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Feb 22, 2006
Feb 22, 2006
Replacements for Crystal, China and More
Months before my wedding twelve years ago, thanks to some extremely generous family members, my husband and I received a complete set of the crystal and china that we registered for. Over the years, we have rarely used the pieces, mainly because when we host holiday dinners, we generally serve it buffet style. Recently, we used our Lenox Windswept crystal pieces, and, unfortunately, as I was washing them, I broke a champagne flute.
Since our pattern was no longer carried at the stores at which the pieces were originally purchased, I first checked the Lenox online store, but was unsuccessful in locating the pattern. A quick internet search brought me to Replacements, Ltd. located at www.replacements.com.
On the homepage you are greeted with a brief history of the company, and along the top are tabs entitled "China", "Crystal", "Silver", "Collectibles", "Specials", "Shopping Cart", "Neat Things", "Info", "Register Patterns" and "This Month". These tabs appear on every page so that if you want to change your search, or look for something else, you can do so at any time. There is also a search box on the right side of the screen so that you can type in exactly what you are looking for, if you know the product's name.
I began by typing in "Windswept Champagne Flute", but came up with no search results, so that I began thinking that I would not be able to replace the broken piece. After typing in simply "Windswept Champagne", I was able to locate the piece I wanted, which was listed as a Fluted. I was happy to find the product I was looking for, though was a bit unimpressed with the searching ability. Another way to find this item would be to click on the "Crystal" tab on the top of the screen, click on "L" for Lenox and then on the Windswept link to see the available pieces for that pattern.
After choosing the pattern you are interested in looking at, you will either see a photo or a sketch of a piece as an example of the design. There is a brief description of the pattern, its manufacturing dates (Lenox Windswept was discontinued in 2003) and link to register your pattern with Replacements, Ltd. so that they will email you inventory and price lists for your pattern.
First, a list of regular quality, full priced items are presented, with the amount in stock, the name of the piece, its dimensions, price, and a box to add it to your cart. Additionally, if a picture of a camera is shown, clicking on it will show you a photograph of that particular item. While I do not recall the exact prices that were paid for the pieces to my set twelve years ago, the prices at Replacements, Ltd. appear to be fair and in line with the original prices.
Following this list are items that are discounted 25% due to "slight imperfections", in the same format as the previous list. Underneath that is a list of pieces that are not currently in stock, but that were made for the particular pattern being viewed. Here, rather than the option to add it to your cart, you can click on "Find this for me!" and you will be notified when and if Replacements, Ltd. is able to find it for you.
I chose to purchase the first quality champagne flute to complete my set, but had I been considering the discounted imperfect version, I would have emailed the company to find out exactly what the problem was. Based on the emails I have received from the company, both prior to my order, after I simply registered my pattern and after my purchase, I would expect a fast and complete reply.
After adding the item I wanted to my shopping cart, I was brought to a screen which showed the shipping costs. Since I was not a big rush, I chose the 7 to 10 business day shipping option, which was the cheapest option at $10.99 for my $39.99 champagne flute. After choosing your shipping option, your shipping and billing address and credit card information needs to be added on this page as well. There is also an option of using a personal check or money order, but as I used a credit card I am not sure as to what other information is required for those options. At the top of the page, it is noted that all orders are subject to prior sale, which is understandable as the company deals with discontinued items that they may not be able to restock.
I received my champagne flute exactly one week after placing my order, which was quicker than the promised arrival time. When I received the package from Replacements, Ltd. I was a bit concerned that maybe I had accidentally ordered more than I intended to since the box on my doorstep was about 12" x 13.5" x 14", which is much larger than the single item I was expecting. I had ordered the correct item, and only one flute was inside the box, and I was impressed with the care taken and the amount of bubble wrap and packing peanuts that cushioned my item and ensured that it arrived safely. After all, what is the purpose of ordering a replacement piece of crystal or china, only to have it arrive broken?
On the back of the packing slip is their return and exchange information, which indicates that they want you to be fully satisfied with your purchase. While I did not need to return anything, it does indicate that you have thirty days to return the item, and all of their stamps and labels must remain on the product to ensure proper credit. On that note, the champagne flute that I purchased had the original small green Lenox sticker on it, as well as a white sticker with stock numbers on it which apparently was Replacements, Ltd. tag. I was able to remove this sticker with my finger, and no sticky residue was left.
Replacements, Ltd. is located in Greensboro, NC, so if you are going that way and need to complete a set you own, you can stop in and save yourself shipping charges. For the rest of us, their website is easy to navigate, the emails are helpful and their shipping is fast. I am hoping not to break anything else, but it is good to know that they currently have items from my china pattern as well.