Feb 3, 2015

Find More Time by Using Online Tools

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This time of year, many antique dealers are breathing a sigh of relief. The holiday selling crush is over. For the past month or so, administrative chores have been put on hold in order to service in-store and online customers. Hopefully, most of us have

Catching up on administrative tasks and end-of-year/first-of-the-year paperwork is a necessity of doing business.
Catching up on administrative tasks and end-of-year/first-of-the-year paperwork is a necessity of doing business.

fattened bank accounts to make up for all the hard work. Now, it’s time to buckle down and address those year-end administrative chores like taking inventory, catching up on payables, scouting new inventory, and contacting customers that we were too busy to contact during the selling season.

As we “catch up” in January, we often realize that in our holiday haste we missed some opportunities. Every January, I speak with customers that I had put on a back burner (in order to deal with the customer in front of me) only to discover that they had made their purchases from a competitor instead of me. My competitor (or his advertisement) was in the right place at the right time, and I wasn’t. When I consider the missed sales, I wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t have advertised more, or posted specials more frequently to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, my blog, or email, or a half-dozen other digital channels.

In order to “be where the customers are” we have to “go where the customers go.” Sometimes, that’s hard to do. We’re on Facebook, they’re on Twitter. We’re on Twitter, they’re on Pinterest. Or eBay, or Etsy, or Google. It’s all a matter of visibility. These days, the internet has made visibility cheap: social media platforms are often free, and the major selling platforms are cheap relative to the cost of running a bricks-and-mortar store. The problem is that when we’re real busy (like during the holiday season) who’s got time to maintain a presence on social media? And even if we did have the time, how much difference would it make to our sales anyway? Read More

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