Miser’s Mercantile consignment customers in limbo
August 16, 2017
Carbondale's longtime downtown consignment shop Miser's Mercantile is under new ownership, though the new owner isn't talking about the circumstances of that transition.
After being closed for several days last week, Miser's reopened Friday under new ownership. Employees at the store say that the building owner, Dale Eubank, now owns the business, as well, and that he's not interested in being interviewed about the transition. New articles of incorporation for Miser's Mercantile LLC were filed with the Colorado secretary of state on July 31 listing Eubank as the owner.
Eubank had posted a notice at the building saying the former management owed more than $12,000 in back rent dating from April, and set an Aug. 12 deadline for repayment, as reported by The Sopris Sun. The notice gave the business's rent as $3,929 per month, according to the Sun.
No one associated with this ownership transition returned the Post Independent's messages Wednesday — not Eubank, not the shop's manager and not Paula "Sam" Hunter, who owned Miser's for 32 years.
And concerns have also arisen that customers with consignment items sold at Misers are going to have some difficulty.
Gina Meagher, from Snowmass, wrote a one-star review on Miser's Facebook page Wednesday, saying she was directed to hunt down the former owner to recoup credit she was owed.
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"I had a mirror sold there and when I went to collect and use my 'credit' in the store, I was told they changed owners and given a piece of paper with a number to track down what was owed to me," she wrote. "I don't understand why there couldn't have been some sort of arrangement between owners in continuing credit. Of course when I called the number nobody ever answered and I don't think ever will. I feel robbed and feel bad for people that had more money owed to them [ …] as for me it was more a matter of principle."
Customers who had consignment items sold at the store have been receiving a slip of paper at the store that reads: "Dear Customer, Miser's Mercantile has opened again under new management. Please be patient with us as we try and meet the old consignor at some middle ground. If a product is on the sale floor or waiting to be sold, we will pay the consignor per the new consignment agreement. If the product was sold prior to August 11, 2017, and Old owner is responsible … Thank you for your patience."
This notice included a number for Hunter, but the former owner did not return the Post Independent's message at that number Wednesday. Nor was there a current manager available to explain the new consignment agreement.
Miser's is located in a historic brick building at 303 Main St., and it has been a funky, storied staple of the town's character. A plaque displayed beside the front door says the building is from the 1890s, formerly Dad Long's Store, which sold dry goods, groceries, clothing and shoes.
"The back room was a social center in the old days for potato farmers and cowboys, who sat around the potbellied stove, purchased crackers from the cracker barrel and helped themselves to a complementary slice of cheese," the plaque reads. "Dad Long's store was later taken over by Albert Witchey, who ran a brisk business selling Walk Over Shoes, Munsing Underwear and other standard brands of clothing. In later years, the building housed a law office and various retail businesses."