March 6, 2014
There was a segment on Good Morning America this morning that was a bit troubling to us here at Classic Cleaners. It was titled “Dry Cleaners’ Dirtiest Secrets“. Being that it’s the media’s job to awe and shock, the correspondent promised to reveal “what you should know” about your dry cleaner who may be trying to scam you and “take you to the cleaners”.
The short, two minute, ”teaser” segment this morning was to intrigue, anger, and persuade you enough to watch the full report tomorrow on 20/20 where they reveal what happens once you hand over your “precious” garments to your dry cleaner. The person who helps the correspondent reveal this “secret” information is the owner of a high end NYC dry cleaner, Jeeves, and he is very angry about “dry cleaners’ dirty secrets”.
We too are frustrated and angry when some dry cleaners cut corners and give the industry a bad name. What we didn’t like about the segment was the correspondent said this gentleman was revealing the “dirty little secrets of the industry“. That immediately gives us all a bad rap. As with any service related, customer focused industry, there are good apples and there are bad apples. The industry itself isn’t “bad”.
During this two minute teaser segment he was able to reveal the top two ”secrets” of dry cleaners that are scamming customers:
#1. ”Scummy solvent”. We imagine that could happen with some dry cleaners. And the correspondent does say “Some cleaners” but the way this segment is produced to scare customers and cause distrust - we think that’s “dirty”. We assure you, we use clean, clear solvent with every load. No “dirty bath water” at Classic Cleaners.
#2. “Jerk revenge”. Really? He states he’s heard that if a customer is a “jerk” some cleaners will pretend to clean your clothing. For us, that’s crazy. We’ve encountered all types of personality types but at the end of the day, the quality of our work and our reputation is all that matters. We know that one dissatisfied customer is going to tell ten times the people about his/her experience than a satisfied customer. We would NEVER do such an unethical thing such as this.
In fairness to the NYC owner, what he has to say can be true of SOME dry cleaners who try to cut costs. And we mentioned that in our blog post in October 2012 titled “$1.99 Dry Cleaning“.
Good Morning America says they have decided to take 10 shirts and 10 pairs of pants with identical stains of mustard, wine and nail polish to 10 different cleaners (in New York we’re assuming) and you will be able to see all of her report and “true confessions” tomorrow on 20/20.
If you ever have any questions on how your clothing is handled and cleaned by our employees, we are happy to answer them.
Thank you for your business, trust and loyalty.
March 4, 2014
It’s wonderful that individuals and companies are using the word “green” to describe their practices but what exactly does “green” mean? And what about “organic”, “natural”, “Eco-friendly”, etc.?
Here’s a cheat sheet on what these “green” terms mean. There are other words for “going green” but the following tend to be the most commonly used.
* Eco-Friendly: Eco-friendly means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment. At a minimum, the product is non-toxic. Eco-friendly products also prevent contributions to air, water and land pollution.
* Farm Raised Fish: According to the USDA this means fish or shellfish that have been “harvested in controlled environments” and have been protected from predators or provided nutrients.
* Free Range: This indicates the animals that produce the meat or eggs were raised to range freely for food, rather than being confined in an enclosure. Free Range is not a certification and it does not always mean the product is “organic”. Free-range food doesn’t have to meet any particularly stringent, or even legal requirements.
* Natural: If it describes food it means the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. If it’s describing clothing it means it was made without petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances or dyes. If there are any sulfates, they are naturally derived.
* Naturally Derived: This describes goods made with ingredients that were produced with raw materials from a natural source, like botanicals and fruit extracts, but were chemically altered to be used in the final formulation.
* Non Toxic: A Non Toxic product, substance, or chemical will not cause adverse health effects, either immediately or over the long-term. It is not poisonous, harmful, or otherwise destructive to an organism upon exposure.
* Organic: To receive the official USDA Organic certification, the product must have been produced without the use of genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, sewage sludge or the use of synthetic fertilizers. “Organic farming systems rely on ecologically based practices such as cultural and biological pest management, exclusion of all synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones in crop and livestock production”.
* Sustainable: Sustainable products have the least or no health or environmental degradation on humans and our planet, and promote social welfare. Items are produced in ways that minimize their environmental impact. Examples include energy saving light bulbs, electric vehicles, solar-powered items, and biodegradable packaging.
What are some other terms that you’ve seen on products to indicate “green”? What “green” terms do you look for when you make a buying decision?
February 25, 2014
If you’re lucky enough to have the time to plan out when you’d like to purchase a new household appliance, you can find great deals by shopping a specific time of the year.
According to moneycrashers.com, there are certain times of the year that are best for purchasing washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves/ranges and more.
Try to get a rough idea of when your appliance will go out of commission. See our blog post on the life expectancy on appliances, part 1 and part 2. Then, plan your purcahse before the appliance breaks to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
Best Time To Buy a New Appliance
1. September and October: The best time to buy most major appliances is during the months of September and October. During these two months, manufacturers unveil their latest models. This means that the previous year’s models must be discounted in order to make room for the new models that will hit stores in the winter.
2. May: The exception to point number one is refrigerators. Unlike the other major appliances, most manufacturers roll out their new models of refrigerators in the summer. This means that last year’s models get discounted during the spring.
3. January: Some stores hang on to older inventory while they make the transition from last year’s models to the next. But once the new year hits, all of last year’s remaining models must be discounted even further. Though better deals may be available at this time, selection will be limited.
4. Any Holiday Weekend: Retailers have sales that correspond to virtually all holidays. Columbus Day, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and most other minor holidays are good times to get great deals. Case in point, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) can be a perfect time to purchase a major appliance.
Tip: Just because a retailer advertises an item on sale doesn’t mean it’s the best price. Make sure you comparison shop first to know whether or not the advertised deal is really the lowest around.
5. End of the Month: As many appliances are sold on commission or subject to quotas, the end of the month can be an excellent time to negotiate serious savings. With that said, always try to negotiate regardless of what time of the month it is. After all, the worst that can happen is they won’t lower the price.
6. Weekdays: Appliance stores as well as furniture stores are nightmares on the weekends. The parking lots are jammed, the sales people are all busy, and you may feel rushed into a decision. To get the best deal, avoid the weekend rush and make time for your appliance shopping during the week, even if that means adjusting your work schedule or going in the evening. You’ll get more attention from the salesperson, and possibly a better deal to boot.
7. Anytime Online: By just running a quick search, you can get a good idea where the best deal is online. The best months to buy online don’t differ from the best months to buy in brick and mortar stores, but good online prices can be found year-round. Just remember to factor shipping into the final cost.
What If You Need an Appliance Now?
As much as you might like to time your large appliance purchase to get the best deal, it is not always possible. If an appliance breaks unexpectedly, you’ll have to decide whether to make a costly repair or buy a new appliance even if rock bottom prices are months away. In these cases, consider alternatives to buying brand new.
1. Craigslist When our washer went out but the dryer was in great working order. We placed the dryer on Craigslist so we could buy a matching new set. The couple that purchased from us needed a dryer because their dryer went out but the washer was still working great. Turning to Craigslist to find a gently used washer and dryer can save you money and help you avoid being overwhelmed with the number of options at a retail store.
2. Refurbishing Center These stores can sell you items they have bought from others and fixed up and even purchase your item to them to fix up and sell to someone else. You won’t get a brand new appliance but you can get one better and newer than you had – and at a great price.
3. Scratch and Dent You can get appliances at steep discounts if they have even a tiny, insignificant little dent. When you are shopping, check with your salesperson to see if they have any scratch and dent merchandise. Even if the scratch is in an area that won’t be seen/noticed, you can receive a discount.
4. Liquidation Centers Liquidation centers can have liquidation, closeout, return, and overstock items available for purchase at a fraction of the cost.
Where and when have you found great deals on appliances in the Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Greenwood (and surrounding) areas?
February 11, 2014
We’ve created a few videos and blogs about how to clean, press and preserve your dress after the wedding to ensure it stays “like new” for decades after the wedding. But what about before the wedding? It’s possible you’ve found the perfect dress a year before the big date and storing it for such a long time requires some care.
If your dress is plain and not-too-heavy, (good ol’ polyester, with little or no trim) you could store the dress on a hanger in a garment bag in a cool, dry place for up to seven months. Hang it on a padded hanger in a closet away from direct sunlight, leaving several feet of space on either side to prevent wrinkling. You could also cover the dress in a white cotton sheet to protect it from dust. Be sure the sheet has been washed in hot water without detergent or bleach.
Do not store the dress in a synthetic garment bag if it’s silk, linen, cotton, or wool. It needs to “breath”. And, never store your dress in plastic because plastic emits gases over time that can cause deterioration. It also can trap condensation which will cause mildew and mustiness on the dress.
If the dress has beading, seed pearls, sequins, rhinestones, or anything that might be heavy sewn to the dress, you’re going to want to lay it flat. Otherwise, the weight of the embellishments could tear the material from the weight of it hanging. Also, if the dress has heavy fabric and teeny straps, you don’t want the weight of the dress hanging to damage or pull apart the seams. Wrap the dress in a cotton sheet and store it in a long flat acid-free cardboard box.
This will protect it from dust and pets. Rolling the dress will leave less wrinkles but you can also fold it if necessary, using acid-free tissue paper. Try to slip the box under a bed in a cool dry place.
Be sure that your under the bed space is away from a heat source such as a floorboard radiator, electronics and even an electric blanket.
When faced with a dress with a mixed fiber content, follow the procedure for the most demanding fiber. This will usually have you pushing sheet-wrapped packages under the bed!
Pull the dress out from under the bed when you’re ready to have it steamed and pressed for the wedding day.
How many months in advance, on average, do you think a future bride purchases her wedding dress?