PDA

View Full Version : What happened to Lakeside Restorations?



jvcobra
06-03-2014, 04:49 PM
Does anyone know if they are still in business? I ordered some stuff in the past but I tried to search online and the domain name is gone.

gcarter
06-03-2014, 07:23 PM
I think they've disappeared from Facebook also......at least I haven't seen them post.

Ed Donnelly
06-04-2014, 11:38 AM
570-639-2628 was their number
Seems to have been disconnected
Don't understand why as they both had super communication skills..Ed

Conquistador_del_mar
06-04-2014, 12:11 PM
You can do some research in this forum or Offshore Only on their business practices which will give some clues.

Carl C
06-04-2014, 01:02 PM
They were pretty high priced. DonziDirect blew away their estimate on a new back seat bottom.

jvcobra
06-04-2014, 02:00 PM
You can do some research in this forum or Offshore Only on their business practices which will give some clues.

Are you sure? I never read a bad thing about them.

Carl C
06-04-2014, 03:26 PM
Are you sure? I never read a bad thing about them.

I wouldn't have come out with this if they were still in business but, yes, there have been problems with poor upholstery to poor fitting cockpit covers and a major resto job botched that ended up coming to Michigan to get finished.

gcarter
06-04-2014, 04:28 PM
I wouldn't have come out with this if they were still in business but, yes, there have been problems with poor upholstery to poor fitting cockpit covers and a major resto job botched that ended up coming to Michigan to get finished.

Someone on this site posted w/in the last six months about over $80K being spent there and the project not finished....
Carl, is that the one?

Carl C
06-04-2014, 05:41 PM
Someone on this site posted w/in the last six months about over $80K being spent there and the project not finished....
Carl, is that the one?

Yes.

Marlin275
06-04-2014, 06:49 PM
They were pretty high priced. DonziDirect blew away their estimate on a new back seat bottom.


DonziDirect blew away their . . .

true

Conquistador_del_mar
06-04-2014, 07:29 PM
Someone on this site posted w/in the last six months about over $80K being spent there and the project not finished....
Carl, is that the one?

Some of the dark side - :eek:

http://www.donzi.net/forums/showthread.php?68190-Cigarette-20-Project&p=642403#post642403

joseph m. hahnl
06-04-2014, 08:38 PM
I remember Jamie was always belligerent to others who tried to promote their business on this site:bonk:. He would whine about them not paying dues or something to that extent. :nilly: I kind of found it lewd that he thought he had a monopoly here :yes: Oh well I guess:biggrin.:

jvcobra
06-04-2014, 09:20 PM
Some of the dark side - :eek:

http://www.donzi.net/forums/showthread.php?68190-Cigarette-20-Project&p=642403#post642403

Wow, I must of missed that. Explains a lot.

Greg Guimond
06-04-2014, 10:47 PM
Maybe they sold there small parts stock or the business got renamed.

Fishermanjm
06-05-2014, 07:57 PM
How about Donzi Direct,,, does anyone here know someone from there? I ordered seats from them back in February
It is very difficult to get in touch with them to say the least. Seems like a very long time waiting for these seats. I really want my seats. Any help with this will be greatly appreciated
jim

joseph m. hahnl
06-05-2014, 08:24 PM
How about Donzi Direct,,, does anyone here know someone from there? I ordered seats from them back in February
It is very difficult to get in touch with them to say the least. Seems like a very long time waiting for these seats. I really want my seats. Any help with this will be greatly appreciated
jim Click on link and PM Josh:kingme:

DonziJosh http://www.donzi.net/forums/images/statusicon/user-offline.png
Paid Subscriber (http://www.donzi.net/forums/member.php?8220-DonziJosh)

Fishermanjm
06-05-2014, 08:34 PM
thankyou sir i forgot about Josh, i did talk to him back in February... thanks

Greg Guimond
06-05-2014, 08:44 PM
How about Donzi Direct,,,
does anyone here know someone from there? I ordered seats from them back in February. It is very difficult to get in touch with them to say the least. Seems like a very long time waiting for these seats. I really want my seats. jim

Just so I understand. You're saying that you ordered and paid for a pair of bucket seats back in February and you don't have them in hand a full 3 months later?

Fishermanjm
06-05-2014, 08:51 PM
yup, credit card was charged so the order would be filled, thats why i am concerned

harleybagger
06-05-2014, 10:08 PM
yup, credit card was charged so the order would be filled, thats why i am concerned
I can tell you that I ordered mine (and paid in full) in November of '13 and received them at the end of March. I was told 3 month lead time. I was worried as well, but they shipped and arrived a little late, but perfect!
Donzi Direct is the way to go....
BTW.... The shipping label was from PPI.....:yes:

scippy
06-06-2014, 12:51 AM
BTW.... The shipping label was from PPI.....:yes:

You can deal with PPI direct for seats and bolsters.........But I'm guessing if donzi direct is the middle man between customer and manufactuer
I would think there's a small markup (you pay) for the service of having special orders prepared and facilitated....but that's to be expected.

Lakeside restorations always profited on the heavy side when they were in a simular situation........I foolishly let Lakeside order me front buckets
for my 18'........they also came from PPI so I called them to get a quote on the seats I already paid for......I would've saved $$$$ if I place the
order myself.............thanks for taking care of your customers Jamie!

Carl C
06-06-2014, 07:28 AM
It's not always cheaper to buy direct from a supplier. A lot of times they won't undercut their dealer network or they won't have any dealers left. I'd be concerned about the 3 months too and would try to contact Josh as suggested. Mine didn't take that long.

JayZ
06-06-2014, 09:33 AM
I left two messages for Donzi Direct without either message being returned. I won't leave another and will take my business elsewhere.

Greg Guimond
06-06-2014, 10:03 AM
PPI - Premier Performance Interiors, has done the Donzi Direct stuff for a long while I believe. Sounds like Donzi Direct may be going down the same road as Lakeside with not shipping out product and not returning calls.

Greg Guimond
06-06-2014, 10:09 AM
As an aside, PPI is one of the top 5 interior shops in the country and welcomes direct, off the street, consumer business from there Florida location. There are also two similar outfits out West that produce work of the same caiber. I have no idea what is up in the Great Lakes area, and I have NEVER been able to find a high end shop in the Northeast in years. I was lucky to get the last 16 interior that Bob at Bilt Rite made before he closed shop.

Ed Donnelly
06-06-2014, 12:37 PM
READ THE LAST PARAGRAPH
This is from April 16th 2014
Sorry, just saw this. To answer a couple questions:

Carpet: Unfortunately, mills no longer produce premium marine-grade carpet in teal. The only teal carpet we've found is a really flimsy glue-in carpet that we would never offer for snap-in use. By the late 1990s, Donzi was installing a medium gray carpet in the occasional Classic that received teal gelcoat. Typically, our teal customers order the gray carpet. We recently acquired a warehouse full of Baja inventory from a former dealer, including some really pretty aqua Baja carpets. We contacted their carpet supplier and they no longer carry that color either.

Upholstery: The dimensions for the aft seating varies between the 16 2+2, 18, and 22 Classics.

If your upholstery foam is fine, we can make skins for you in white and teal and save you some money.

Call us at 888.441.1614 or email info@donzidirect.com. I'm no longer involved in the day to day operations of the business, so Sunny will be taking care of you.


Josh

Greg Guimond
06-06-2014, 12:55 PM
I think the issue Ed is that Sunny does not get back to anyone. Very bad for business and Donzi Direct .......... :frown:

Sweet Cheekz
06-06-2014, 05:12 PM
He was a douche

SC

Ed Donnelly
06-07-2014, 06:45 PM
I think the issue Ed is that Sunny does not get back to anyone. Very bad for business and Donzi Direct .......... :frown:

A few people had mentioned trying to get a reply from Josh
Just letting them know he is not the go to guy...Ed

joseph m. hahnl
06-08-2014, 08:30 AM
A few people had mentioned trying to get a reply from Josh
Just letting them know he is not the go to guy...Ed He is Ed, because he still communicates here, He will still get to the bottom of it.:worthy:He's that kind of guy "just saying":kingme:

DonziJosh
06-08-2014, 12:12 PM
Hey gang,

Josh here. Currently I'm flying somewhere over the Carolinas on a 10-day business trip and have some time to respond, so bear with me. I still own DonziDirect and right now in the peak of season the company is shipping between 200-300 orders per week between telephone, website, and ebay orders.

Last year I accepted a position as director of marketing for another company, so Sunny handles the day to day business. I really don't have a lot of time to devote to the custom parts sourcing effort these days so Sunny is in charge. My apologies to anyone I have personally kept waiting.

The DonziDirect concept was something I dreamt up over many years (1997-2010) working boat shows when I was employed by Donzi. In every city we went to, we encountered scores of customers who would seek us out, trying to find parts for their older Donzis. These customers were always sort of a "hot potato" for most of the staff because we couldn't help them. In many cases our staff had no idea what these old boats were. As the marketing guy, resident Donzi buff, and de facto company historian, "older Donzi" questions always came to me. It was always a bit of a paradox for us - and our customers I think- that a company that so heavily leveraged its history as a key component of its branding strategy really had no connection to the models of which that history was composed.

The factory didn't provide parts support for models older than five years, which I've found to be pretty typical in the marine industry. So, the idea for a brand-dedicated online parts store seemed like a great idea. The factory embraced my efforts as a way to help customers that they couldn't. At launch, ours was the only service of its kind in the industry. I think it still is.

Until we came along and posted pricing for the world to see, many Donzi parts were sold via forums with a wink and a "PM me for pricing." I didn't think that was any way to treat Donzi customers. There should not be a "black market" for Donzi parts. I'm happy to say that we have seen that practice significantly curtailed, if not eliminated today. We have established a fair market value for many parts, we've made it significantly easier for someone to estimate the cost and viability of a restoration project, and we have helped thousands of customers worldwide to acquire specialty parts for their Donzis.

DonziDirect is a specialty parts supplier and does not hold itself out as an overnight solution. We say this on every item listing, and we attempt to give an accurate lead time for each product we offer. Lead times are based on our own real-life experiences with the vendors and/or individuals producing our items. All custom orders require prepayment. To source your parts we have forged relationships with many vendors, as well as owner/enthusiast groups, and even former Donzi employees working from their garages. Due to limited demand it makes no practical business sense to inventory many of our items, and yes, it really does take months to get some of our items.

Fishermanjm's custom tuck & roll high-backed Classic seats have a posted lead time of approximately 6-8 weeks and his order took longer because 1, it's the height of season and 2, the customer wanted special embroidery which required the sourcing of files and some back and forth with the third party shop that takes our vendor's piece of vinyl, embroiders it, and sends it back for inclusion in the sewn seat skins. All of this was communicated with the customer. I'm happy to say that Sunny sent me pics of these completed seats on Friday and they turned out great. The customer will probably be hearing from Sunny early this week regarding shipping arrangements.

Our seats come from PPI. We are the exclusive aftermarket supplier for PPI's Donzi offerings. I have worked with them for years and today DonziDirect is one of their top customers. We sell a lot of Donzi upholstery to happy customers and PPI produces an outstanding product. However, they take time. Two months is the norm and that timeframe can slide due to various factors.

Many other vendors are not so accommodating. As most of you know, many, many Donzi parts are simply no longer available because volume-oriented suppliers do not want the hassle of specialty retail business. The no-longer-available Taylor 18 Classic windshield is a perfect example of this. To us, it's a no-brainer! But for the manufacturer it makes no fiscal sense so they scrapped the tooling. So, often, lead times for custom-produced items require a great deal of patience from customers, which is a lot to ask for in the Internet age.

In short, I have found that there's a reason no one else is doing what we do- because it is very difficult to make it work when the market is so extremely niche. For example, we offer an engine hatch for the Donzi Minx, which comes from its own dedicated mold. How many do you think we will ever sell? We spent six months fine-tuning the decals for the original Donzi Corsican. What's the market for those? Extremely minimal! Still, the customers who need these items appreciate us for offering them. Making this little company fly was a huge, expensive effort that has exhausted more hours than anyone will ever care to know. Browse our Donzi-dedicated website, look at high-res photos, purchase with your American Express card, and call us toll-free. We didn't cut corners.

Because of our visibility and the SEO presence of our (expensive) website, we get a LOT of calls. Indeed, we pay for a toll free number so customers can call. But we are supporting nearly 50 years of product and get a lot of calls for things that simply no longer exist and we spend a great deal of time explaining this. Sunny fields many, many calls every day, in addition to inspecting upholstery, working with vendors, processing orders, packing, and shipping.

I have considered adjusting our strategy to only offer the items shown on our website, and no longer source other items for customer requests. This would significantly reduce the incredible amount of time and effort spent researching and trying to find items beyond the scope of our established offerings. It would shrink our business somewhat, but it would allow us to quickly address 80% of our call volume. "Sorry, we don't carry that." Still, we have been working hard NOT to do that and hope we won't have to. After all, we are trying to help people.

Plan B would be to hit every item with a significant price increase to fund the expansion of our payroll so we can have a dedicated telephone staff. Their presence will not bring in many more orders, and we don't think our market will support the increase. Mostly, I have a hard time doing that to our paying customers. As a business, those are our options.

This is by far our busiest year to date. Once season is over, call volume should lessen. Our vendors and boat manufacturer friends have also noted the increase in their own call volume. The good news is, the marine industry appears to be returning to health!

We have never left behind an empty-handed, disappointed customer and we have filled thousands of orders. In every single case, all paid orders have always been satisfied as soon as items were produced. Still, like we say on every page of our website, "please allow ample time when considering your Donzi restoration project."

Thanks for listening to my lengthy but sincere monologue. This is the Internet, so feel free to flame away. To our customers, thanks for bearing with us. We appreciate your business.


Josh

duckhunter
06-08-2014, 12:35 PM
Josh,

Well done. You captured a lot of the realities of running a small business catering to a niche market. Thanks for keeping these parts available and congrats on your new gig.

dh

Carl C
06-08-2014, 12:56 PM
Some of the success came from eliminating competition by telling certain individuals, clubs and companies that they could no longer sell merchandise with Donzi logos.

Conquistador_del_mar
06-08-2014, 01:17 PM
Josh,

Well done. You captured a lot of the realities of running a small business catering to a niche market. Thanks for keeping these parts available and congrats on your new gig.

dh

+1
An excellent post!

Fishermanjm
06-08-2014, 08:02 PM
thanks Josh for the reply on my seats,,, I cant wait to get them in my boat. thanks agin
jim

Inferno
06-08-2014, 08:26 PM
I've had 4 boats done by PPI . Missy and Jim are great to work with . They just finished my custom bolster for my 22 and it came out perfect. (941)752-6271:)

roadtrip se
06-08-2014, 09:37 PM
Some of the success came from eliminating competition by telling certain individuals, clubs and companies that they could no longer sell merchandise with Donzi logos.

Josh is doing this community a great service. And he just took the time to explain the challenges of providing this service to what is a tough market to please. Classic can't please them all, all of the time kind of stuff.

I was involved in running the Midwest Donzi Club for five years. We never had any issues with Donzi or Donzi Direct, and I can't remember the club ever having anything, but support from people like Josh over the years.

Josh also supports the restoration parts efforts of the DMRS. Another, extremely niche market with out of production pieces being recreated as new. I sincerely doubt anyone is making money on these efforts. But some folks are getting pieces that their old classics really need.

As for your noise Carl, back it up, or save it. Better yet, just save it, as I am not very interested in your efforts to tear down a good thing.

BUIZILLA
06-08-2014, 09:47 PM
Some of the success came from eliminating competition by telling certain individuals, clubs and companies that they could no longer sell merchandise with Donzi logos. there is no such thing as eliminating competition when what Donzi Marine and DD did was protect trademarked and copyrighted names and products, of which they had every right to exercise that option, and successfully prevailed..

roadtrip se
06-08-2014, 09:54 PM
there is no such thing as eliminating competition when what Donzi Marine and DD did was protect trademarked and copyrighted names and products, of which they had every right to exercise that option, and successfully prevailed..

Yep, IP, trademarks, and copyrights exist for a reason. I deal with them every day in my business. And have been involved in defending them.

Any more questions?

DonziJosh
06-09-2014, 06:40 AM
Thanks everyone.

I need to make sure I set the record straight on Carl's comment regarding Donzi exercising its intellectual properties rights.

We (DonziDirect) didn't ask for it, weren't responsible for it, and we didn't experience any impact when it happened. There was no competitive online parts business before we came along. There was no catalog or pricing, there was very limited visibility, and accordingly, not much reach. Our market was under served, which is one of the reasons DonziDirect was appealing to me conceptually prior to taking on the endeavor (other main reasons being that it would allow to continue to make a living by utilizing years and years of otherwise-worthless institutional knowledge, and it kept me close to the brand I love).

Donzi's new owners tasked their intellectual property attorneys with the goal of tightening up trademark infringement and protecting their brand, which is something one would expect any company to do, whether they are Harley Davidson, the New York Yankees, or Donzi.

They didn't send cease and desist letters to protect DonziDirect. While we do pay a royalty to Donzi and we have the relationship with ownership and management past, transitional, and current, Donzi was acting on its own at the time.

As for earlier speculation regarding the health of our company, we just bought a Donzi 29 ZF and are working with vendors to use it as a product showcase. It's a Steve Simon-era, Sarasota-built boat that means a lot to me personally and makes sense for our business. We're pretty committed to our market and customers and we too enjoy and appreciate the Donzi lifestyle.

Thanks to everyone for the support.

jl1962
06-09-2014, 07:14 AM
Josh-

Thanks for putting up with the peanut gallery (myself included).
And thanks for Donzi Direct - at least vintage Donzi owners have a source for authentic parts and hardware.

I know you are probably a step or two removed from the current Donzi ownership but it would be great if someone from HQ could interface w/ our small enthusiast community (peanut gallery!) on either of the Boards or the occasional rally/event. You know - wave the flag......

Any chance of that ever happening?

-JL

Kirbyvv
06-09-2014, 11:33 AM
Thanks, Josh. Everything I have ordered from DD has been top notch.

seano
06-09-2014, 12:51 PM
Thanks everyone.

I need to make sure I set the record straight on Carl's comment regarding Donzi exercising its intellectual properties rights.

We (DonziDirect) didn't ask for it, weren't responsible for it, and we didn't experience any impact when it happened. There was no competitive online parts business before we came along. There was no catalog or pricing, there was very limited visibility, and accordingly, not much reach. Our market was under served, which is one of the reasons DonziDirect was appealing to me conceptually prior to taking on the endeavor (other main reasons being that it would allow to continue to make a living by utilizing years and years of otherwise-worthless institutional knowledge, and it kept me close to the brand I love).

Donzi's new owners tasked their intellectual property attorneys with the goal of tightening up trademark infringement and protecting their brand, which is something one would expect any company to do, whether they are Harley Davidson, the New York Yankees, or Donzi.

They didn't send cease and desist letters to protect DonziDirect. While we do pay a royalty to Donzi and we have the relationship with ownership and management past, transitional, and current, Donzi was acting on its own at the time.

As for earlier speculation regarding the health of our company, we just bought a Donzi 29 ZF and are working with vendors to use it as a product showcase. It's a Steve Simon-era, Sarasota-built boat that means a lot to me personally and makes sense for our business. We're pretty committed to our market and customers and we too enjoy and appreciate the Donzi lifestyle.

Thanks to everyone for the support.

Josh has done an excellent job of explaining how tough it is to run a small niche business and we should all be glad he is doing it. He's operating on very small margins and if things take a little longer to get, then so be it. Better than not being able to get these items at all. I ordered carpet and interior for my Minx and it took a while to get. Emails were answered and I was made aware of the backlog....but when I got my stuff I was pleasantly surprised. Quality wasn top notch! Communicaiton isn't always perfect - especially in a small business where one or two people where many hats...and may only do it on a part time basis.

Thanks Josh and thanks Sunny. Great job and keep up the great work.

jvcobra
06-09-2014, 02:36 PM
I've had 4 boats done by PPI . Missy and Jim are great to work with . They just finished my custom bolster for my 22 and it came out perfect. (941)752-6271:)


Just a FYI it looks like all Donzi PPI orders are fielded through Donzi Direct. For some reason I though Donzi Direct did upholstery in house and contacted both for a quote. Not a big deal but good to know if you are shopping around.

olredalert
06-09-2014, 02:45 PM
----Personally, I have purchased from Donzi Direct, I have purchased directly from Josh and I have purchased from D/D with no phone interaction whatsoever. I have never been even remotely disappointed........Bill S