Kinsellas Antiques of Cairns shows a total lack of respect and consideration for those foolish enough to entrust their valuables to proprietors Debra and Paul Kinsella. Their modus operandi is to avoid indicating when an item is sold, avoid and delay payment for items for as long as possible, and generally to act in an unprofessional manner. When confronted, the Kinsellas are not slow to use such charming terms as f off and get the f out.
I have had two unhappy, frustrating experiences with the Kinsellas. Over 8 months ago, I brought in a Victorian school clock to sell on consignment. I explained that I had a number of items to sell and that the clock was only a start. Also, I made it clear that I live over an hour away up on the Tablelands and wanted to be certain that they cleared their e-mail daily so as to stay in contact. They assured me of this, no doubt with their fingers crossed. After a long while of hearing nothing, I e-mailed wanting to know if the clock was close to being sold. I had to repeat the message, and finally a reply arrived saying it was sold. Had I known then, what I know now, I'd have asked when it sold. I was promised a cheque by a certain date, and when it did not arrive, I wrote again, and again, and again. Finally I heard back with some cock & bull story about why the cheque had not been sent. I hoped to shame them for their unprofessional conduct but all I got was abuse.
I should have learned my lesson. Within a few months, I was back at Kinsellas giving over an antique diamond ring and a Georgian Bracket clock for sale on consignment. After a few months, I called in to say that I thought we were flogging a dead horse, that we should give it up and try again next year to sell them. Debra Kinsella demurred and was certain the ring, anyway, would sell, and I agreed and left the shop. I did not have the presence of mind to ask to see my property, for I'm convinced the ring had long since been sold. But I did point out that there was a time limit due to the fact that in mid-February I was leaving for Vietnam for two months and did not want my property in an uncertain insurance situation. As the deadline approached, I got a phone call saying an offer had been made, and I agreed to a reduced price reluctantly. I assumed a cheque would follow after 30 days. But no!! Suddenly, the issue of a valuation came up: could I prove that the diamonds were diamonds and not glass? Debra Kinsella had the audacity to say they were too busy to go to a jeweller, were off on holiday, that I would have to wait until they returned on 24 January 7 weeks down the track. Like a fool, I agreed. Why didn't I just state the obvious: if you had any doubts about the ring, why didn't you check it out before taking a client's money? Basically, I was providing the Kinsellas with a free overdraft.
A week before the 24 January, I sent an e-mail stating my desire to pick up the unsold clock and either the ring or a cheque on 31 January. No reply. I sent the same message on the 24th. No reply. I sent message after message. I heard back only when I threatened to take legal action. The reply was hostile, unapologetic, and stated that I could come in on 1 February. I then received a hostile phone call from Debra stating the date for the visit would have to be 5 February so she could get the ring valued. She was deaf to the notion that a professional would have done this in the first place. On the 5th, I got the clock and a cheque and receipt that were quite mysteriously dated 29 January. I wonder!! Can it be the ring had been sold long before she admitted it to be the case? As with the school clock, the Kinsellas refused to verify when the ring was actually paid for. In both cases, by holding payment for more than 30 days they were in breech of the contract between us.
Well, these are charming, unreliable people only a fool would entrust their valuables to. No apology, no attempt at understanding my frustration at their refusal to stay in contact or to pay up as quickly as possible. Although they advertise an e-mail address but no fax number, they taunted me with, we're not e-mail people. When I objected, I was told to F off!! and when I didn't leave fast enough for them, a resounding farewell of Get the f out. Charming, all too charming. Avoid these people like the plague.