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October 20, 2017

Sell More

Achieve Higher Prices Through Storytelling

A baseball cap worn by Neil Armstrong after the Apollo 11 mission sells for $12,000. A typewriter belonging to novelist Cormac McCarthy sells for $254,500. A football used during the NFL’s “deflategate” scandal sells for $43,740. Baseball caps and footballs are commonly available for under $10; typewriters for under $100. Clearly, in the above sales

Rousing Customers’ Senses Leads to Closing Sales

All the marketing you’ve ever done to promote your business is completely wrong and has been a gross waste of money. At least that’s what Dr. Neal Martin would have us believe in his book “Habit: The 95% of Behavior Marketers Would Have Us Ignore.” I’m not convinced by Dr. Martin’s book. Effective marketing has

just looking

Getting Past “Just Looking”

The most thought-provoking comment I’ve heard lately came just last week from the mouth of a four-year-old boy. I was browsing through the men’s department of a mall store when the four-year-old appeared, holding his mother’s hand. A clerk asked the mother: “Can I help you?” and without dropping a beat the young boy replied:

lamp trio

Boost Your Sales with Sidekick Merchandising

I’ve always marveled at fictional sidekicks. A good sidekick lends perspective to enigmatic heroes and helps us to know them better. How well could we understand the complexities of Sherlock Holmes’ mind without having Dr. Watson to ask the questions we are thinking? How much more dignified is Andy Griffith when compared to simple-minded Barney

Should You Open an Antique Mall Booth?

Should you open an antique mall booth? The answer to that question will vary according to who you ask. Folks who have opened a booth and failed will, of course, tell you “no”. Many antique dealers will tell you “no” as well, citing the fact that their sales are getting lower every year. Operators who

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Pinning Down Pinterest Marketing Basics

As a small businessman, I’m very conservative (read: cheap) with my resources. I’m tight with my money and even tighter with my time, because I don’t have an excess of either to squander. Consequently, I’m very reluctant to jump onto the latest bandwagon because I’ve found that too often those wagons don’t go anywhere. Remember

qr code price tag

QR Codes Help Turn Mall Browsers into Buyers

A friend who is an antique dealer says he likes to visit antiques malls so that he can see how much other dealers are getting for their wares. I pointed out that what he was actually seeing was the prices that dealers weren’t getting, since all the items he would view were unsold. “Yeah,” he

online scam

Addressing the Uncertainty of Selling Online

You might be a crook. Your products might be of poor quality. You might not deliver once you’ve got my money. You might have misrepresented your product. These are the attitudes of the nearly one-third of U.S. Internet users who are still not buying online. With about 245 million Internet users in the United States

billboard

Grab Buyer Attention in the Blink of an Eye

Blink. No, really; pause for a second, blink, and pay attention to the speed of your eyelids. An average blink takes about half a second to complete. The New York Times recently quoted Google research demonstrating that “web surfers” will dump your website in favor of a competitor’s if the competitor’s site loads just 250

silent auction

Clearing Inventory with Unique Solutions

For an antiques dealer, there are several circumstances that have the same physical impact as being gut-punched: a levy notice from the IRS, your partner running off with all your money and the fire marshal telling you, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to shut you down.” Linda Balentine heard those jarring words from a

auction

Hanging Out Your Shingle on the Web

If my grandfather knew I’d become an auctioneer, he’d roll over in his grave. Back in the Great Depression, my family was one of many that were turned out of their homes by a bank foreclosure. Since auctioneers were agents of the bank, the family’s ill will toward the bank transferred to all auctioneers. Nary

hillsville flea market

Flea Market Vendors Show Why Price Matters

The entire town was swallowed whole! Was it Hurricane Isaac? Nope. Sink hole? Nope. Flea market? Yep. For the 45th year, the tiny Blue Ridge Mountain burg of Hillsville, Va., (population 2,600) was engulfed by a half-million visitors to the annual Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show. More than 2,000 vendors stretched for more

antique vintage

Sell More with Better Product Descriptions

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s

mobile marketing

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.

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

selling antiques

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

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