Daniele, love computer programming, but dealing with problems that don’t have very easy solutions has really helped me think outside the box. Here is a photo of me trying to market products without a marketing budget:

Daniele and a Santarelli Leather Briefcase

This shot was taken in January. It is Daniele and a Santarelli that he likes so much.

Can you recognize the bag? Since we now show every Santarelli leather briefcase that we have in stock, if you can identify the exact bag that I am holding I will give you a big discount on that very bag. That’s if it is still available, of course.

Maledetti Toscani Women’s Shoes

I just recently published a post about our intention to carry Maledetti Toscani shoes and we have already received our first inquiry for Maledetti Toscani Women’s Shoes, with a focus on boots. There is a number of boots included in the Fall Winter 2014 Collection but we can’t get them all: I so wish money were no object!

Our first inquiry resulted in the customer expressing interest in a most classic pair of boots: the model 6903. We are not planning on buying this for this summer, but we will probably have it for the fall.

Maledetti Toscani Boots 6903

Maledetti Toscani makes a number of boots and model 6903 is a knee-high boot that stands out.

The Maledetti Toscani Boots labeled with product code 6903 are very classic but stand out thanks to the uniquely high quality leather and somewhat rugged personality. The result is one cool pair of boots. If you like them let us know as we can pre-order them for you. We need to know your size and color preferences (assuming that we will offer a choice of colors) and that you are willing to pay a non-refundable deposit.

Preparing Our First Maledetti Toscani Order

Last year Dionigi began working with Maledetti Toscani and introduced us to a wonderful new company. Maledetti Toscani seems to be a perfect find for us: first, they believe in authentic artisanal production, truly 100% handmade in Italy. They even gave us a presentation showing us how companies can profit by outsourcing production to China and India, and then followed up with a video of the working conditions there and a pledge that that’s not what they’re about. Second, their products are very high quality and inspiring; they also fill a void in our lineup. And, third, they make amazing-looking shoes that are very appealing to us and to many of our customers.

The Model 8571 by Maledetti Toscani

Among the many impressive Maledetti Toscani shoes the 8571 stands out.

Over the last few weeks we have been examining the Maledetti Toscani catalog with a fine tooth comb. Unfortunately, we got excited about too many products and we cannot afford them all. So we have decided to focus on a small subset of their kids, women, and men’s shoes. I do confess that the shoes that we want for ourselves and for our kids this summer made it to the top of the list and we expanded the order from there. We weren’t entirely selfish and had to sacrifice a lot of shoes that we wanted with the words: “we can get those for fall.”

The Maledetti Toscani leather shoes are, in our opinion, the perfect mix of superb leather and of design for the way people live today. They seem to be a wonderful complement for the clothes we aspire to buy and for the overall style that we seek. They go great with Campomaggi bags, we are sure, and they go even better with Maledetti Toscani bags, which we plan on buying later this year.

A New Campomaggi Collection Is Arriving

The Spring/Summer 2014 collection has shipped from Campomaggi this week and we should receive it early next week, just in time for spring to arrive, which seems a more appropriate time to introduce a spring collection than, say, December.

As always, we think that we have focused on the good stuff–bags and accessories that we will be happy to stock for years. If you are a fan, prepare to have access to some wonderful Campomaggi bags with the Marcopoloni service attached. If what I just said means nothing to you, then you might be missing out on an experience. We believe that you cannot sell one-of-a-kind bags as if they were manufactured products that sit in boxes on a shelf.

So we are gearing up to present each individual bag so that you can choose the ones that you like best. This is a lot of work but it stimulates a discussion with our customers that ultimately results in our customers feeling more special and liking their bags even more.

Wow! I got my work cut out and so does Emi… Better get to work!

The Latest Employment Report: Better Than Not Good

The November employment report is out, on its normal date, and it was slightly better than expected. With 203,000 jobs added it was hailed in a Bloomberg article as a strong report, a sign that the economy is picking up and that consumers are going to be able to spend more.

In my opinion, we can’t treat 200,000 jobs added as the new 300,000 benchmark for a recovering economy. At most, I can say that we are stuck in traffic on the freeway but we just got to shift from second to third gear. It is a relief, that’s for sure, and perhaps a sign that it will clear up soon. As I try to look ahead I see another budget negotiation and I don’t trust the people who were stupid in October not to do something silly in January.

The good news is that the budget deficit is shrinking and it will continue to shrink if the economy improves. Eventually, the calls for austerity will begin to wane and the roadblocks will become fewer and farther between. I now hope that we will see 300,000 jobs added sometime in 2014. I have been waiting so long for that that I don’t even remember how it feels.

Not enough cash upfront? Bill Me Later!

How many times have you gone shopping on Marcopoloni.com when you come across THE perfect thing for you but you can’t quite afford it in full? Well, if you are a PayPal user, there is a program called Bill Me Later. How it essentially works is, you get a credit line approved by Comenity Capital Bank through PayPal and this all happens in merely seconds! Once you are approved, on orders $99 or more, you can make payments accordingly through your PayPal account over the course of six months. A huge benefit of the Bill Me Later program is that there are no annual fees and the only requirement is to have a PayPal account, which is absolutely free. Also, Bill Me Later often has promotional financing and offers available such as no interest periods and more. So, because Marcopoloni offers the PayPal method of payment, Bill Me Later will be available when your account gets approved! Keep in mind this option is only available for purchases of $99 or more. Take a look at the FAQs for more details and to enroll if you are interested!

 

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My New Campomaggi Studded Bag

Daniele's new Campomaggi bag

Daniele’s new Galvani is a Campomaggi camouflage canvas tote bag with distressed studs

I had been looking for a new Campomaggi bag for months because since I bought a bigger laptop, it did not fit in my Colombo very well. The thought of replacing my Colombo was rather unnerving because I thoroughly love that bag, but there were times when I tried to fit a the laptop, the table, the charger and something else and then taking the charger out would become messy and frustrating. The truth was that I needed a larger bag and I knew it.

I really like the way the Colombo hangs and its vertical shape. So when I saw the Galvani I was struck. The only thing that left me hesitant was that I was starting to think that I wanted a bag with large front pockets like the Santarelli or the Ferrandi. But there was something so appealing about the Galvani that I had to give it a try. It turns out that, for what I need to carry every day, the Galvani is plenty big. I put the charger on the bottom of the bag in front of the laptop and rest whatever else I need to carry on top of it or next to it. When I used the Colombo I would put the charger in the interior pocket, and that was what made it hard sometimes: there just wasn’t enough space.

What I got with the Galvani is the right amount of space (with a little extra for the occasional extra item to carry), a beautiful camouflage pattern that is to die for, two columns of distressed Campomaggi studs that I really, really love, and the ability to carry the bag cross-body or like a tote. I think that the look is rugged and masculine without forgetting to be plenty stylish. I love it, I give myself compliments every day!

Stocking up for the holidays!

Although we keep Murano glass products in stock year round, nothing feels like the holidays more than receiving a nice big Murano glass shipment! I’m sure you’ve all seen the beautiful Murano glass Christmas ornaments that we have available along with tumblers, cute animal figurines and more!

The showstopper of this shipment is the GOTO ARGENTO Murano glass tumbler. It  has been updated with a new look and it is even more stunning than before. The brilliant colors of the melted glass pieces, silver leaves and unique murrina decorates all around the exterior of the tumbler, coming together like a painting. What’s more amazing about the GOTO ARGENTO is the texture. You have the smoother areas where the glass pieces have melted completely, slightly more bumpy areas (a bit like drops of paint) where the glass pieces have only partially melted and of course, the “dimples” that have been created during the whole glass-blowing process.

Also included in this shipment is a Murano glass tumbler of my own! I received the GOTO SBRUFFO Murano glass tumbler in aqua and green and I have been thoroughly enjoying it. Rather than the glass pieces and murrina of the GOTO ARGENTO, the GOTO SBRUFFO features ribbons of colored glass layered around the tumbler. Depending on the color scheme you choose, you may get a tumbler with either gold or silver leaves embedded in the glass. Mine has silver leaves!

 

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GOTO ARGENTO in Aqua

 

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GOTO SBRUFFO in Aqua & Green

 

 

 

 

We Need Totti Back!

I have been silent for a few weeks as the birth of my son Marco has kept me away from soccer for a few weeks. Not much has changed except for a couple of things: Roma has tied the last two games without Totti in its lineup. And Juventus keeps on getting referee favors (penalty kick for a foul clearly outside the box and another offside goal) but then backs it up with more goals and such convincing victories that I can’t say that they did not deserve their victories (unlike in the previous two instances where the favors netted them four referee points). So, now, the 4 referee points gifted to Juventus are making a huge difference. Instead of Juve being in third place five points behind Roma (32) they are in second place just one point behind (31).

If Napoli (28) hadn’t lost 3-0 yesterday they could have cried foul. I still think that such an early goal in such circumstances can wipe off a team’s concentration. But by the second half they should have been able to muster a comeback if they were truly the stronger of the two teams. Juventus now is on a 4-victories streak that is very impressive.

Inter (25) and Fiorentina (24) are hanging on to their outsider spots with only Verona (22) hanging close to them to pose an immediate threat. Fiorentina had beaten Juventus 4-2 while Inter beat Verona, both victories came at home. Their championship chances seem very remote and even qualifying for Champions League ahead of Roma, Napoli, or Juventus seems out of the question.

Juventus-Roma is scheduled for six matches from now on 1/6/2014. By then, things might be completely different. Let’s hope Totti comes back and that he will help settle the question of who deserves to be at the top of this league.

Post-Celebration Thoughts and Announcements

During the entire month of October, we were celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary with giveaways, bestseller specials and promotional items. We want to thank you all for participating in the celebration and for your support over the past 10 years. Sadly, the celebrations have ended but we have one last announcement to make. Who are the winners of the Week 5 Giveaways?

Karen R. for a Mattia Brushed Leather Tablet Case in BLACK

Tracey for a Freccia Leather iPad Bag in ESPRESSO

CONGRATULATIONS! We will be contacting you shortly.

Although the celebration has ended, keep checking our blog and Facebook page for upcoming news for the holidays, new products and more!