I'm a little late updating this!. I returned to Bristol on 19th. May and I have been quite busy answering queries and sending out orders since then.
6 May. 2017
I will be away for may annual break until Friday 19th. May. During this time I will be unable to answer the phone or move any goods. I will, however, have internet access, be able to answer email and refer to a copy of my customer database.
5 April. 2017
I have made some small changes to my Mail Order page. They have become necessary but will have no effect on the great majority of sales. They are very much a 'small print' matter and this notice is to announce a small change to my previous way of working. I am not changing my minimum postage charge despite the annual Royal Mail increase in prices.
15 March. 2017
Things have been very quite here for the past few weeks. However, there is one issue that affects some musicians and the international music industry in general. Conservation and endangered species. Ivory is no longer used in the production of recorders but palisander, one of the more popular woods, is now the subject of CITES regulation. I have added the relevant EU pdf document to my site and you can see it
25 Feb. 2017
After months of indecision I am now not restocking smaller items as their stock level reduces to zero. The only chance of their reappearing is if I make a special order for a high cost item. The costs involved in making 'stock orders', especially from overseas suppliers, are too great, considering my target 'retirement' in April. I expect to keep these pages alive and to adopt something of the status of a 'consultant'. I don't plan to have a clearance sale just yet and I will be happy to let the stock gently fade away. (There will be no price increases, and 'when its gone, it will be gone'.)
16 Jan 2017
I'm slowly clearing out the 'dead wood' in my lists and pages. With sterling falling and no sight of the end of this trend, now may be the time to stop replenishing stock and start coasting to my planned closure at the end of March. I have though, decided to reinstate all the pages of my pdf stock list. Only the first eleven pages include existing stock, but some find the history useful. The previous "2 - Music" listing is now "8 - Sheet Music". (More than 60 pages, it has all gone to RMM).
10 January 2017
Here is the short methods list mentioned below. I actually uploaded it last month, but without any links! More links to follow.
09 January 2017
The music transfer went without a hitch. I have kept, and will endeavour to maintain, a small stock of the methods that are often asked for to go with new recorders. These are mainly the 'Enjoy the Recorder' and 'Recorder from the Beginning' series. (At the moment they are only visible on my pdf stock list. A short new web page is on my 'to do' list.) I still have the Books and Used Music.
18 December 2016
A major reorganisation has been forced on me. There have to be changes at Allegro Music in the new year and they can no longer cope with my residual music stock. There was simply too much to be moved to a new location and smaller premises. So, it will all be going to my friends at Recorder Music Mail at the start of January. It will take me a couple of days to update all of my pages to reflect this.
14 December 2016
I'm hoping that the recovery of sterling continues into 2017 and I can restock a few 'lines' at realistic prices. Its not only Marmite that has become more expensive.
I am on course to retire at the end of this financial year (April). Its about time, I'm now 75. Not everything will grind to halt though. I need to have something not too strenuous to occupy me and I plan to keep my recorder pages ticking over. I've had several appreciative emails 'out of the blue' recently. It helps keep me smiling in the face of increasing prices, falling prices, late and incorrect deliveries, stroppy digital devices and all the other trials associated with running a business. My clients, however, are always a pleasure to work with.
30 November 2016
Progress! I've worked out how to get my sound pages working for all browsers and reinstated the autoplay, together with a 'PLAY' button that most will never see. All the descant pages are finished and I've made a start on the trebles.
Whilst searching for something else I discovered the box of 'OUP' class music mentioned below, just over a year ago. However, the publisher was E J Arnold not OUP. This is good stuff, the used condition proving its worth. Free! The details are on my used music page...
31 October 2016
Well, the 'Marmite' war never materialised. Perhaps it was just a publicity stunt combined with a reality check. The only bad publicity is, after all, no publicity.
I've been much taken up by trying to repair my sound pages. The problem has arrived with updated systems and browsers (Firefox 49 in particular) and 'legacy' systems. I've done all the descant pages and will now set about the others. Its finnicky and rather mechanical work now that I have found the cause of the problem. Good bye 'autoplay'... welcome to the 'PLAY' button.
13 October 2016
After a quiet period the UK is waking up to the wider implications of the drop in the value of sterling. It hit me almost immediately... I am very small. Now Tesco, one of the biggest retailers in the UK, is running out of some stock, is very publicly unwilling to pay higher prices for more and is threatening to drop a wide range of popular products from a major manufacturer. I think there will be more spats of this kind. The situation is similar to what I went through a year ago and it was resolved, for me, by a new dealer agreement. With currency value issues and the very small margin enforced by some very big retailers I am, unfortunately, having to make more and more decisions on the basis of what is better for me, rather than what is best for my clients. I am a 'corner shop' struggling to survive in a market dominated by a 'superstore' motivated more by profit than customer service. The eventual outcome is not in doubt.
31 August 2016
Its almost September and I've just packed some bulk school orders for the new academic year. While I have been able to honour my advertised prices from the time they were ordered I am not able to do this any more. There have been significant increases since the referendum. I am uploading my new lists with this 'blog'. More changes will follow soon as I order in goods from different makers. You may notice other changes as I create a little more space by removing the white space in order references. I wanted to do this a long time ago but with thousands of music items built up over ten years it was not a viable option. It is now, especially as I need to alter other things (like prices!) on my web pages.
6 July 2016
It may be a little while before I re-stock the less popular recorders that I buy direct from EU makers. Since the referendum the euro has become 10% more expensive and I want to avoid buying new stock at this higher price if I can. My nature is cautiously optimistic and I tend towards the view that what goes up must (eventually) come down.
24 June 2016
Its now the evening of the day following the EU referendum vote and everyone is trying to come to terms with the 'out' vote and consider how the future will work out. For me, the greatest problem is that of managing my Mollenhauer stock, and pricing the order that will be delivered next week.
In the short term, until the currency market web sites are publishing exchange rates, Mollenhauer recorders will all be 'Price On Application'. I hope to be able to honour my published prices but I am in the process of re-stocking some models and I have only the vaguest idea of what I will have to pay for them.
For me, the Mollenhauer situation is a special case and, while other recorders will inevitably be subject to price changes, I source them in a different way and prices changes are, to a certain extent, buffered.
20 June 2016
I have just removed the reference to this years annual break, which we took in the Pennines... the area, now Lancashire, which was previously Yorkshire. It was, to everyone's surprise, a very hot and generally dry week.
While I was at it I made a few changes to the wording in the panel above. There is no significant news and I am bracing myself for the result of the referendum. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I will be voting to remain in the EU. Not that I think much of any of the information and arguments that have been presented by either camp. The so called 'debate' has been an unseemly and irrational slanging match. I do not regard a referendum as a valid democratic process.
07 March 2016
I have restocked with Mollenhauer recorders. Some of the problems detailed below have been addressed and prices have had to rise on account of the present cost of the euro. Recorders from other sources are also likely to rise in price as I restock. I have reinstated my stock status list.
03 Jan 2016
Its been rather quiet here and I have changed things around. The fax machine has gone and a new phone with answering machine installed. (What fun trying to understand 34 pages of A7 instructions!) Everything else has been moved and I'm not entirely happy with the present lack of general clutter at my 'work station'. I don't expect it to be very long before 'normality' is restored.
20 Dec 2015
I've had a busy weekend making drastic alterations to my web pages. The change in the way things, in particular recorders, are sold on the web has brought serious problems. It has taken six months to get some sort of resolution to the most pressing issue and those of you who trawl the web for the 'best price' will know exactly what has concerned me. A business cannot continue when it costs more to get new stock from a manufacturer than it would to buy from an internet retail warehouse. As far as this business is concerned, I am somewhat relieved that I am now on the 'home straight'.
I have always striven to give my clients good service and a fair deal, basing my retail prices on what I have actually paid for the goods I sell, with an eye on the manufacturer's recommended price and the prices of my competitors. With some items this has become impossible.
Some of the items on my revised pages have been re-priced to make them competitive with the most aggressive retailers and, after factoring in carriage costs and transaction charges, are actually being offered at a loss to the business. Initially, these will be 'when they are gone they are gone' but a new agreement may enable me to re-stock some of them for sale at a positive rather than a negative margin in 2016.
My stock of slow moving items will decrease as I do not plan to buy in anything that is not likely, from previous experience, to be unsold after six months or so. I will be happy to negotiate price for these 'special order' items. The only downsides would be a delivery delay of up to two weeks and the inability to try the instrument first. However, in many cases, I would be prepared for the sale to fail and add such items to my stock.
25 November 2015
The changes mentioned below regarding Worldpay are now no longer in force. I think that they were applied by mistake by Worldpay. I have amended the text above, reverting to my original version regarding 'cross reference'.
22 November 2015
The order form is working well and I may now stop the daily tweaks and leave it alone. After I moved my music my franking machine stopped earning its keep. (It always was more trouble than it was worth with parcels.) It will be collected tomorrow. That is large lump of machinery out of the way and it will soon be followed by the fax machine, which takes up even more space. I haven't had a fax in more than a year, even the junk has stopped. I am removing references to it from my web site and my printed documents. I will continue to keep an answerphone connected.
I changed to Windows 10 (from Win7) by taking advantage of the free upgrade and had few complaints about the way it worked. I was able to kill most of the distracting phone style user interface but I was furious about the recent update. I use two printers, one for documents and one for labels. Many businesses and particularly laboratories must do the same. Why on earth Microsoft should mess with our settings is beyond me. Following the upgrade each new printing job went to the printer used for the previous job. The 'default' was contiuously 'updated'. What is the point or logic behind that? What language do they use in California? There is now a button, hidden away, with no documentation, at the bottom of printer settings. Do I want Windows to manage my printers? Not Pigmalion likely!
10 November 2015
My attempts at an automatic emailed order form were foiled by the variety of devices and apps now in use. I have now approached the problem from a different viewpoint and ventured into the realm of php and scripts. It is a new 'ball game' and I have burned a lot of 'midnight oil'. I am pleased with the result. All the work is done by the computer that hosts my pages and all systems work with it. There are a few things that I want to add but it is fully functional and I hope that it will make ordering easier all round.
25 Oct 2015
I've been making some more changes to draw attention to those descant recorders that I feel are more suitable for playing folk music and with other instruments. In order not to take up more space I have adopted a colour change to my smiley icons. Some of the original yellow icons have been changed to green. In the few cases where I had not placed a yellow icon the green one is to the right of the model reference number. I've also done my best to space the icons out so that their selection is easier for touch screen users.
15 Oct 2015
Following a recent delivery of Aulos recorders, together with a revised price list, I have been busy updating and re-vamping my recorder pages. (Aulos prices have gone down, quite significantly.) After several queries regarding VAT I have decided to list ex-VAT prices on my pages. Its a huge amount of work involving cross checking my main data file. (My software calculates the tax at the time of sale.) The lowering of Aulos prices has prompted me to publish the pages before all the new data is in place. I hope to finish the job in a few days.
I have found that I can work round the security digit issue mentioned below. I've not been admonished by Worldpay yet. I have my fingers crossed.
The box with the OUP recorder music in it, mentioned below, has gone into hiding! I need a sniffer dog... Jess generally places herself in or on boxes that I am working on and is no help at all.
14 Sep 2015
Changes to the security procedures at Worldpay Cardsave have made it necessary for me to make some alteration to the bold text regarding 'cross reference' card payments (above).
My most recent preoccupation has been the adding of many new titles to my list of used music. The bulk of that work has now been finished but there are still boxes containing music of no commercial value that I can't bring myself to throw away! It is mainly 'school' music from OUP. It will take me a little while to sort and list it. When I have done so it will not be priced. It will be free to anyone who would like it and can take it away. I will be happy to post it for the cost of postage.
Prior to that I took the major step of updating my main PC from Win7 to Windows 10. After many problems (now resolved) I am pleased with the new operating system. It seemed to turn my 'work' computer into a cross between a smart phone and a games machine but now that I have removed most of the entertainment distractions I am happy to live with it. It does seem to respond very quickly, and (fingers crossed!) it does not appear to be prone to crashing. If you email me I will be happy to share my experiences with you. It is a very time consuming operation and, counter intuitively, the very large download may best be done during the day. My most serious issue was with my graphics card, which was not provided with a 'proper' driver. After much searching I was able to download one (actually 2 files) from Microsoft.
Some of you may have noticed changes to these pages. It is my response to the almighty Google changing the way it 'rates' web sites. From now on, it will rank 'mobile friendly' sites higher that those which it deems are not. As a result of this I have decided to make the mobile friendly format, which I had provided as an option, the default presentation. Once you are into the site you can decide whether or not you would prefer to have the 'framed' version with menus at the top and side. Nothing else has changed except that I have (as ever) found and removed some spelling mistakes! I have also worked through the pages which illustrate my 'smiley' choices, and added my personal comments to each one. You can now also access the sound files direct from the pages with pictures and some of the image files have been updated.
My stock of new music is now with Richard and Barbara Priest at Allegro Music in rural Herefordshire, between Ledbury and Bromyard. It is possible to visit (Monday - Friday, 9.00-16.30) and there are other attractions at the Hop Pocket shopping village (Tuesday - Saturday). (This arrangement came to an end in December 2016.)
I will maintain a small stock of beginner's recorder methods here for the time being. Quite a lot of sheet music has appeared from obscurity as I have cleared my racks. Some of it is not in pristine condition and has been added to my stock of used music, at bargain prices. Some of the music listed is really worth having... standard works and some out of print publications at a third of the current list price or less.
My music pages will remain on-line for the foreseeable future as they have proved to be a useful resource for teachers and players looking for repertoire. I am removing the prices from the pages, changing the background and altering the ordering links toAllegro Music. Unfortunately, there has been a delay in adding Saunders Recorders information to the Allegro Music website. It will be best to email or phone in the same way that you have ordered sheet music from me. There is a direct 'mailto' link and accessible phone number on all the pages affected. If this is too complicated for you, order through me. I will check your order and pass it on. (Your payment details will not be passed on.)
For the time being (the next two or three years) I will continue to maintain a good stock of recorders for sale. The Beginners Methods, Used Music, CDs and Books on recorder related topics remain with me.
I'm getting used to the reduced work load from moving the music on. Its nice to have some time for my own activities. The recorders are preventing me from 'going to seed' and now that the weather has improved I've been able to get out and enjoy the sunshine on my bike. I'm not complaining!
I often get asked for 'first' recorders and methods for youngsters, often grandchildren, and the conversation turns to important points that novices need to grasp from the very start. Some of the method books are very light on this sort of information. As a former teacher I am well aware of the need to keep 'hammering' at some issues... It then struck me that a 'little list' would be helpful and I've prepared one and linked it from the top of my page listing recorder methods. My idea is that it should be printed A5 size so the document is two identical A4 pages that you can print 'multiple' on a single A4 sheet and then cut in half. If you have coloured paper or card so much the better. You can go to the pdf document directly by clicking my Check List for New Recorder Players. If you order a 'first' recorder book from me I will probably include a copy printed on pink paper.
John Everingham FTCL