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Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

Brighton
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6 posts
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Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

How to ruin a lovely day in beautiful Petworth? Visit this shop. Proprietorial behaviour ranging from grudging resentment to outright rudeness seems highly likely. Things may improve (in the case of the male owner only) if you buy something but don't expect that to carry over to your next visit. I love Petworth and have now looked into this shop four times and, on my first visit, bought four pieces of antique decorative metal garden furniture. It didn't buy me any courtesy. With large 'Open' signs on display, the welcome you receive when you ring the bell is 'I suppose so ..... I'm rather busy ... will you be long? ...I'm about to have something to eat ....I'm preparing a .....'. 'Today the owner sighed and said "just for a minute" because he was busy doing something to a mirror. He then grilled us about whether we were collectors and/or looking for something in particular and ordered us out incredibly rudely when we said we are not collectors of anything but wanted to look around the shop (which seems to stock general antiques, despite the name). When we hesitated in shock he held the door open and said that he would "spend an hour if we knew what we wanted but couldn't “stand around all day while we browsed". I said I had browsed before and ended up purchasing but wouldn't be back and the answer was "Good!!" I am invariably polite and do not knock things over, stay too long or talk too much. Its just that this shop has been the opposite of customer friendly. There really are better places to go to in Petworth.

9 replies to this topic
Sevenoaks, United...
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1. Re: Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

Funnily enough, just had a very similar experience, hence the look on Trip Advisor. Incredibly rude owner practically threw us out when we said we were browsing (in fact we were looking for a number of pieces of furniture to furnish a study and a summer house, therefore nothing specific). He harangged us saying he only wanted to talk to people who knew about antiques ,we were clearly not the type of people who buy antiques, his shop was not a museum, my husband looked like a bus driver and his shop had cost him £750, 000 or something along those lines...extraordinary ... It was almost funny ... although quite shocking at the time. Like you, we won't be going back!

Brighton
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6 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

Really sorry to hear of your experience which sounds even worse than ours. Our reaction was similar too - it should be funny but isn't because the contempt is so shocking. Hope you found what you were looking for elsewhere.

Vancouver, Canada
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3 posts
70 reviews
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3. Re: Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

I am sorry for your experience but am somewhat sympathetic to the owners. I do intend to visit if they happen to let us in. Being a small antique shop owner myself, I understand their frustrations completely and my only advice would be for them to limit their time in the store and hire an employee to entertain the local custom. After 31 years I limit myself to two hours a day. Too many people think we live like Lovejoy, make pots of money, work 60 minutes a day and don't pay any tax. Not to mention have several free hours to hang about drinking tea and listen to implausible stories regarding items they wish to sell. Did I mention we dealers don't enjoy customers belittling our stock in order to get it for a lower price. If the items so bad why do they want to buy it. I could write a book but I'm sure you just caught the dealer on a bad day after being up since 3 or 4am searching for fresh stock for his store. There only antiques Is it really worth getting upset about?

Godalming, United...
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4. Re: Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

Rude and offensive shop owner. It was so bad we thought he was actually joking. I have never ever encountered anyone with such appalling manners. He seemed to think we needed to know exactly what we were looking for as if the concept of browsing until something catches the eye had never occurred to him. The shop was a shambles, Have huge sympathy for small businesses trying to make a living in a difficult climate but this man deserves nothing except to be avoided. I do not know if this is typical of shop owners in Petworth but sadly unlikely to return to find out.

London, United...
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5. Re: Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

We have always found him no his partner Carla charming and have bought several pieces from them ...maybe we know the secret password!

I'm guessing that years of "just browsing " or "we've got one just like that " must send dealers around the twist.

They have a very good "eye" and we always found them very welcoming and worth the visit-usually we've gone in looking for one item and come out with something completely different-I've got a large model of the cutt sark in pride of iplace that came from him

Brighton
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6 posts
16 reviews
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6. Re: Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

Thanks everyone for adding to this thread. At least I know it wasn’t just me. Petworth is starting to look really diminished as an antiques centre since Two of the best shops closed. It’s a great shame. Happy New Year.

Horsham, United...
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4 posts
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7. Re: Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

They are awful people - they often sell (or at least the female partner does) at local antique fairs and are just as awful and discourteous. I used to buy and sell in a small way, and she was invariably incredibly rude and belittling in trying to get items as cheaply as possible. In answer to the person who responded who IS an antique dealer - courtesy costs absolutely nothing. And in answer to the chap above who often buys and always finds them courteous - you obviously look like a big spender and they want your cash - that's all it is!!!

Wallington, United...
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8. Re: Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

We have visited Petworth a number of times and have not been able to visit this Store. This time the store was open and we were keen to browse around to see what was available.

However, I quite agree with most of the posts on this site it was a dreadful end to our visit.

There was no one in the store when we entered and after a few moments the Owner appeared and questioned whether we had rang the bell. We told him that the bell had rang as we entered. He asked if he could help us and we said that we were just browsing, we could not believe how rude and aggressive the became, he said well that's not going to pay my bills and if we we not buying we should leave, he was actually very intimidating.

We were quite shocked as he almost pushed us out of the door and then said we do not need your type of people in here.

I strongly advise that you avoid this store. My Husband was so shocked and angry that he actually went in to the local Council Offices and complained. We will not be returning to Petworth to visit again.

Netanya, Israel
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13,088 posts
29 reviews
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9. Re: Garden House Antiques, Petworth, East Sussex

Isn't Petworth in West Sussex anyway?

Yuri.

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