Cheap Tricks For Brick & Mortar Merchants
inAugust 20, 2012 - 4:05am
With the economy slogging along so slowly, everyone selling antiques and/or collectibles in a physical store location is looking for ways to accomplish the most for the least expense. As one of the first places shoppers have cut back on non essentials, antiques and collectibles have become one of the most difficult scenarios in which to snag sales instead of entertaining window shoppers.
Yet, to reap rewards you must invest – how to do that and still make money in today’s marketplace?
With just a little brainstorming, you’ll come up with many great ideas for low-cost ways to interest customers in your merchandise! Here are a few to get you started:
1. Clean items in a clean setting have the strongest appeal: Dust the pieces in your space. Clean the shelves! It goes without saying to make sure everything is clean before you bring it in! Don’t forget glass showcase doors – if they’re dirty, clean them!
2. Rearrange your items: Absolutely nothing repels customers faster than seeing the “same old, same old” in your space! Give your space a new look by relocating pieces to different spots.
3. Write item and price information on both sides of hang tags. If the tag gets turned over, no harm done! Replace old, faded tags – a sure sign that the item has been there far too long! Make sure all tags in locked cases are readable from outside.
4. If you are working with a lighted showcase, keep the bulb(s) clean and lit. If you can’t hide a spare bulb somewhere, keep one packed in your kit that you bring with you. Make items as visible as possible by placing them carefully to block as little light as possible. Do your best to keep light shining through a shelf to the next one down.
5. Invest in cheap mirrors (we always look at tag sales). Place them strategically in the back corners of shelves to reflect light out and up. This works especially well on lower shelves. Use mirror(s) on the floor of the lowest shelf.
6. Keep seasonal decorations up to date! Easter decorations in July translate into neglect in the minds of shoppers.
7. Keep sale posters and other signs in your space up to date! If it’s August, and your sale signs say “Good Through July 31,” resentful customers will not buy.
8. Is the floor in your area clean? Even if the management is supposed to clean it, take a look. Dirty floors repel shoppers. Either clean your area yourself, or get after whoever is supposed to do it.
9. Don’t leave the same signs up too long. For a change, alternate large ones with clever post-it notes. I found adorable little elephant stickies and and wrote, “Don’t forget to ask for Dealer 195 discounts!” on a dozen or so with a Sharpie, before posting them around my space.
10. Brighten up solid shelves with new contact paper or wallpaper, picked up on closeout at a bargain store. Tag sale tablecloths can give brand new looks to counters and cover up the scruffiest (not-for-sale) display tables.
Written by: Jane Silvernail
Time’s Treasures Railroad & Country on Ruby Lane