Gidget Glamper – update

Some of my friends will know that as of late 2017 early 2018, our Gidget camper dream was blown apart! The company went into receivership.

Along with a couple of hundred other customers in Australia and the US we paid a deposit (for most 40% and for some, full price) with an expectation of delivery within 6 months (promised in a conversation on Facebook). We paid our deposit on 29 August 2016 and by August 2017 we’d requested refund of deposit, due to unreasonable time taken to provide product and still no completion date. In September 2017, we received an email effectively saying ‘your refund is approved, just waiting on timeline. Then in October, after conversations where they asked me to keep the order with them, we received an email promising return of refund over 4 monthly payments.

Then in early November, when no refund payments had been received, we got to speak with one of the Directors, Glenn, who carried on about how hard done by he was, ‘give us 6 weeks’ (December) and we’ll have all refunds sorted out’.

Nothing by December and eventually by the 18th December we had an email from Glenn apologising for delays, a rehash of all their dramas so far and a promise of all refunds by January 2018.

Next email advice was 11th January advising temporary closure of factory due to inability to pay wages, and on the same day an email from the administrator advising that Gidget was going into voluntary administration.

So as we’d all begun to suspect, Glenn on behalf of Gidget was full of shit. All our suspicions came to be true.

At some point in the above, Glenn began to ask new and existing customer orders if they wanted to pay in full and be moved to the top of the queue, because things were taking too long and at least they’d get their Gidget sooner than everyone else.

Well, that really rang alarm bells with us and anybody who decided to pay in full were even more gullible than us.

I have to say, I followed the Gidget story from the beginning. I found a YouTube video showing the delights of the camper and the ease of use, the compactfulness. The accessories. The beautiful installed kitchen. The finishings. It was retro, compact and amazing. I didn’t want to drag a caravan around Australia on our long weekend treats. We didn’t want to buy a much larger car in order to be able to drag our holiday home behind us.

I understood that the video enabled an extremely intense and rapid interest to be expressed in the product, with unprecedented orders coming in. They had made perhaps 3 campers to that point and needed to set up the factory process to manufacture mass (but still custom and handmade) product.

I believed when they said that the person they brought in to transform their manufacturing process had let them down, at great cost for no resolution.

It seemed feasible that the money they had received was being spent on upgrading their processes.

But they weren’t taking care with the deposits, which (just as in real estate) should have been put away into a safe, untouchable account that was contribution toward an end product. A promise from the client that allowed them to build with confidence in a buying market.

They abused this and ran up debts of millions. With no resources behind them, they were unable to pay back any creditors.

It was very disappointing for us. But you know, not the end of the world. I still believe that they had the best of intentions and a dream at the beginning. It got out of control, they dug a bigger hole for themselves, and began to do things the wrong way in the hope that things would turn around.

If they weren’t that innocent, then I’m sure they’ve ended up not very happy in their life.

Well, I haven’t been on to my blog site for quite a while and thought maybe I’d update this.

Cheers, Trish (August 2019)

GIDGET GLAMPING – Retro Camper

(original post)

Hello friends, since we are feeling poor at the moment (new location, building client base) we don’t have any holidays planned. Which is very, boo hoo, for us! πŸ™‚

But, we do have on order a custom-made Gidget Retro Camper. The idea is that now we are in the eastern states of Australia, there’s plenty of opportunity for us to travel around and explore, because we are veteran West Australians and haven’t seen much of the east coast. And when you come over from WA to visit, it is a week or two around Sydney, Melbourne or visiting parents in Tassie.

So, buying the Gidget is the money outlay and exploring with it should be the money saving part – campsites, caravan parks – all a hell of a lot cheaper than hotel accommodation and flying to places.

Bondi Gidget

But the dream of the Glamper is taking a seriously long time. We finally got around to placing our order and putting down a deposit in September 2016. All communication until then (and reading between lines on their website) indicated that 6 months was the expected wait. And days before we placed the order, we had a message through Facebook that with their new and improved, expanded factory and new processes it could even be within 4 months.

Funny story that! Because now it is early April 2017 and we don’t even have a scheduled delivery date.

We have spent some time angsting about this order. Is it a scam, whatever? But they have continued to communicate and if they were running away with all our money, we’d never hear from them, I guess.

Their Gidget Glamper Facebook page is very active. There are so many of us with the ‘glamping dream – and people who ordered a couple of years ago.

Gidget’s story is that they’d only made 3 Gidgets when the video they created describing all the beauty of the camper went (essentially) viral. That’s when I saw the camper for the first time, and fell in love! That was about 2014/2015, I can’t remember. So there was a couple of years while I had it in my mind that I’d like to buy one. And all along I had the idea in my head that it was about 6 months for manufacturing.

But they were caught seriously by surprise! They were effectively a start-up company at that point – as I said, they’d only made 3 Gidgets. But that video made them famous and the orders began to pour in.

I think it was at a Brisbane Camping Show in late 2015 or during 2016 that they became even more famous – as far away as the USA. And the orders continued to come in, but they weren’t prepared to handle it. (They now have a US-based franchisee selling Gidget).

About October / November 2016 they offered a crowd funding program – if you paid for your camper up-front you’d get to the top of the queue. They needed the funding to expand and improve processing and many (I believe) have taken them up on this. We didn’t. We felt it was enough of a commitment to put down the best part of $11,000 for something we hadn’t even seen yet.

It is getting closer – I can feel it in my water! πŸ˜€ We’ve chosen a cream-coloured body, with viper red wheel guards, and Tasmanian oak woodwork.

At the moment, their Brumby version is full steam ahead in its own factory. This is their 4WD off-road version. The Noosa campers are being manufactured quickly in their own factory. But the Bondi version is waiting for the new ‘Grand Tourer’ suspension system – and they are just waiting for the parts to come from Vehicle Components, which won’t commit to providing the parts until they have a certain amount in stock.

This suspension system replaces the leaf springs suspension previous utilised by the Gidget company. Supposed to be an amazingly good thing!

A few weeks ago (in March) Gidget informed us that they were on the brink of setting the schedule, at which point we’d know our expected delivery date. They’re just waiting on confirmation of parts from the supplier.

So, perhaps by September 2017? Before it gets too hot – because our Gidget Retro Camper won’t be used by us in the summer – I can’t handle the heat. Spring, Autumn – yep. Winter – possibly. Summer – nuh uh!

Bring it on. And enjoy the pictures above and enjoy visiting their website. πŸ˜€

Sorry Mark, it means Spain isn’t on our agenda any time soon. However, when I win Lotto or Millionaire Hot Seat – and I plonk myself down in Ireland for 6 months to a year – I’ll come visit you guys in Alora! πŸ˜€

https://www.thegidget.com.au/#welcome-section