The story so far
So you'd like to know what makes this place tick?
You've come to the right page.
Grab a coffee and relax while we take you through the journey that got us here from a lifetime in sales. soldiering, farming, media, retail and management consulting for small business and market research; and how our experiences have given us a good grounding in how we can help you.
The idea of putting this all together, arose out of a few horrific experiences we had trying to buy some good quality reproduction medals and badges on the World Wide Web to honour the service of some family members in time for milestone birthdays.
Our first enquiries to a long-established company in Sydney were ignored completely over weeks that turned into months (and you wouldn’t believe the excuses). Like many other web sites this company didn’t even bother to employ a secure server leaving us exposed on the Internet.
Our second and subsequent experiences started with a firm (no ASIC registration) hiding behind a post office box address in Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast was delayed for months and the only way we could get a refund was to threaten legal action.
Orders to a well-advertised firm in Hobart Tasmania were simply ignored; for months on end. Another was a ‘specialist’ backyarder on the outskirts of Perth who we’re still waiting to hear from and the last (in Sydney) was a raft of broken promises which eventually resulted in a delivery after months of phone calls and emails.
When the medals and badges did arrive, the medals were very poor quality, brittle sand-cast brittle pewter, and the badges were terribly plated.
Since opening our doors and our first web site in December 2000, we’ve since heard dozens of horror stories just like these from people just like you – so we know we’re not alone. As a matter of fact, a good percentage of our loyal customers have come to us because they’ve been bitterly disappointed elsewhere. Our customer base is global with the majority of our customers from Australia and New Zealand (many still serving), then the USA, the UK, Canada, European countries, Asia and Africa.
Following those early awful experiences trying to buy medals badges and other service memorabilia with some confidence online we decided to look for somewhere to get these medals, badges and other accoutrements framed into a good-looking collection, and we found similar problems. Framing shops who had no idea at all how to mount medals, framers who had no idea in which order to mount them (or how important they were) and some of the prices were way over the top for the kind of professionalism we were being exposed to. We were shown flimsy, cheap and nasty metal frames, mat boards (the coloured board inside the moulded frame which highlights the collection) that looked like they had been cut with kitchen knives; and it seemed very few people we emailed or spoke to whether in Queensland or Western Australia had any idea about precision (military or otherwise), design, or the importance of showing off a family collection of service memorabilia in a well-crafted, well-designed framed piece.
So. It was either hop on a tin crow and try and buy from a retailer somewhere who hopefully knew what they were talking about face-to-face and hope for better service, or the horrors of continuing to try and do business over the Internet and hope that eventually someone would care enough about customers to actually deliver genuine quality and not junk.
It was our goal to be able to buy good quality, good value reproduction and replacement medals and badges without going anywhere near a shop and get the kind of products we actually wanted. The result is Gongs nd the Heritage Medals Group, divisions of our family company The Small Business Network Pty. Limited, and our online product shops.
Whether you want to replace medals you have lost or had stolen, medals that have been misplaced through the generations, or simply a set of replicas to wear on commemorative or formal occasions without putting your originals at risk of loss or theft. To make sure that you find exactly what you want, products have been described in detail as well as being photographed and displayed for you to make a selection. There are two photographs, a smaller version that is displayed throughout the site – and when clicked with your mouse, will lead to a link for a larger version to show more detail. Options and accessories like sizes and accoutrements are listed for all medals.
If you decide to set up an online details account, every time you visit, details of all your purchases will be stored making it easier for you to find the same product again, or review your purchases. Or print out a tax invoice at any time. Setting up an online detail account also saves you from typing in your details each time you visit. You can also list other delivery addresses for friends or relatives to use on gift occasions.
We believe that quality service is as important as having a quality product, with efficient fulfilment and customer service. The aim is to despatch all orders received before 3.00pm (provided items are in stock), the same day by Australia Post or Sendle in-country, and via Australian Post International Air Mail, for overseas orders. Sometimes though, with the best will in the world we suffer stock shortages because items are out of stock or on back-order. In those circumstances we will make every attempt to contact you and give you a time frame for delivery. If some items are temporarily out of stock with a long delivery lead-time, we will forward the remainder of your order and deliver later the back-ordered items – at our expense.
Hopefully you’ll find this online catalog site quick and easy to use. Please feel free to contact us with any comments you may have for improvements, especially if you would like us to source any additional products for you.
We’re hot on customer service, security, delivery and client feedback… we want to exceed your expectations of what online shopping should be. And we stand behind everything we do with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee!
You’ll note that in the majority of cases we have shown the obverse side of the medal for display purposes, in other words the way the medal is worn. It’s important however for you to know that all our medals (with the exception of the Distinguihed Service Order) are double-sided – unlike many others.
OK. So why shop here?
We have managed to create a business model for you that is truly unique to the online marketplace for militaria. Our web site is powered by a state-of-the-art, end-to-end sourcing/purchasing/fulfillment online management system. It’s more than just a virtual showroom, it’s a customer-driven solutions centre – designed and developed with people like you in mind – and we’re always interested in your suggestions and opinions. Knowledgeable, committed and friendly militaria experts are available to help you find the products and services you need. If we don’t have it, we can very likely point you in the right direction. Our job is to make sure you get exactly what you need, when you need it (barring the vagaries of the world’s stressed delivery systems).
Oh, and nothing leaves here – we do everything in-house. You won’t wait weeks for a rack of medals made in a third-world country and shipped back to Oz for delivery.
Safeguarding your information is just as important to us as delivering the right products. That’s why we use the latest SSL encryption technology wherever you give us your personal information.