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August 23, 2017

Reach More Customers with Mobile Marketing

What three things do you always take with you when you leave your house? Almost universally, the answer is your keys, your wallet and your phone. For decades, urban dwellers left home with just their keys and their wallets. At some point, cell phones became so important that they couldn’t leave home without them, either.

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Smells Sell

Sometimes the antiques business stinks. Not the buying and selling part, but rather the smells that can accumulate in a store filled with used merchandise. Few things are more off-putting than to walk into a store and inhale the mildewy stew of odors that can be created by rooms full of used goods. Have you

Don’t Let Sales Get Thrown Under the Bus

American popular culture loves a catchphrase. Always has. In the 1890s, businessmen were anxious to “get down to brass tacks,” and a well-heeled customer who was satisfied with his purchases was “as happy as a clam.” In the 1990s, if a customer discovered that a dealer’s claims were all smoke and mirrors, then the deal

Sell More with Better Merchandise Tags

Sitting in his cell awaiting trial for treason, Van Meegeren considered his options. The year was 1945, and the war was over. Meegeren had been arrested in his Dutch homeland for being a Nazi collaborator. His crime, according to Dutch authorities, was trading a painting by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer to the Nazi commander of

Negotiate, Don’t Haggle

“You saved $36 today!” exclaimed the clerk at JC Penny’s. “Gee, that’s great!” I replied. “I spent $31 and saved $36! What a deal!” These days, corporate retailers love to tell me how much I saved while shopping at their store: They tell me when I buy groceries, and when I buy hardware. I was

eBay’s Fraud Protection Plan Boosts Your Sales

eBay fraud is in the news again. The headline reads: “Three eBay Fraud Rings Dismantled in Romania.” Romania must be a hotbed of Internet-scam artistry. Just a few years ago, a headline read: “Small Romanian Town Gets Rich Through eBay Scams.” They must be fast learners in Romania. The first attempts at eBay fraud included

Profit from Selling Estate Art

“Antiques dealers don’t know anything about art” explained the art gallery owner. “You have to be really careful buying art from an antiques dealer because you never know what you’re going to get”. I didn’t argue with the woman because I knew from my own experience that what she said about antiques dealers and art

Manage Better

How Managing Your Inventory Can Cut Your Taxes

It’s often said that two of life’s certainties are death and taxes. What’s said less often – but is just as certain – is that your tax liabilities can be the death of your business. You work hard to create profits so you can re-invest those profits into inventory to build your business. Then, when

How to Find Probate Antiques

It’s no secret that antique dealers spend as much (or more) time acquiring inventory than they do selling it. Many dealers are up at the crack of dawn on weekends and spend their days searching estate sales, auctions, flea markets and antiques shows for merchandise. Some dealers take out-of-state road trips, and a few travel

Antique Shop Rents Should Be Based on Location, Traffic

Why do shows and shops tell dealers they are selling space when they are really selling traffic? Who pays for traffic? A well-worn aphorism is that there are but three important considerations in real estate: location, location and location. I submit that this isn’t true for antiques dealers. For antiques dealers, the three most important

3 Ways Google Insights for Search Will Improve Your Business

Everyone wants to know what’s hot, what’s selling and what’s not. Fashion, entertainment, shopping, news and technology all have their daily “trending now” web updates. Every day, someone, somewhere, publishes another “Top 10” list, but when it comes to providing actionable information for running your business, most are about as useful as David Letterman’s laugh-filled

New Legislation Homing in on Internet Sales

In the opening scene of the 1980 Robert Altman-Robin Williams film “Popeye,” my favorite “sailor man” is seen docking his rowboat in the town of Sweethaven, where he will meet his sidekicks from the 1950s cartoon series: Olive Oyl, Wimpy and, of course, Bluto. At the wharf, Popeye is greeted by the Tax Man, who

Relative Pricing: Market Dictates Worth

You’re a rational person. As a rational person, if I tell you that you’re about to be tricked then you will be on guard, and less likely to be fooled. Or so you think. Prepare yourself to be tricked while taking the following pop quiz: 1. Is the average temperature in San Francisco higher or

Connect with Millennials to Bring a New Buzz to Your Biz

Last fall the antiques world was set a buzz by multiple sightings of singer-songwriter Taylor Swift shopping for antiques. For a brief moment, dealers held out hope that the young star’s interest in antiques would spawn a renaissance in antiques buying among her contemporaries. We’re still waiting for that to happen. Those darned Millennials. As

Antiques and Collectibles

Jukeboxes and Collecting Make Beautiful Music Together

It commands attention: this icon of the 1950s is outfitted with sparkling chrome, flashy fins, gleaming bumpers, taillights and a dashboard-style console that’s surrounded by a glass windshield. A 1958 Chrysler Imperial? Nope. A 1958 Seeburg Silver Age jukebox. The 1950s were the peak of America’s love affair with both automobiles and jukeboxes. Eisenhower pushed

Investing in a Steinway: Is It Worth the Price?

The investment value of Steinway pianos has long been touted by piano dealers. In their sales training, Steinway teaches an acronym based on their name that must be learned by all candidates: “S” stands for sound; “T” for touch, “E” for enduring beauty, “I” for investment, and so on. New salespersons must memorize all the

Early Slot Machines a Collecting Jackpot

No one should have that much fun in a mausoleum. But fun was the order of the day: the Elks were in town, holding their 1961 national convention in Miami Beach. Local Elks clubs opened their doors to out-of-state members and provided them with a variety of entertainment options. One such club was the politically

Bacon & Day Silver Bell: The King of American Tenor Banjos

The hard-driving banjo in bluegrass music is a familiar sound to most 21st-century Americans. But, before the stylings of Earl Scruggs, Don Reno and Ralph Stanley created the distinctive sound of bluegrass, banjo playing (and banjos) in America were quite different. From modest roots as a gourd-based instrument to today’s sleek wonder of acoustic engineering,

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