Lots of surfers, lifeguards, and paddle boarders are big fans of Birdwell swimwear. It’s definitely not because the company provides cutting edge web design:

birdwell

Oof, it’s like 1997 all over again. And the site’s tone is reminiscent of a surly old shopkeeper that’s going to sell you what you want only if you play ball first. Check out the curious combination of curmudgeonry and “we’re all family here” folksiness…

Don’t send them too many emails:

Please do not spend 22 emails discussing what you want — and then say, “that’s what I want, when can you ship” — you know what you want, I only answer questions. I don’t remember all your decisions. Write it down and send it to me with the name address and payment information.

No more “wishy washy stuff” about overnight shipping:

If you tell me you really want it tomorrow and it is possible to do so? You have requested expedited carrier service and will be charged accordingly … No more of this wishy washy stuff and nonsense. You know the difference between right and wrong, fair and unfair. You don’t want to join the One Thousand Club. If you ask for expedited service, but I don’t remember when I quote the price? You are charged for the service you receive. Okay, go ahead and teach me a lesson. Welcome to the Club.

If the phone is busy, call back later:

Telephone us to place an order or for answers to questions: 714 751 2071 or 557 7040 … only family answers the phone. That’s my mom, Vivian; Sam is my son, and me: I’m Evelyn. We have enough answers in stock to match up with your questions, but if we don’t? We’ll make one up, on the spot. Our phone does have a hold button, we even use it in certain circumstances, but customers deserve our full attention. If both lines are busy, call back in a few minutes.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to determine your size:

METHOD #1. MENTHE RULE! is to add 2 to the size you wear in everything else. We are not measuring your body. You do that when you buy clothes: add two to get the Birdwell size. What size Levi’s or other solid waist pants fits you the best? Add two. We know you wear them low and loose: that’s the style. Add Two. You don’t wear them low and loose? Add two. The actual difference is about 1 5/8 inch, but add two gets it 97% of the time…

METHOD #4.    Don’t laugh! This is a real popular, albeit expensive, method. FIRST STEP:  order the same size in BIRDWELL’S that you wear in everything else. SECOND STEP:  With a large smile of anticipation open the package.  THIRD STEP: $#x%x@#%$ (curse, bitch, hiss, moan and/or groan) STEP the FOURTH: email ebirdwell3@aol.com or telephone us: 714 751 2071 or 714 557 7040 to tell me what you want in exchange.  Additional shipping/handling charge. 

And check out this thank you page too:

Thank You, our Customers … You are the reason we’re still around doing the same thing … 

WE also WANT TO THANK the PEOPLE WHO ARE IMITATING US.

WE REALLY APPRECIATE all THE BUSINESS YOU ARE SENDING BACK TO US.

AN EXTRA SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR QUALITY CONTROL DEPARTMENT: POSSIBLY THE LARGEST IN THE HISTORY OF CLOTHING MANUFACTURE. WE RELY UPON YOU, OUR CUSTOMERS, TO TELL US WHEN SOMETHING IS NOT CORRECT ABOUT OUR PRODUCT.

We do not thank the bootleggers, pirates? You should be ashamed of yourselves.

WE GUARANTEE OUR WORKMANSHIP. WE USE ONLY THE VERY BEST AMERICAN MADE MATERIALS AVAILABLE. THE CREW AREN’T JUST SEAMSTRESSES, THEY ARE CRAFTSMEN. THEY ARE PROUD OF THEIR SKILL AND OF THE PRODUCT THEY BUILD FOR YOU.

do you want to know THE FOUR BASIC SECRETS TO MAKING AUTHENTIC BIRDWELL BEACH BRITCHES? 1.    QUALITY IS OUR GIMMICK 2.    QUALITY IS OUR GIMMICK 3.    QUALITY IS OUR GIMMICK 4.    QUALITY IS OUR GIMMICK

This kind of copy approach certainly isn’t right for everyone. But there’s definitely something refreshing about the personality here when ya compare it to the generic tone at most online retailers.

[Thx to LD for the tip.]