The perks of handling your parcels? Our Appraisals Manager reveals all

Joshua Mousavi manages the Appraisal team. He speaks to nearly every customer we get. He’s a cheeky chappy with a super infectious laugh.


In the office he’s known as Bluto – from Popeye – or maybe that’s just me?


Joshua Mousavi next to Bluto from Popeye


Unlike Bluto, Joshua is cheerful, helpful and an all round great guy to work with.


His phone voice is incredibly posh and proper which makes it all the more funny when you see his trainers and jeans poking out from the bottom of his appraisal lab coat.


I interviewed Joshua

To find out why our customers love him, and how he treats all your parcels, read on…


So, Bluto…

I’m sorry Kat, I just don’t see it. I love Popeye and everything but, there’s a line you know?


That infectious laugh again!


Tell us more about yourself

I went to Manchester university and studied Business Management and came to Vintage Cash Cow straight after. Things I enjoy are learning about watches and medals at the moment.


I love learning new things and since working here my horizons have been broadened by the stories behind all the items.


Joshua mousavi at a barbecue
Joshua playing dad at our work Barbecue


What’s it like to manage a team of appraisers?

smiles and sighs – It’s very rewarding because we’ve got a great team of a appraisers here and between them all there’s A LOT of knowledge in the team.


For instance, Debs knows everything about coins, Steve loves the medals and militaria, it’s fun and enjoyable but also a learning curve. We’re always learning new things about the stuff we receive.


What’s the most you’ve ever paid out for a customer parcel?

I think it was about £3120 for one parcel. That’s a day you don’t really forget!


What do you love most about the items we get sent?

I want to say that you never get the same one twice, but that’s not strictly true. It’s like Christmas every day. You open a new parcel and you never know what’s going to be inside.


I think something I really love about the stuff we’re sent is seeing similar items arriving day after day, it really shows you what types of things people hold as sentimental.


Actually I don’t really know where to begin answering this question!


The things we get here aren’t the typical things you’d see on a daily basis. It isn’t stuff you can buy in Toys R Us or B&Q. The items give us a window into what life was like in the past, and the challenges historical people have faced, that are so far removed from life today.


Joshua mousavi wearing vintage clothes
The outfit Joshua wore to the LDF awards!


What’s the biggest challenge your team faces as we grow?

Warehouse space! The amount of parcels that are coming in is ramping up, so minimising risk and errors is really important, at the moment we’re working in a relatively small space, so we have to pay  attention to what we’re doing.


It’s making sure that we hit our SLA’s and that we can contact customers. I think actually the hardest part is getting hold of the customer to say can we give you some money!


You’re moving into a bigger warehouse soon aren’t you?

Yeah we’ve got a larger warehouse space in the building and we’re currently decorating it and adding CCTV and appraisal bays into it, it’s coming along well it looks really good.


What’s the most rewarding moment you’ve had so far as an Appraisals manager?

This job is really rewarding, I think my favourite moments are ringing a customer and overachieving the price they hoped to get for their parcel.

A lot of them say they hope it’s not too much trouble for us appraising the parcel, then you get to tell them, honestly it’s worth more than you think.


I like that because the customer experience is a lot better, it gives you a real feel as to how we should be on every call and the experience every customer should have. It  always makes me feel good.

Joshua mousavi posing with the vintage cash cow sign
Joshua posing with the new Vintage Cash Cow sign


Managing a lot of parcels is hard work. How do you keep on top of it all?

I organise them in my sleep! I wake up some nights wondering where a box is, or I think I hope I’ve put that there etc.


No really, organisation is key. I try to make sure there’s a flow to the appraisal room. From the time the parcel comes in to the time it leaves there’s a step by step process and if you adhere to it, then there’s no errors.


We try to minimise as many errors as we can, we’re in a constant learning curve, so if there are processes that can be improved or improvements can be made in our tracking then we do that. The security of customers parcels are of the utmost importance.


One thing you wish our customers knew?

One thing I wish they knew – not to send one item in on it’s own.


Haha, No, I wish they knew how hard we worked for them, all the research we do on giving the right prices. We make it sound like christmas every day but most days it’s a long day and we have to check every single item.


It only takes one gem, one movement in a watch, or one coin to change the value of the item, so we have to make sure we’re constantly paying attention.


Anything else you want to tell us?

I would like to add that When customers are going through their home looking for these types of items, it’s good for them to have an understanding of the value of the items.


Anything can have a value but that doesn’t mean it is really valuable. You might buy a wedding ring for a few thousand pounds but the precious metal might only be worth a fraction of that.


There are some items that never equate to the cost they were bought for. I think customers would benefit from knowing more about the resale value of their items.


Joshua Mousavi with a vintage gun and a vintage doll
Joshua with some of the more unusual items we’ve recieved


So what did you think of Bluto? I mean Josh! Let us know in the comments – He’ll be obsessively refreshing them till someone gives him love…


Did you enjoy our chat with Joshua? Find out what else happens behind the scenes of Vintage Cash Cow:


We ran out of space, lost our blog, and took 6 months to plan our first TV advert


Step into the bizarre world of Victoriana