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August 16, 2017

Sell More

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

Antique Dealers Can Master Web Marketing

Yesterday’s tools don’t work very well in modern applications. Take a rotary phone, for example: It can still make phone calls, but it won’t work outdoors, it won’t connect to the Internet, and it won’t take photos. A few of you are now saying, “I just want a telephone that makes phone calls.” I’d be

Article Spinners: The Death of Originality

Imagine that you are a songwriter.  You have a musical phrase running through your head, so you pick up your guitar and start playing with the idea.  You build upon each turn of the melody, instinctively drawn to chords that lend vibrancy and mood to your music.  You have a nice hook, an interesting melody,

Retailer Inventory Reduction Live Auction Sale

Retailers are optimists by nature.  You wouldn’t believe it to talk to them but it’s true. They keep hoping that they will have a run on their slow-moving merchandise.  They are not willing to continue to drop their prices, because if they do, their cost of goods sold will go up, and their profits will

Manage Better

How to Buy an Existing Antiques Business

For Sale: “Great little antique shop … packed floor to rafters with inventory of all types … new owner won’t have to buy inventory for two years … make more money if new owner will keep longer hours and sell on the Internet. Priced at $349,000; Inventory value $299,000 (40% of retail).” What a great

Training Antiques Sales Associates to Succeed

I get a big kick out of my fellow auctioneers. Some of them (especially the newbies) think that auctioneers are such great salesmen. Wherever auctioneers gather, you will see a few of them assembled telling “war stories” and comparing notes about what they and others have sold. At some point in the conversation, someone will

How Dealers Can Boost the Shop Local Movement

No matter what you think of the Occupy Wall Street movement, it holds the seed of a successful holiday sales season for antique dealers. The Wall Street protestors have expressed frustration with taxpayer bailouts of “too big to fail” corporations who take public tax money and then raise banking fees, restrict access to loans, and

Protect Your Antiques Business with Smart Check Policies

The recent hubbub surrounding William Meloy’s using bad checks to scam antique stores caught me off guard. In these days of electronic check verification, Internet check processing, and point-of-sale terminals that support multiple payment options, I was surprised at how easily Meloy victimized the dealers. For those who missed the story, the grandfatherly Meloy allegedly

Put Your Antiques Biz on Page 1 with Google Places

“I’ve never been lost,” said Daniel Boone; “But I was once perplexed for a few days.” It’s said that Boone was a master at staying found. Making his way through the wilderness with nothing more than an incomplete map, a compass, and his own sensibilities, he blazed a trail that thousands would follow from Virginia

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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