Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oy Vey...The Stock Market is Plunging..Ten Tips to Increase Sales in Your Antique Business

What do so many people do when they feel nervous, moody, blue....they go antiquing! Yes the stock market is plunging...and yes money is tight....but guess what.....true collectors are still collecting.. Both high end buyers (people who buy $ 100,000 paintings) and everyday collectors (like most of us) are still buying. But what everyday collectors are doing is that they are buying different kinds of things then in previous seasons.

I know you will counter argue that business is off and sales are flat at times....but guess what when people are "jumpy" or down in their spirits...they like to make themselves feel better and they go out shopping or hunting for that special something to make them feel "happy". They want "comfort food" and "comfort treasures". Customers may not buy the $150.00 item, but they will buy more of the $10.00-25.00 dollar collectible.

So what does this mean for you the seller or owner of a shop or multi-dealer antique mall ?
It means that you need to provide "comfort".

Here are some practical suggestions:
1. Feed your customers...offer free tea, hot cider, coffee and cookies/cake. If you have the health department. go ahead... use some of your china, tea cups and silver to show your customers how pretty using antiques and collectibles can be.

2. Fill large old candy jars with old time "penny candy" and let your customers enjoy a bit of nostalgia. Display your country store items and vintage tins with this candy.Also consider free popcorn.

3. Consider offering a mix of collectibles and antiques to cater to all budgets.

4. Offer free gift wrapping. Can use plain shoping bag with colorful wrapping tissue.

5. Add a vintage note card to your packages. Punch a hole in a vintage card and tie to package with a ribbon.

6. Make sure all your shopping bags, paper bags etc have your store label or card attached to them.all year round and especially at the holiday time. .

7. Talk to your customers. Ask them what they are looking for. Remind them that antiques and collectibles are good gifts for the holidays. (Some people come to your shop or mall for a specific item for themselves and don't think about buying holiday gifts in an antique store. Tell them you gift wrap free!

8. Are your store windows exciting and colorful. Walk across the street from your mall or shop. Can you see what is in your windows. Create attractive eye catching displays. Use bright colors. Add punch!

9. Always put something "antique-ish" (furniture, vintage sleigh, etc) out on the sidewalk in front of the store. When cars or people pass by your shop...let them know you are an antique shop!

10. Wish customers find what they are looking for. Do you have a wish list book, index file, email system?

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

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Dianne is a member of:
The American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Authors Guild, Inc.

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