Please find below our lockdown update as of 01st January 2021.
Happy New Year everyone! With the recent announcement of the majority of the UK being subject to tighter restrictions we just wanted to post a new year business update.
Currently we are able to continue operating largely unaffected, just with some changes for a few sellers.
The only change that we are making at this time is that we will be withdrawing the 10% option for sellers. This is the option where sellers list their items with ourselves, but handle all the shipping/collection themselves. This is being done for a few reasons.
As private sellers are not businesses they cannot offer click and collect.
We can’t guarantee that the items sent from sellers are COVID-19 secure. We won’t have any control over how the items are cleaned/isolated before shipping.
There is likely to be a large increase in the number of items being bought online and shipped and therefore there will probably be lots of shipping delays and disruption. Again, we can’t as easily control how/when sellers are shipping items so this could lead to delays, lost items and frustration.
We believe selling this way breaches the rules and is therefore illegal!
As a business we try and stand apart from other markets who have modelled themselves on us by offering a much higher level of service and quality. Our mantra is just because some of the items are second hand, you shouldn’t receive second rate service. Consequently, we feel it’s important to not dilute the high standards we are known for. Therefore, we will only be selling items that are sold directly via ourselves so we can offer the guarantees our lovely buyers deserve. To do any less feels immoral.
As a result of withdrawing the option to sell via ourselves for 10%, we will be looking to either refund those who have taken that option, or to move them to an alternative selling option.
For our buyers, this means that all items sold at our events will be held at one of our locations for at least 3 days before the event, so they are therefore safe for sale. The vast majority of our items are shipped direct to buyers and this will continue as before.
As previously experienced during heightened restrictions, some of the shipping companies may become very busy and delivery times may slip. We will therefore continue to only use carriers that offer greater service level guarantees and offer tracking/insurance.
For those that pick up their items from our location, as its “click and collect” and you are coming to a business, not a private seller, that will be able to continue. We will arrange a time with buyers for contactless collection to ensure COVID-19 compliance. However, we would like our buyers to make sure they comply with any essential journey/stay at home restrictions that are in place.
With regards to sellers being able to drop their items off with us, we have been told that this can continue, as its retail environment’s that are closing, not the businesses. As its very similar to “click and collect”, its “click and drop”, unless we are told otherwise, this option is still available. However, consideration again needs to be given to any restrictions.
If “click and drop” is not allowed in the future, we can easily continue as we can either come and collect your items from you (location dependant), or arrange for them to be shipped to us as we already do. Our standard collection fee will remain £5 and we can collect from sellers within 45 minutes drive from our WA4 headquarters. Shipping costs will be dependent on location and weight/volume. For the majority of sellers its also £5 to ship items to us and we arrange all the shipping so you don’t have to.
For those that were already planning on having us ship their items to us with one of our chosen couriers, this will obviously continue unaffected.
So, in summary, we anticipate only minor impact on our operation at the moment. It’s possible that this could change if a Tier 5 is created, but even then, we hope to still be able to operate, but without the “click and collect” pickup option. Hopefully from the perspective of the vast majority of our lovely buyers and sellers, our exciting events will continue unchanged and we will continue to run weekly so we can continue to say, “The Little Children’s Market, where the bargains come to you”.
All the best
The Little Children’s Market Covid-19 Compliance Team!
Please find below our lockdown update as of 01st November 2020.
We are fortunate that we are able to continue operating unaffected as we had already switched to an online “virtual” set-up. We hadn’t planned on running physical events this year due to the high likelihood of continued disruption.
All items sold are held at our location for days before the event, so they are therefore safe for sale. The vast majority of our items are shipped direct to buyers so this will continue as planned. The only disruption we can foresee, is that some of the shipping companies may become very busy again and delivery times may slip. The way that we can try and mitigate against this is by using different firms and by using more expensive carriers that offer greater service level guarantees. This will obviously increase our costs; however, we will not be looking to pass this cost on, we will absorb the cost as a business. This is obviously less than ideal for us, but we want to support our customers. We therefore hope that you can continue to support us in return, by remaining loyal to our family business.
For those that pick up their items from our location, as its “click and collect” and you are coming to a business, not a private seller, that will be able to continue. We will arrange a time with buyers for contactless collection to ensure COVID-19 compliance.
The only area that may be affected in the future, might be the ability for sellers to drop their items off with us. We have already sought clarification and we have been told that this can continue, as its retail environment’s that are closing, not the businesses. As its very similar to “click and collect”, its “click and drop”, unless we are told otherwise, this option is still available.
However, if “click and drop” is not allowed in the future, we can easily continue as we will just come and collect your items from you. Obviously, we charge for this service. We can’t absorb the cost of increased shipping and collection. But what we will do is not charge for pick-up if you are within 5 miles of our WA4 location. For those who aren’t we will have to charge our standard collection fee of £5. However, this is still cheaper than shipping your items to us, or shipping multiple items to individual buyers. For those who want us to pick up their items anyway, there will be no change.
Picking items up, or taking items to a private individual may breach the rules, but because you aren’t buying or selling items direct to the public, you are dealing with a registered business, we can continue the events.
So, in summary, we anticipate very little impact to our operation, apart from an increased cost for us. Hopefully from our lovely buyers and seller’s perspective, the exciting events will continue unchanged and will continue to run weekly.
All the best