The Estee Lauder Conference Call
Posted 04 August 2004 - 07:52 PM
Sounds as if this call's purpose was not to foster the relationship and communication, but rather belittle valid concerns from a very, very large customer base of the solids and literally sever any more potential relationshp/communication. How disappointing. Thank you Lisa, Ann, and Woody for hanging in there through the call and being a voice for all of us.
Posted 04 August 2004 - 07:57 PM
I was under the impression that the conference call was a follow up to the list of questions presented to them by Ann & Ken in Las Vegas. I was under the impression that we would get answers but what happened was we asked them the questions all over again and just kept getting the "we will look into it" response.
Again they were listening but not hearing us.
Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:00 PM
Am still in shock after reading and re-reading the outcome of the call today. At Vegas Mr Annise seemed so receptive to the same questions that were now repeated and promised to "look into this". Same answers today.
Can't believe that the collectors representatives would be treated with anything but respect. How dare they!!! This site has done more to promote interest and sales of their solid perfume products than they have ever seen before. It would only make sense for them to provide advance information about coming items and other tidbits to the people most interested in them. No one is asking for corporate secrets! Though it does make one wonder why basic statistics should be so closely guarded. Perhaps they are so used to paying huge sums to promote their products they don't know how to treat free exposure.
At first I was angry and now just feel very sad that this happened to our volunteer representatives who donate so much time and energy and contribute so much to the pleasure of collecting the solids. Jack and Lisa, the EL corporate office should be kissing your feet in gratitude for providing this site. Can't believe that they won't aknowledge it and provide some support.
Thanks to all of you for your efforts in our behalf.
Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:02 PM
I'm not disappointed at all about the conference call.....I've tried to get in touch with EL many years ago and didn't even get a response. I really would have been more than astonished if the conference call had been a success....sorry, but this is my feeling. I know they don't care about the collectors.
I was told that the solids and compacts are a very bad, non profitable business for them and they see the selling of them more as a PR, to eventually gain new customers for the cosmetic products....the big money is made with all these products and not with the solids and powder compacts....so why care about the collectors!!!
IMHO EL doesn't want to publish the list of the solids & powders as they just don't have a REALLY COMPLETE list themselves and if they would publish the list they have they would give the lie to some of the collectors. They simply missed to archive everything properly in the past.
If you check "the list" that is around you will see that on quite some items they write "no description available" .....so you make you own mind about that point. Also there are solids that were issued and I have them, but they are not mentionned in "the list".
No more comment on that topic from my part
Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:14 PM
I completely agree. I think they might be embarassed that their list isn't quite as comprehensive as some of the lists our collectors have compiled on their own. If that's the case, they have no reason to be embarassed. We are willing to work with them, they just don't seem willing to want to share whatever information they might have.
We're just trying to get out good information to collectors in a timely manner. If they don't want to provide it, we'll just have to do our best without them.
Estee Lauder reps mentioned at the Vegas convention that one of the focuses of the company was to get younger people interested in their products. I would think younger people might be on the internet. Hello.
Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:15 PM
Have had the same feeling as you - that EL does not have accurate information in their archives.
Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:17 PM
Your collection and the information you have is really outstanding, they should be coming to you.
I agree with what you say 100% It's just a shame that they don't want to work with us but against us.
Thanks Phyllis too!
Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:23 PM
My hubby collects PEZ - big time and we know the Pez Co. monitors our boards and they are fast to contact the guy on our board who is their inside man if you will. Richie is great and takes our complaints etc to them and we are finally seeing some changes in how collectors at this level are being treated.
I worked for the NFL for a while and I know how protective they are on anything trademarked, identifiable etc. They go after even the smallest guy to prove a point. The call today sounds like they are make a wagon circle and don't want it obvious. There is a lot of junk and stolen items showing up on Ebay, the initial reactions to their high end solids wasn't good. So far this year is heavy on enamel and not stones like they have been famous for. Personally I think they are afraid they made a big mistake, this board it going to hash it back and forth and it won't go away. They are only seeing the dollar sign not the issue. Some people are going to collect the Strongwater and Lieber's just for what they are but it sounded like they wanted this board to go away for fear of stirring up bad PR and having stuff end up low end on Ebay. That's from my marketing background not my common sense LOL
It's a shame they can't see this board for what it is as a helpful tool of high end buyers making suggestions and complimenting what they have bought giving us all a chance to see first hand and more likely than not go buy the same solid.
Personally I don't plan on buying the JL and JS because of the enamel look, I love the stones like the Polar Bear, last years JS, etc. When people walk in and see my cabinet they are blown away by the glitz - that's what I buy. It's a shame they don't see how serious we are. (Dan mu hubby is a VP/CFO and he calls it all "Inventory" LOL due to the dollars involved.)
I used to run a doll board with a good friend and after we posted our complaints etc, Mattel shut us down. What can I say, Big Brother likes the Big Bucks but not the suggestions or complaints.
Hang in there you are doing a service for EL like it or not, I must check the board 3 or 4 times a day. :0)
Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:50 PM
It seems to me the EL is getting in "big" names for collector dollars but missing the reason we collect - the beauty of the solids that will be wonderful keepsakes in years to come. My 3 daughters already are fighting over who gets what LOL
All they have to do is run a high end check on Ebay Estee Solids and see what is getting the money after the new issues have been out for a while.
I may buy the flower cart to go with my gorgeous roses and beehive but I bet I pay under $100 for it when I do.
Posted 04 August 2004 - 10:02 PM
Knowing that EL doesn't concider solids or compacts as a money making thing I approched the subject of the warehouse sales with a product they do care about .
I had lists of Ebay numbers of creams/makeup/lipsticks and all their products .
The vast amount of products on ebay was staggering at least to me .
Today over 8,000 EL listings and some were of 700 pc lots per one listing.
I asked the question - As a customer why should I buy a lipstick retail in the store for $15 when I can buy it on Ebay for 6 for $25??
Translation to solids - Why should I buy a $400 rooster when I know it will be on ebay in 6 month for $50.
Truck loads of every kind EL products are coming out of the warehouse sales and put on ebay. When they denied this was happening I gave them the Ebay numbers.You can tell why this went down hill very fast.
I had facts & figures some I never got to as it became very apparent we were only there to have a pep rally not a honest discussion.
Also we had been told at convention ( hear this every year ) that the only people getting in to the sales were EL employees with a pass. Quoted them an article about the passes given out to lawyers /congress/ legislators/ and leaders that help pass laws "affecting"our lives( From the Faculty Ass. at Suffolk Community College)
Every Question I asked I had some kind of proof but tried to ask in a respectful manner. I do not think they were prepared to be challenged.
It was as Lisa hinted at- a slap in the face to our intellegence.
Posted 04 August 2004 - 10:16 PM
Even though Lauder does not have the "resources or manpower" for us us they will continue to come to the site every day and check up on us and learn from us.
So from here we support each other because we are the "misfit" collectors and all we have is each other.
Tomorrow is a fresh new day and we should move on being a little smarter and thriftier.
Posted 05 August 2004 - 04:06 AM
Nothing adds up in my book but perhaps I have 'lost the plot' somewhere along the line. Meanwhile I hope Woody is not feeling demoralised by what transpired and yourselves. I feel he put himself in the front line (as did you all) and got shot down for doing so! Not what one would expect to happen from a Corporation of this scale. And this is the point! A gigantic operation such as this not being prepared to throw out a few crumbs to Collectors. Perhaps 'we' demand too high a standard with our Collectables? But surely this would not deter them and surely this would not decrease their profits due to higher manufacturing and design costs! I might be talking alot of nonsense here but as I have stated before, and having read all the postings, I am just at a loss for an understanding of the situation.
Speaking of other collectables, I recently met the woman (by chance) who has produced a book on Wedgwood. She explained to me how items from the past had not been filed and recorded and the help she received to enable her to complete her project. We spoke for a long while on a train journey, and I found what she had to say fascinating to say the least. Why have I mentioned this? Due to the co-operation which she received and what you are struggling for!
Posted 05 August 2004 - 10:56 AM
I think that you all did a wonderful job, did your best. Perhaps some answers will be forthcoming some day soon to reward all your hard work. I hope so.
Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:57 AM
Even if you feel like don Quijote fighting the windmills here, remember we are all behind you and support you 100% so just hang in there and keep fighting!!! I am confident that you eventually will get the recognition you deserve. Just don't give up, keep on trying to get conference calls with them or do whatever it takes to start a real dialogue. I am sure I speak for everyone when I say that we will do our best to back you up!
Posted 05 August 2004 - 12:01 PM
I was hoping that Lauder would welcome us. I was wrong, yes, but for reasons we will never understand, I could see if EL was upset if somehow we were making money from this site but that has never been the case. We actually lose money every month in operating costs as well as cost for custom code and countless hours of putting the site together. But this is what we are willing to offer because collecting solids is something we love and want to share with the world. What we were asking for in return was not a gift certificate, free solids or product . All we wanted and still want is information.
Yesterday our stats showed 36,280 hits and 6673 page views. Over 50 hits were from Estee Lauder alone. I guess that tells us that some of their "manpower and resources" are spent on the pages of our site.
My new thoughts are now this: we are information here, we are a voice, our opinions, comments and questions do count. Something Martha said last night really stuck with me and it is this- perhaps Aerin or Leonard Lauder may be interested in us as collectors. Maybe they will be interested and maybe they won't be so let's try and we will see.
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