Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gun's E-Z Own: Winter Safety for Deliveries

Greetings all.

In 2008 we placed a delivery policy that stated that our delivery people have the right to refuse delivery if they feel it is unsafe. How and why did this policy come about.

Today I am tackling a subject that is one of my pet peeves. People who ask Gun's E-Z Own to deliver a product to their home, but they don't shovel or spread ice melt on the path we would take for the delivery.

Let's go back in time when I was a mere regional manager.

One winter we had a rental furniture delivery to a gentleman from Texas. The day before the delivery there was an ice storm and this gentleman was not prepared for a Minnesota winter. He did not have ice melt or a shovel for that matter. While I was checking the path we were going to use for the delivery, I stepped on a patch of ice that cause my feet to slip right out from under me. Like you would see in a cartoon. I fell on my back and hit the back of my head hard on the concrete driveway. Fortunately I had a stocking cap on that was folded over and gave extra cushion. I came out okay, but still got a headache. Two days later, I heard on the news that some guy slipped on some ice like I did, He did not have extra cushioning on the back of his head and died from severe brain trauma from the fall.

During another winter after the previous paragraph, 2008 to be exact. I had slipped and fell three times. Once hurt my back, another hurt my hip and third one, well the third one I will tell you about.

The third time we were delivering a sofa and a recliner. The main side walk going to the customers sidewalk did not have ice melt on it and was slippery. The customer's sidewalk was not shoveled. Now some recliners, the backs come off for ease of delivery. I had the bottom part of the recliner and my assistant had the top half. Well I slipped and fell with the bottom part of the recliner landing on top of me. I was fine. We then carried the sofa, We both slipped a little and the sofa got a little snow on it from the piled up snow bank. We got the sofa into the town home.

The customer then started to complain that we got a little snow on the sofa. This was just a little bit towards the bottom. Like 3" wide by maybe 6" long. It was all I could do not to snap. I told the customer that if he was not happy with it, we will take it back and refund them their down payment.

Now for my tirade. Really, dude. You were too lazy and too inconsiderate to shovel the sidewalk for an appointed time for a delivery and then complain that we got a little snow on the product, that would not do any damage to the product. In which, from the fall, we could have done a law suit for improper maintenance of your sidewalk. That with us falling, could have done severe physical damage. Just dust the snow off and carry on.

That was the last straw. I had enough. I don't need any of my delivery people to get hurt. I got permission for a Delivery policy from the owner of the business and he agreed.

This policy reads:

DELIVERY POLICY

Gun’s E-Z Own Staff Reserve the Right to REFUSE DELIVERY if they feel there are safety issues.

Customers are asked to:

1.    Make sure the furniture purchased will fit down pathway and through doorways of their residence.

2.    Keep possible delivery pathways clear of snow, ice, toys and any other items that may cause an E-Z Own staff member to slip or fall. During the winter make sure pathways are sanded and/or salted.

3.    Stairs must be deemed as safe and not rickety.

4.    Have vehicles moved out of the path if furniture may have to be lifted over head to clear vehicle.

Gun’s E-Z Own staff will inform the customer of the safety hazards. If the safety hazards can’t be cleared immediately the delivery will be cancelled until the safety hazards are cleared.

The customer may chose to pick up the purchased items themselves and have a portion of their delivery fee credited to their account.

#   #   #   #


So what is the moral of the story? Please be considerate of service people who are coming to your home. Have the sidewalk cleared off, have a path to where the service person is going cleared. Yes, They are being paid for their service but you may end up paying a lot more if that service person slips, falls and does severe damage or death because a path was not cleared.

But the business has workmen's Comp. Yes, True, but the workmen's comp will go after your insurance to get repaid if they find that it is the fault of the customer.

And to avoid this process, Gun's E-Z Own reserves the right to refuse delivery.

Phew, I said my peace. Now I will need to go zen and settle down.

Thank you for listening today.

Have a blessed and safe day.



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Gun's E-Z Own: What NOT to do around your TV

You may have heard the Jim Croce Song with the lyrics, "You don't tug on Superman's Cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask of the old Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with Jim."

Well today I have three stories of what you shouldn't do around your TV. Another title could be: Kids, don't do this around the TV to anger your parents.

Story 1
One our customers came into the store very upset. We asked what happened? Her 11 year old son was playing with his BB gun. (Oh, yes. You already know the ending) He was cleaning it and pretending to shoot it. He had thought it was empty. (Of course it was empty.) He had moved to the living room and placed the BB gun down. 

While placing the BB gun down on a table, the BB gun was pointing towards the TV. His finger got stuck in the trigger and bang. Cracked TV screen. A TV that was less than two years old. 

Needless to say, BB guns are now banned in the house*

Story 2:
An family member recently went to a local home improvement store, who were handing out helium filled balloons to all the kids. To help weigh the balloons down, the balloons had a washer tied to the bottom of the string.

The daughter got home and was so excited about her new balloon, she was swinging it around and around in, . . . you guessed it, . . . the living room. Her father told her repeated times to stay away from the TV with the balloon. She lost hold of the balloon and it floated over the TV cabinet. Now the TV sits in a TV cabinet where the doors can close over the TV.

Thinking the daughter couldn't get to the floating balloon, the father who had a broken foot in a cast at the time, decided to take a long hot bath. Being as that it was easier than taking a shower.

After the bath, he entered the living, hmmm, the ottoman was by the TV cabinet and the TV cabinet was closed. Odd, but ok, He opened the cabinet, sat down, used the remote to turn the TV on and HOLY CRAP, there was a rainbow colored, spider web patterned crack in the TV screen.

A loud, "Get over here now!" to the very upset and nervous daughter was called out to found out what happened. She pushed the ottoman to the TV cabinet, that was open, climbed up to get her balloon. In the process she banged the washer into the TV screen. She got scared, closed the TV cabinet to hide the damage and ran away to her room. 

Moral: Never assume that your determined child CANNOT do something. Especially when it comes to cool balloons.


Story 3:
A customer's daughter enjoys the scented candles. On this particular day, she had lit a candle on the TV stand. Of course the TV is sitting right by the lit candle. What happens to candles when lit? They melt and while still warm there can be a puddle of wax. 

The daughter was being responsible, didn't leave the room while the candle was lit, but when she was ready to leave the room, she picked up the candle to blow it out. She lifted the candle up, in front of the TV, took a deep breath and (Yes, she did) blew the candle out and blew a bunch of hot wax onto the screen of their new TV. The hot wax melted spots into the screen and the spots that didn't melt, left a mark from cleaning it. 

Moral: Wax on not so easy to wax off.

At the time of the incident it's not so humorous but these are memories that we can look back on and smile about.  Remember that time when . . . broke the TV? Yea, how did that happen again?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am more than happy to sell you TV's, but if you like to save some money you don't play with a loaded BB gun, you don't swing a balloon with a washer on the end, you don't blow out a lit hot candle into your new TV and then you don't have to visit Gun.

*Just a side note for Story #1. A few months later, That boy's older sister, by 4 years, decided to play with the BB gun in the house and blew out the glass window of there stove. Face palm here.

I hope you enjoyed today blog. Please remember to view our Facebook page and visit our website at gunsezown.com.

Have a safe and blessed day. And if I don't blog before then, Have an awesome Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Gun's E-Z Own: Doing Collections - Door Knocking

Here at Gun's E-Z Own, because that we are giving loans out for our customers to purchase furniture and using that furniture as collateral, we must do collections. That is we call customers, we send notices and letters to customers, we door knock customers and we take customers to court and get Sheriff's replevins (legal term for repossession).

We do have a matrix that we follow, and we are not looking for Neo either. With this matrix listed below, it helps keep customers payments timely and losses down:
Courtesy Phone Call
Letter / Phone Call
2nd Letter / Phone Call
Door Knock
Final Letter
Door Knock for Repossession
Court

I have been doing this for almost 20 years. (20 years in Feb of 2017) and dealt with all types of customers when it comes to collections. Today, I am going to do an overview of what Gun's E-Z Own does when out and about door knocking.

You may have noticed that I said Door Knocking. That is the phrase we use when we go to a customer's place of residence and, wait for it, . . . knock on their doors.

In the great state of Minnesota, there are laws that allow finance companies to do "self help" repossessions. Which in turn means, we are allowed to go up to customer's doors and ask for payment or the property. This does NOT mean we kick the door down and break in. Which, to be honest, I would like to at times. But I don't and won't. First off let me say that we reserve door knocking for those customers who refuse to call us back or make a payment. So if a customer has been contacting us we don't go to there doorstep unless they just have not come through with their five broken promises to pay us.

And when we door knock, it is not nearly as exciting as what you see on TV. If the customer can't afford their payment any longer, they are more likely to give up that Sofa. Those guys on TV repossessing a car if a different story. Take away a person's car and you pretty much take away their lively hood.

When going to a customers home, I always look at (not into, because that would just be creepy) the windows to look for curtain movement and listen for sounds for someone moving around or maybe a TV on. We look at the surroundings to make sure someone is still living there. Why is that? Because we have people move on us and we want as much information as we can get.


We also have to look out for mean dogs. Most of the dogs are friendly and I can get them to settle down and maybe pet them. Maybe.

From there I have a little carrying case that has my notices and envelopes in it. I knock on the door and listen for movement. I love it when the dog inside goes off on protecting the home. Then I know if the customer is home, they can't say they didn't hear me, because that dog will wake them up and/or let them know someone is there. If I don't hear anything, I will knock again and begin writing out what I need to on the notice. As you can see we use two different notices depending on how far behind the customer is. We have created a fill in the blank notice that makes it quicker and to get the legalize wording correct every time.

So then if there is still not anybody answering the door, Like Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang Theory, I knock a third time. At that point I will leave the notice in an addressed envelope on the door knob or something that will hold the envelope.

Now if you are using this blog for help hints, DO NOT leave the notice in the mailbox. That is a Federal Offense. Just don't do it.

Once I hang the door notice, I just go back to my vehicle and head off to the next door. But what if someone answers the door?

If someone answers the door, I politely ask for the person I wish to speak to. If they are not home, I introduce myself and leave the door notice in an envelope with that person.

Now if the customer is home, I have a cordial conversation with them, and let them know why I am there. (They already know) Sometimes I get a payment, sometimes I get the property, sometimes I accept a promise of payment. Each situation is different.

The key to face to face collections is to treat people with respect. Everyone has a bad month. Bad things happen like car accidents and surgeries. If you poke the bear, all you get is a big load of nothing, and angry customer who is still delinquent and now you are in a upset state. Life is too short to go down that street.

Just talk to the customer with respect and explain to them what the next step is if they don't pay you. There is no reason to get all up into someone's face. If things do escalate, remember DO NOT BREACH THE PEACE. If you feel you are going down that road, Just listen to Kelly Clarkson and Walk Away.

Once again I just gave an overview of how I handle door knocking for collections. I live in a small town and this works for us. If I were to write everything down, this blog would be about 10 pages long and you would have lost interest before the end of page one.

I hope you found this interesting. Remember to find us on Facebook and visit our website at www.gunsezown.com for specials and see what we have in stock.

Have safe and blessed day.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Gun's E-Z Own: Cleaning your TV Screen.

Hi, there everyone. I know its been a little longer than usual from my last blog. I took some time off from the business side to try and rejuvenate the old noggin. I'll let you know if it worked.

Today, I am going to discuss about cleaning your TV Screens.

This topic came up recently when a customer was telling me about how his sister used a glass cleaner on her flat panel TV screen and put a haze on the screen. Her husband had noticed and had asked what happened. Since the TV sits by a window, she told him that the sun did it.

So some of you already may know this but I'll use this opportunity to remind people what not to do.

In your old tube TV, the screen was made out of glass. That was easy enough to clean. Any good glass cleaner would work.  Spritz a little glass cleaner on the screen and wipe it down with any rag or paper towel and your done.

For today's TV's, the flat panels, you can't do that. The screens on the newer TV's are made of a plastic. Have you ever sprayed Windex on a plastic item and afterward you have a haze on that item. WHY? you may ask.

DO NOT use glass or multi-purpose cleaners to clean your TV Screen. Glass Cleaners have chemicals in them that are not meant for plastic, only glass. Those chemicals in your favorite glass cleaner will slightly melt the plastic and that slight melt causes the haze.

One more thing, DO NOT use a paper towel to clean your screen either. What are paper towels made of? Well paper, of course. What is paper made of? Wood. There are small wood fibers in the paper towels. Those small wood fibers will scratch your TV screen. You people wearing glasses out there with plastic lenses. Were you in a pinch and used a paper towel to clean your lenses? How did that work out for you. you got at least one little scratch didn't you. Same thing with your TV screens. You get little scratches on your screen.

So what can you use? If your screen is just dusty, you can simply use a feather duster to dust it off. Or a micro-fiber cloth will work too if you lightly dust it.

You know how we try to put our TV's up high enough so that our little ones can't reach the screen and get there dirty little fingers on the screen. We all know how that works, right? Finger prints!! How do they do that!??

If you are looking at finger prints or the like, You have a couple of options:

1) Use a micro-fiber cloth. Spray some water on the cloth or the TV screen and wipe down your screen. Make sure your micro-fiber cloth is clean before using it.

2) Don't have a spray bottle you can use for water? Moisten your micro-fiber cloth with you tap water and is that on your screen. The cloth just needs to barely be wet. Remember you don't want water to accidentally drip into your TV and create a short.

3) You can purchase a cleaner made specifically for cleaning today's TV screens. We sell the Monster Screen Cleaner at Gun's E-Z Own. You can spray it on the cloth or the TV screen and wipe the screen down. No Scratches, No melt, only clean.

The argument for purchasing these glass cleaners specifically for your TV Screen is that there are no harmful chemicals in them that would hurt your TV screen. Water does have chemicals in it to keep the water clean and bacteria free like chlorine and the like. But the screen cleaners don't have any of that.

We use the Monster Screen Cleaner to clean, my glasses, laptop screens, the laptop casing, TV screens and anything else we don't want to use glass cleaner for. We don't use it for our windows though, it gets a little tiring pressing that little pump for a 8 foot by 4 foot window.

I hope you have found this to be another helpful idea.

Thank you for reading my blog today. There will be more to come. If you like my blogs, please send the links to your friends. And remember you can find us on Facebook.


I hope you have a safe and blessed day.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gun's E-Z Own and Upholsetry Cleaning Codes

When you are out and about shopping for furniture, have you ever wondered how easy a sofa or love seat is to clean?

You can ask the sales representative how to clean or look for the cleaning code on one of the many tags that is on the furniture. But what do those cleaning codes mean? Today, I will answer that question for you.

There are four common cleaning codes in the industry. They are WSWS or X. Below are what each letter means.

W - Clean only with water based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Do not over wet. Do not use solvents to spot clean. Pile fabrics may require brushing to restore appearance. Cushion covers should not be removed and laundered.

S - Clean only with dry cleaning solvent. Do not saturate. Do not use water. Pile fabric may require brushing to restore appearance. Cushion covers should not be removed and dry cleaned.

WS - Clean with shampoo, foam or dry cleaning solvents as desired. Do not saturate with liquid. Pile fabrics may require brushing to restore appearance.

X - Do not clean with either water or solvent based cleaner. use vacuuming or light brushing only.

What happens if you clean your fabric upholstery the wrong way? Your fabric can begin to fall apart or unravel. Or you can make the dirty area worse. So you will want to read the cleaning code on the upholstery and then the ingredients of your cleaning products.

For those who prefer a professional to do the cleaning, any prominent cleaning company can clean the products for you.

We have used cleaning services before on really tough items. We had a white sofa & love seat with a cleaning code of S. Well we didn't have the proper equipment for proper cleaning and hired out to do this. Cost us over $200 back then.  That was like 16 years ago.

More recently, we had a five piece sectional that the structure was in really good shape but the fabric was filthy. We hand washed and then used a steam cleaner to pick up the dirt. This usually works, but this time around it seemed like all we did was move the dirt around. We tried three times but just couldn't get the dirt picked up. We hired the cleaners from across the road and they did all five pieces for only $189.00. They did an excellent job. After the cleaning, we sold the sectional within two weeks.

What about leather? Any good leather cleaner will work. You can go to the automotive department of your local store and find a leather seat cleaner. That will work just fine to get the body oils and dirt off of the leather.

Around here we do like the microfiber fabrics because they all have a WS code and makes it much easier for cleaning. And if you get a little line of ink from you pen accidentally on the arm of that sofa of yours, just get some warm soapy water and use a fingernail brush to clean it. Use small circular strokes and, tah dah, you will get that ink mark out. I know it works because I've done it.

I hope you found this information helpful. To the right is a sample of wear you can find the cleaning code on the model number tag. In this example you can see "W".

Remember you can follow us on Facebook and visit our website at gunsezown.com.

Thank you for reading. Have a safe and blessed day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Gun's E-Z Own Delivery Stories

I was going to blog about Lamps, but wasn't a bright idea. (ugh) It seemed like it might have been shady, (Stop) So I tabled it. (STOP!!!)

Ok, so I got you to roll your eyes. I'm one who enjoys a good pun. (Those are nothing like a good pun.)

I had mentioned in my last blog about some delivery war stories. Today I will elaborate on a couple of those stories.

I had mentioned that I had gone through a second story window. How was it that I got to that point. This was an upstairs apartment in an older house. The sofa was a long sofa with big arms. Which does not make for a good combination for easy deliveries.

The door was on the side, so you go in the door, go immediately right then up a couple of stairs then immediately to the left and then up the stairs. We got into the door without much of a problem. There was a wall that forced us to stand the sofa up on end. Then we tipped the sofa slightly to try to get it around the corner. Well we got it started around the corner and there we sat, The ceiling was too low, the hallway was too narrow and it was not going through. (By the way, why the heck did the builders of some of these homes build a stupid low ceiling in a stairway that you can bump your head on? I guess people were shorter long ago.)

So I begin thinking how this might work. I had gone through a first story window before but never a 2nd story window. Across from the house was a retaining wall. I went upstairs and measured the window, then measured the sofa height. We had a 1/4 of an inch on each side to get it in.

We took the sofa on end and used the retaining wall to get it as high as we could to the window. My assistant then ran upstairs and grabbed onto the sofa. I was military pressing the sofa over my head until he was able to get a good hold on the sofa. We got the sofa to the window. I left my spot and ran upstairs to help my assistant. We pulled the sofa through the window with little problems. Delivery done.

One more delivery story. I like to call this the delivery from hell.

It was in August. How do I remember what month? It was your typical August day. 95 degrees and the humidity was like 90%. It took us almost three hours to finish up that day because the heat was getting to us. We were delivering a short term rental for an Xcel (NSP) contractor. This was like 15 years ago. And it was a full house of stuff. The downstairs was not a problem. But once again going upstairs was a problem.

We got the bed room furniture upstairs with little issues except things were getting really heavy. Now for the mattresses. A little tight but yes, they went upstairs. Now for the foundations. The stairwell was an up some stairs, to the left and to the left for a complete u-turn. We tried to get a queen foundation upstairs. It wouldn't fit. So back down the stairs. Then we tried a Full size (double) foundation up the stairs and it wouldn't fit.

Not to be out down by a stupid foundation I pushed a little too much and BAM, there is a hole in the the drywall. &$&$&*#*!!. So I called it a day for that foundation and back down the stairs.

I told the customer about the wall and what I had to do for a beds for them. That afternoon I ran up to the cities and got two queen split foundations. Red Wing to the distributor in St. Paul was an hour one way. Hurried  on up then hurried on back and delivered the split foundations with no problem.

What about the hole in the wall? Me and construction don't get along to well. My forte is electronic stuff. I sent Marcia, my Office manager, who had done drywall repair before, over to the house and repaired the hole.

What was my point of this blog? Just to point out that when you purchase something from Gun's E-Z Own and want it delivered, we do our best to get the job done. We DO NOT drive to your house and drop it off on the curb and tell you you, "Here you go." We place that item where you want it. Upstairs, downstairs. Ahh, but the less the steps the better. (insert a smiley face here)

Some time I will tell you a couple of Repossession stories. Although they are not as exciting as what to see on TV.

Now that I have enlightened you, (I see what you did there) Thank you for reading. Have a safe and blessed day.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Shopping for Furniture at Gun's E-Z Own

Have you ever stopped in a furniture store and the sales rep asks you some questions that you hadn't thought about.


Well in this blog, I will be going over a few questions for you to think about while shopping for furniture. 

1) How much room do I have? 
When you visit a store, everything looks like it will fit perfect, then when you get it, there is now room for walking around the furniture.

We have seen this often enough that we can give some insight. The reason items look so small in the store is because the store is big. We have 3,500 square feet of show room floor. You most likely have less then 200 square feet for your living room.

Remember when Lily Tomlin sat in that huge chair. Yup, It's like that.

One tip you can use is once you have been to the store and get measurements of furniture would like to purchase, take some cardboard and cut it into those dimensions, lay it on the floor and see how everything would fit. Don't have card board? Ask us if we have some to spare.

2) How big is my doorway?
With most furniture we need at least a 32" wide door for deliveries. Some Sofas & Love Seats have larger arms which require a slightly larger doorway, but in general, if the doorway is 32" wide, the delivery should go well. .

Now I can tell you that I have delivered items with many different obstacles and I remember of only two times in almost 20 years I couldn't complete the deliver. 

Been through a second story window, put it on a second story terrace, taking doors off, taken windows out, walked on roofs. So Gun's E-Z Own does it's best to complete the delivery. But hey, I'm getting older and it's getting tougher for me to crawl through a second story window.

3) Do I want stationary or reclining furniture?
Just something to think about. If you like to lay across your furniture for that much desired afternoon nap, I would not suggest a reclining set.

If you usually nap sitting upright and you like that fact to can recline to read or watch TV, a reclining set would be for you. 

It's kinda of like the right tool for the right job. Those naps are important you know.

4) Do I want a Sofa & Love Seat or do I want a sectional?
Why think about this? Because some people like to rearrange their living rooms regularly. With a sectional there is not much of a choice for rearranging.

If you are one who likes to rearrange, I would not suggest a sectional. A Sofa & Love set is much easier rearrange.

The advantage of a sectional is that with some sectionals you can add seats. So if you think five seats is good, and once it is delivered and you wished you had 6 seats, we can order one more. This of course depends if the model allows additional seating.


5) What kind of "Look" am I Going for?
Modern, country, urban, Victorian. Big arms, small arms, straight arms. This will help you select a frame model. 

We realize that some people don't know what they want until they see it. Many times customers have come in the store shopping and when they see it, they know it and that is what they want.

6) What color scheme do I want?
With Ashley what you see is what you get. With Klaussner, if you find a look that you like there are many different fabrics to choose from.

Most people go with earth tome colors because color scheme goes with just about anything.

7) How soon do I want my new furniture?
It depends on who the distributor is that you picked out your furniture from. With Ashley it takes about a month. With Klaussner it takes 6-8 weeks.

However, if you find something you like in the store, That is what you would get and in this latter case, it would take 1-3 days depending one our delivery schedule.

We have had some people browse the store and want to order something and get it the next day. 
Sorry to say it, but when we order something, that won't happen until transporters are invented. And I can't wait for that to happen. No more second story windows or roof tops. Score!!

I hope you found this helpful. If you have any other question you can contact us at gunsezown@gmail.com. To see what furniture we sell check out Gun's E-Z Own's website and select products.

Until next time be safe and be thankful for the day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Gun's E-Z Own on TV's & Sports

Do you remember what it was like back in the day watching sports on a 19" TV? Some of may not remember what a big deal it was to get your first color tv. I sure do. Now TV's have all the bells and whistles, old guys like me don't know how to use.

I go back further, but Back in 1997, my family purchased a Crosley 27" tube TV from E-Z Own. We had been married for 7 years and now it was time for our first NEW TV. A 27" screen was a huge back then. The sizes went from 19" to 27" to 32" to 55". And man were they heavy. Back then the 55" rear projection TV's were available then, put for a hefty price. Over time the TV sizes became more diverse, bigger and better. The company had delivered 42" tube TV's with speakers on the side. Call the Chiropractor.

Recently, with the flat panel TV's becoming more and more popular, I kept waiting from my 27" to die. But it wouldn't. I waited and waited. I wasn't looking for a fancy TV with all the bells and whistles. Just a larger screen to watch sports and movies on. What the heck does one need a smart TV for?

Well, finally in 2014 there was a good deal from one of our distributors and that cinched the decision to upgrade. What a great deal for a 47" LED TV. 47"!!!! I'll be honest, I didn't read all the specs, my TV stand would hold a 47" TV and that is what mattered. I ordered one for the family and 3 more for the store. (They weren't on the floor long.)

The TV's arrived, I paid for ours and brought it home. Got the TV un-boxed, set it up, turned it on. WOW!!!!! What an outstanding picture. Great colors and going from a 27" to a 47", it was like being at the movies.

Looking at the remote I thought, "Wonder what this does?" Oh, cool, it has apps on it. It's a smart TV. Ok, cool not a big deal, I won't be using that. HA!

After about two months, I started using more and more of the Smart features like, Netflix, Yahoo, Amazon Plus. I watch more of that then regular TV. The guy who didn't need any Smart features now can't get along without it. This made the value of the TV even more significant.

In the mean time I watched a lot of sports. I'm into Football college and pro, Gopher Sports, especially wrestling. NCAA Men's Basketball. I do enjoy an occasional Twins baseball game. The occasional hockey game. This year the Commecialympics.

One evening the family decided to watch the Twins game. I was in awe of how clear and bright the picture was. The green color of the field was awesome.

Being a former a wrestler, I didn't learn the intricacies of a basketball game. The plays, strategies and the like. So I really didn't enjoy watching basketball on my 27" TV. The players looked liked they were just running around in circles, getting jumbled up throwing some round object up into the air and then running to the other side of the court.

With that new 47" LED TV, I was able to actually see the pick and roll, how the defense was setting up, how the offense was moving the ball around. That brought back the joy of watching the game.

Then we get to football. I'm not sure about you but when at a football game in person, I would rather be up higher in the stands as to see the whole field and watch the play for the offensive and defense set up during the action.

With a larger screen you can see most of that action and you don't have to squint. Of course the TV cameras doesn't cover the secondary during the play, just in re-plays, but boy is it fun to watch.

Two years later, I turned the TV onto a baseball game and turned to my wife and said, "Wow, I am still in awe of this picture. It is so cool."

Not everyone is into sports, but almost everyone is into clear, colorful pictures, And that is what Gun's E-Z Own carries. TV's that will give you a clear, colorful pictures.

We carry LG, Sharp, Samsung, Sony, Haier. 24" up to 65". Smart, 1080p, 4K 120hz and more. We may not have them in stock, but we can order them in from our distributors. If you are looking to upgrade your TV or need a second TV, Stop in the store and take a watch.

GOOD TV WATCHING to all my readers.

Have a safe and blessed day.








Monday, August 22, 2016

Why does Gun's E-Z Own have used furniture?

Good Question. We do get asked that quite often as to why Gun's E-Z Own has used furniture on the store. Well it's not because we like to have used furniture in stock.

There are two reasons we have used furniture in stock:
1) We repossessed it
2) it was on a short term rental

Referring to #1 Repossessions. Our contracts are an Interest Bearing Promissory Note and Security Agreement. Well, what the heck does that mean?

It means because we are giving our customers a loan, we hold the product they purchased as collateral. How So? Remember we have Gun's E-Z Own Sales and Gun's E-Z Own Financing. Gun's E-Z Own Sales sells the product and Gun's E-Z Own Financing, finances the purchase with a loan to the customer. Like a car loan.

So if a customer can't or won't make their monthly payment, we will repossess the product from them.

In the State of Minnesota we have what is called Self Help Repossessions. We, Gun's E-Z Own, will go to customers place of residence and knock on doors to collect money or the property.

I am a member of St. John's Red Wing.This past Sunday the pastor was giving the Children's Message. The sermon was based on Judges 7:1-8a and related it to door knocking.. During the Children's Message, he told some knock knock jokes to the kids and then asked the kids what they expected when they knocked on the door. Since I have been doing the E-Z Own thing for almost 20 years, I leaned over to my wife and said, "Money, I expect money when I door knock." This is suppose to be tongue in cheek humor.

Honestly, most of our customers are good paying customers, so I don't have to door knock as often as I use to. But I still have to do it.

Repossessing furniture is not as dramatic what you see the Repo Men do on TV. Most customer are relieved that they don't have the financial obligation any longer because they fell on hard times. I have had people shout, threaten and be complete jerks, but that is a rarity. I can tell you some of my war stories at a later time. I have a few.

As for #2 Rentals. If you remember from a previous BLOG, We use our used/previously owned furniture first for the short term rentals and when in a pinch we fill in with new furniture. And since the renter used it, we must categorize it as used.

When you are in the store you will see to different colored price tags. The White tag is new items, the Yellow tag is previously owned items.

To the right are what you would find.

Bottom line, as a rule of thumb, we do not purchase people's used furniture nor do we do consignment sales.

I hope that answered the used furniture question in clear form. I think I have mentioned before that there are many twist and turns in running an E-Z Own store. Some can get complicated.

Until next time, have blessed and safe day.

Monday, August 15, 2016

What can I find Gun's E-Z Own Website?

Back in 2006 I was asked by my boss at the time if I was willing to take classes to learn how to code html for our website. I told him I was interested. It was interesting learning something technical and a new language that I hadn't known before. Not quite the same as working the control room during a cable cast, but I can get my tech fix by working with coding.

So I signed up for an online course from our local technical college in Red Wing. It was a 10 week course. From start to finish, the class would give instruction, the student got "homework" using practical exercises and each class finished with a test. Believe it or not I passed the course. See that to the right, that looked like Greek to me before I started.

And now you know the rest of the story. I've been doing the then E-Z Own and the now Gun's E-Z Own website ever since.

Now if you have already been to our website, you have already seen what content Gun's E-Z Own has. I like to go by the K.I.S.S. system. Keep It Simple Stupid.

I know it's not flashy with all the bells and whistles, but I wanted to keep it simple so it was easy enough to do a quick ix to coding if needed and so that customers can navigate is easy. Find where they want to go without having to look for the sometimes, hard to find links. You know what I'm talking about. You are trying to find a specific thing and you can't find the link and then you do. And when you try to go back to find that certain link, you can't remember were you found it in the first place. Yep, been there.

Our official website address www.gunsezown.com

So what will you find on Gun's E-Z Own website.

Well of course the HOME page. You gotta have a home page. Currently there is a video of me explaining Gun's E-Z Own.

Then there is the ABOUT US button. This page answers common questions that we get. But if you have been following my blog, most of those questions have been answered.

And if you want to do some shopping, you can click on our PRODUCTS button. This page brings you to several links like IN STOCK items, SPECIALS, and links to our distributors' pages.

Now on our IN STOCK link, that will bring you to a google page with folders that break down the pictures categories. For pricing you will need to call the store. Give use the first six digits of the item you are interested in and we can quote you a price.

We have RENTAL INFO for those who are only looking to rent an item for 3-6 months. You will also find the Rental Customer Info Sheet, Rental Agreement, and Package pricing

Then there is the CREDIT APP. You can download this, fill it out and fax it to us at 651.388.3951. If you are savvy enough working with pdf files, you can filled it out and e-mail it to us at gunsezown@gmail.com.

Then the final page is our MAKE A PAYMENT page. You can make payments to us online. You won't be able to get a balance on your account online, remember we are just a small business. But you can call in to get a balance.

There you have it, our website in a nutshell. I hope you have time to visit our website and then stop on down to the store to say, "Hi" and see in person what we have in stock.

We are also have a Facebook page. We try to keep it light a positive. Just showing some highlight furniture some funny memes and a joke or two.

Thank you for reading today. Have a blessed and safe day.



Friday, August 5, 2016

Does Gun's E-Z Own do Rentals?

When it comes to RENTALS, Gun's E-Z Own does Short Term, Long Term and Staging Rentals. We rent the products we carry.

Be it a Apartment, house, bungalow or the dog's house, we can furnish for you for the length you need it for.

Let me explain the difference between financing and rental. Gun's E-Z Own is NOT a rent to own, we are a licensed finance company. So when you finance a purchase, you are paying for the item to own it in the end without a lien on it. Similar to a car loan.

When to rent something, it does not go towards the purchase of the product. So if you rent a $500 sofa and end up paying $200 in rental fees, the sofa retail is still $500 when you have completed the rental. Now I know you are going to ask WHY or What the....? The reason is that we MUST follow Minnesota Regulations. Rent to owns can not operate in the State of Minnesota and if we discounted the product for the rent paid, it looks like a rent to own and we could be fined heavily.

So if you think that after a year rental that you may want to purchase the rented items, you may want to consider financing instead of renting.

A majority of Gun's E-Z Own rentals are Xcel contractors that are in Red Wing for 6-12 months and want to give the furniture back and move on to their next job. Or down in Rochester, we have had several rentals of people from the middle east whom are getting medical treatment at Mayo.

Another popular rental we do is lift recliners. If you have had surgery on your knee, hip or shoulder and really won't be able to lift yourself out of a recliner, a lift recliner is just the thing. Our lift chairs will lift you to your feet so there is little stress on your affected body area. It would also be comfortable enough to take a nap in or sleep overnight in.

If you are trying to sell your home, we have worked realtors, stagers or individual home owners. We have a staging package, so if you wish to stage a home, contact us and and if you want someone with a good eye for putting rooms together speak with Marcia. Marcia has a better eye then I do. Hey, I'm a guy, I see only one shade of red, not nine. If you can't make it into the store, we have gone with pictures of the inside of the home that is trying to be sold. Then e-mail photos back and forth.

What we DON'T rent is constructions items, folding chairs, folding tables or plates, forks knifes and the like. We are strictly Furniture, Electronics and Appliances.

Back to the regular rentals, we have different packages for different needs. There is the economy one or two bedroom and the Executive one or two bedroom packages. You can see what is included in the RENTAL by clicking on RENTAL. We have only select in stock items that we will let go out on rental.

The items we rent is based on what we have in stock. If you need to rent a California King Mattress set and we don't have one, you would need to stay with a queen or regular king set.

And if this a service you need, we will do our best to see to it, your temporary stay is a comfortable one. Our contact info is 651.388.3951 or gunsezown@gmail.com.

Have a wonderful and blessed day.




Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How to save with Gun's E-Z Own Low Interest Program.

For those who are interested in interest, this blog will be explaining the different interest programs Gun's E-Z Own offers.

Now the first option is to pay cash out right and you get a 20% cash sale discount on regular priced items. Here you pay zero percent interest and get to see my smiley face as I count the cash. I kid. You can pay with cash, check or credit card.

Let me first mention our regular interest rate up front. Our standard rates are 18.0%, 24.0% and 28.8% simple interest. We are a high risk lending institution and do not apologize for our rates. Heck, if you saw our books some months you would wonder why we don't charge more. : ) Anyway, the 28.8% is first time customers and problem customers who are always late with their payments. The 24% is used for our okay paying customers who maybe late 3-4 times per loan. The 18% is for our good customers who do not have any late fees and long time customers. So if you are a new customer and are at the 28.8% simple interest, you pay off your loan with NO late fees, we will lower you down to 18% on your next loan.

Now for our lower interest rate programs.

We have a 90 day interest free financing option. You would pay 10% down, make your monthly payment and pay your account in full within 90 days and you get your purchase interest free. So an example would be, for $1,000, you pay $100 down, and your monthly payment is $84.00 per month. You would pay your monthly payment of $84, not being late, for two months and on the third month you would pay your loan off. Zero percent financing.

We also have a 6% and 12 % interest program. And each of these programs works the same. You must pay the 10% down to qualify. Now this will be a little more difficult to explain. As to try not to bore you to tears, I will give a simplified explanation. There will be a little more to these programs. You can stop by the store and get more info.

Scenario: $1,000 purchase, $100 down and 16 months at $84 per month. This is at a 28.8% simple interest. We do up the contract. Let's say you tell us that you can afford $100 per month. With our 12% Interest program, we would have you to sign a form that you agree to make 12 monthly payments of $95.00 per month and have NO late fees, we would then credit your account any interest you paid over the 28.8% interest, so you end up only paying 12.0% simple interest.

For the 6% program, you would need to pay $182.00 per month for 6 months with NO late fees.

The nice thing about this program is that you can always opt out. So if the paychecks are not quite up to snuff you can say you wish to only pay the regular monthly payment and void the low interest rate program.

You must decide at time of purchase however if you wish to opt in this money saving program.

Phew, congrats, you made it through the blog. I get it, this stuff is tough to read, but I wanted to make you aware of these programs so you can save yourself some hard earned money.

Thank you for reading. Next time, I will be tackling questions Gun's E-Z Own receives about our Rentals. Rentals? yes, we do rentals as well.

Stay safe and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How do I get financing at Gun's E-Z Own Financing?

Recently, my son was going to purchase a car from my father and needed a loan to do so. My son went to his bank here in town and they wanted documents from my dad like home mortgage papers, banking information, Tax return information and more. Then they wanted more documents from my son. Well why did they need my dad's info. he wasn't getting a loan. This can be very frustrating.

At Gun's E-Z Own, we make it as simple as we can. So what we have you do is fill out what we call a Customer Information Sheet, aka credit application. It only takes to 10 to 15 minutes to fill it out.

Page one of our CIS asks for your name, address and landlord name. Previous address, place of employment and their contact information.

Page two, we get a copy of your Driver's License and proof of your SSN. Four character references, two relatives and two friends all with different phone numbers and addresses. We try to get you approved within one day. Sometimes we have to fax stuff to employers and landlords and then they take a little extra time to get back to us.

Our minimum requirements are 3 months at your residence and 3 months at your place of employment. We ask all this information because we DON'T do credit checks. You must also live in our service area. Within 30 miles of Red Wing or Rochester.

If we can't get a hold of your employer and landlord in a reasonable amount of time, we will ask you to bring in pay stubs as proof of your employment and a copy of your lease or utility bill as proof of your residence.

Once approve you pay 10% of the retail price. For example if you wish to purchase a Sofa and Love Seat that retails for $999.99. You would put $100 down and pay an estimated $84 per month. It's works like a car loan. Put a down payment and make monthly payments on the loan.

Estimated, what do you mean estimated? Well there are different factors, such as what interest rate you would be at, do you need delivery and where is the delivery. We charge to deliver the product. (Hey, those chiropractic appointments to adjust my back don't pay for themselves.) Then we also offer credit insurance and extended warranties which would factor in.

People ask if we are a Rent to Own. NO, we are not. We hold an Industrial Loan License and we must follow the Minnesota Department of Commerce regulations. Speaking of which I better put this disclaimer in. You can read it or skip it. Sample Disclosure: for $1,000 loan, $100 down, 16 payments of $84 APR 31.62%.

So if you need financing, stop in the store or download our Customer Information Sheet and we will get you set up with some nice furniture.

Back to my son's loan. I told them to go to my bank, which they did. He filled out a two page loan application and got approved within two days.

Just like my son, who was able to get a newer car, you can get a loan for new furniture, appliances or electronics from Gun's E-Z Own, Which will make you happy. If that doesn't I'll have to tell you an Ole & Lena joke.

Next time, I will go over our different interest rate options. I will let you know how you can pay zero percent interest which will make you even happier. I don't know if it would make you happier than an Ole & Lena joke but it will be close.

Thank you for reading my blog. Until next time, Stay Safe and Have Great Day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What kind of appliances & electronics/computers does Gun's E-Z Own carry?

The last two weeks I have volunteered time helping people from my church with their moves to other locations. Isn't funny how we accumulate items over the years and don't realize how much we have accumulated. I also found that I really hate stairs. Especially with a 1970's 16 cubit foot chest freezer in my arms. I know where you can get an updated chest freezer and it will be 50 lbs lighter. And more energy efficient.  But I digress.

Oh, look This week I just happen to be going over different types of appliances and electronics/computers we carry. Hmm, coincidence?

APPLIANCES

Let's start with appliances. We carry Crosley products. Washers, dryers, chest freezers, upright freezers, refrigerators and dishwashers. 

The next question who is Crosley. They have been around since 1920. Crosley started out with radios, then in the '30's got into refrigerators with the shelvador. I had a Crosley radio growing up. A little white box with a dial tuner. I wish I still had that radio. Crosley also manufactured cars in the '30 & '40's.

Why Crosley? Because they have a 10 year warranty. 1 years parts & labor and 9 years major parts. We do offer extended warranties to get parts & labor for the first 2 or 3 years. We have had very little problems with the Crosley brand.


Gun's E-Z Own also has access to LG, Frigidaire and Danby appliances, but those would be a special order. Danby has some cool items like camo freezers for the guys & wine coolers for the gals. If you have a camo freezer, how would you find it again? Just asking.

ELECTRONICS

On one of the moves I volunteered for, this gentlemen still had an old console TV. I didn't know those were still around. And man was it heavy. We put it on a two wheel dolly and wheeled up a steep hill to get it to the moving truck. It took one person pulling and three more pushing the dolly. It was like participating at the Vikings training camp with a blocking sled. Which reminds me that one of my favorite seasons is coming up. FOOTBALL. Got see the Vikings & Gophers on a bigger screen TV. And a TV that is much lighter than an old console TV.

When it comes to electronics/computers, we have many different options. Unfortunately we don't have a catalog for electronics. We have 4 different distributors we can order from. So just let us know what you are looking for and will ask our distributors if they have it or can get it.

We generally carry LG televisions on the floor. Typically 32" to 60".  For TV brands we can also get Sony, Samsung, Haier, Phillips, Vizio etc. The Haier TV's don't have a lot of features, but they have a great picture.

We can also order in stereos, soundbars and more. 

In the computer area there are many options as well. Laptop, desktop, tablets and the like. In general we carry HP & ASUS but have access to Acer, Dell & Samsung.

There you have it. Furniture, Appliances & Electronics all under the same roof. Now next week i plan to discuss our finance options and Cash Sales Discounts.

Have a wonderful week. Hope to see you in the store soon. Remember to like us on Facebook and visit our website at gunsezown.com. There you will find answers to common questions, what we have in stock and links to our distributors.



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What type products does Gun's E-Z Own carry?


I hope you all had a safe and fun Independence Day weekend. My family & I spent time with friends & family. Watched some town team baseball and finished it off with fireworks.

After my last blog I ran into this apostrophe cartoon. You know, Gun's versus Guns.  I will exclaim that you might find it questionable. Then there are some of you that may not find it very punny at all. I hear a few of you yelling, "STOP IT!" Got to love the puns. : )

Alright, Alright, I'll get back on track. I'm suppose to be telling you the type of products Gun's E-Z Own carries.  The short answer is FURNITURE, APPLIANCES, ELECTRONICS & COMPUTERS.

This week I will focus in the furniture area. Here is part of the LONG answer and small list of what you can find:
Sofas                         Headboards
Love Seats                Chests
Chairs                       Dressers with mirrors
Recliners                  Night Stands
Sectionals                 Entertainment center
Futons                       TV Stands
Coffee Tables            Office Desks
End Tables                 Cabinets
Sofa Tables                Bookshelves
Dining Sets                Mattresses
Hutches & Buffets  

To list a few. But this is, in general, the types of furniture Gun's E-Z Own would carry. There are variations for instances, in sofas you can get them stationary, reclining or with a hide-a-bed. Coffee Tables can have lift tops, End Tables can have electrical outlets and USB charging ports. Furniture is our most diverse product lines that we have. I could go on and on and on, but I know your eyes would start glazing over.

If you would like to know what we have in stock, you can go to gunsezown.com, click on Products and then click on In Stock or click this IN STOCK link to go directly to the In Stock page.

We carry furniture from Ashley Furniture, Klaussner, Allwood Furniture and Kodiak Furniture. You can find links to our distributors on our website.

Through Ashley Furniture we can get pretty much anything listed above.

Klaussner is all upholstery; stationary and reclining, Sofas, loves & sectionals. All special order.

Allwood Furniture is all solid oak dining sets that are assembled right here in Minnesota. All very sturdy.

Kodiak Furniture is all futons and futon mattresses.

You can always give us a call at 651.388.3951 with any further questions you may have or e-mail us at gunsezown@gmail.com.

 Next week I will go over the other categories appliances and electronics/computers. Computers fall under electronics and that is where we place them on our website but for this purpose I separated them so you know we
carry computers.

Just an FYI. We also have a Facebook page, just search for Gun's E-Z Own.




We will catch you next week. Stay safe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What is Gun's E-Z Own?

What is Gun's E-Z Own?

Well, let's start with the name. It is Gun's E-Z Own and not Guns E-Z Own. There is an apostrophe between the "n" and "s." Which make it possessive. Yea, I hated grammar too. I still don't understand what a dangling participle is.

I've been going by Gun since my army days. It is short for Gunder, which is my great grandfather's name from the old country, Norway. I was tired of people not being able to pronounce it correctly, so I shortened it to make it easier for people.

Now, Why did I chose the name for the business? Well, uh, er, it was lack of creativity to be honest. I kept brainstorming, but Gun's was at the top and  I still wanted to keep the E-Z Own name relevant as to not create confusion for our current customers. so Gun's E-Z Own it is.

So this might be a shocker, Gun's E-Z Own does NOT sell firearms. Now that covers what we don't do. So now what do we do:

What Gun's E-Z Own does is sell FURNITURE, APPLIANCES and ELECTRONICS. Hence the sofa in our logo. We also deliver the product into your home and place it where you want. We do charge a fee, but at least we don't just set the product on the curb and say here you go, see you later.

What makes us different is that we offer financing to those who need it. Hence the SALES & FINANCING in the logo. Without boring you to tears there are two companies under the same roof. Gun's E-Z Own Sales & Gun's E-Z Own Financing. Can you guess who sells you the furniture and who finances the furniture.

Gun's E-Z Own also does short term rentals. For instance, a contractor from Xcel Energy is in town for 3-6 months. These people are traveling all across the country and wish not to drag their furniture everywhere. We have rental packages that these professionals can rent for a short time.

Another example of one of our big rentals is when someone has hip or knee surgery, the rent a lift recliner for a month during recovery time. That way they don't have to purchase one when they only need for a month.

So there you go, Gun's E-Z Own in a nutshell. We sell & finance & rent furniture, appliances and electronics.

Remember to like us on Facebook. Let us know what other social medium you would like to use to get you information. Also you can visit our website at gunsezown.com. (Ok , smart guy, yes there is no apostrophe in the web address. I know.)

Next time around, I will get more into the products we carry.

Have  wonderful and safe 4th of July.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Who owns Gun's E-Z Own?

Howdy, my name is Gun Gunhus.

I am married with 3 adult children. I am originally from Kenyon, MN class of '82. For Kenyon I competed at the State Wrestling Tournament at Heavyweight.

Now for the executive summary of my resume.

Was in the Army for 3 years. I graduated from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota in 1992. I graduated with a Degree in Radio/TV. I worked for KBJJ-FM (Nothing but the Good Stuff) in Marshall doing sports & overnights. Looking for a daytime gig, I was hired on by KCUE-AM of Red Wing in the fall of 1992. That didn't last long, but I stayed in the area and moved on to driving school bus, then city bus and then propane truck.

 In February of 1997 Steve Hunnicutt hired me on to be an account manager for E-Z Own in Red Wing, MN. One year later I was promoted to manager. That just meant I did the same stuff and added more responsibility. Including cleaning the restroom.

We were in a 700 square foot building and 90% of our sales came out of a catalog. In 1999 we moved across the street into a 3,600 square foot building 3150 North Service Drive, that has since been demolished and is now a parking lot.

In November 2002, we moved downtown into what is known as the old Red Wing VFW,  816 Main Street, which is 4,500 square feet. Yes, we did move before they demolished the North Service Drive building. And the old Red Wing VFW is where we have been since.

I was eventually promoted to Regional Manager and had five stores that I oversaw. That's five restrooms to clean. Duluth, Coon Rapids, West St. Paul, Red Wing and Rochester. After E-Z Own closed the Coon Rapids & W. St. Paul Store, I was assigned to take on the St. Cloud Store. Lots of windshield time.

In 2013 the previous owner wanted to take himself one step closer to  retired and decided to sell off five of his six stores. I purchased the Red Wing & Rochester Stores. The Rochester store had been on the decline for several years prior to me purchasing the store. But I was optimistic that we could get business to pick up. But it didn't and in March of 2015 I made the decision to close the Rochester store. The drive time to work has been cut drastically now.

I still have the store in Red Wing and we continue to take it one day at a time. There is myself, Marcia who started working for me in 1998 as an assistant and Ben, who helps with deliveries and runs the store every once in a while.

So there you have it a brief history of the owner of Gun's E-Z Own. Next time i will tackle the common question, What is Gun's E-Z Own?

Until next time, hope you all have a wonderful day.