“Hello, I am very interested in purchasing the Howard Miller J.H. Miller II Grandfather Clock Model 611-031 (611031) with tubular chimes, or perhaps the Howard Miller J.H. Miller Grandfather Clock Model 611-030 (611030), which looks identical, but is several thousand dollars less expensive. I would ideally like to see any grandfather clock I purchase in person. May I stop by one of your stores to compare these clocks, and perhaps some other Howard Miller, Ridgeway, and Hermle Grandfather Clocks I have also found quite intriguing”.
The above grandfather clock sale inquiry is not at all unusual. People, especially in an ideal world, want to see and hear and even touch all the choices before them in person. Some grandfather clocks shoppers come carrying an array of wood samples, others carrying paint color chips, some bring along a friend for a second opinion, and some simply want to see and hear how each grandfather clock might sound, and the differences and similarities between and among different grandfather clock makers.
I know if I was considering spending several thousand dollars on a grandfather clock or floor clock, I would surely want to see it and hear it in person before I bought it, even id I knew it was made by a quality maker with an excellent reputation. Having said that, there are literally hundreds of grandfather clock models to choose from, and at least in the New York tri-state area, which includes New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, it is difficult to find any place that will have even a significant number of new grandfather clocks on display. We had in our Grand Central Station Store for many years, until we were forced to close it after the entire floor on which we were located was taken over and occupied by the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority, maybe 3-4 grandfather clocks on display at any one time, and as far as we knew, that was the largest selection in the New York City area. The economics of selling grandfather clocks, and mantle clocks and wall clocks etc. has led over the years to a continuing and ongoing reduction in the number of brick and mortar stores selling both new and antique grandfather clocks.
We still make sure to keep some grandfather clocks on display in one or more of our locations, but when one adds in space for wristwatches and pocket watches, not to mention space for repair of mechanical cable driven and chain driven grandfather clocks, keywound wall clocks, antique mantel clocks and much more, it takes up space. We try to keep much inventory in antique clocks and antique pocket watches (and like to purchase collections of old pocketwatches and wristwatches, and even clocksmith tools, whether the timepieces are working or not).
We frequently have to ask our clock customers to make a leap of faith, that yes, the grandfather clock will look as good and sound as good, or maybe better, in person. We look for ways to help people deal with this legitimate desire to see a clock before plunking down thousands of dollars.
The good news is that when we get feedback from customers who buy without first seeing the grandfather clock in person, the feedback is almost universally that the grandfather clock was MUCH NICER overall than they expected. A satisfied grandfather clocks customer and owner makes it all worthwhile!
Howard Miller J.H. Miller Grandfather Clock Model 611-030 (611030) (on left)
Howard Miller J.H. Miller II Grandfather Clock Model 611-031 (611031) (on right)