Dog Days Can Mean Sales
inAugust 1, 2012 - 12:24pm
Hot, lazy days, with little activity.
And, sadly, that sometimes includes business activity and sales, at least for those of us in the business of selling vintage collectibles and antiques. Back to school clothes and school supplies may sell, but little else does. Many businesses record some of their lowest sales during this month. Some folks try to cram those last summer vacations into this period, taking more money away from the discretionary funds used to buy a unique collectible item.
What is a seller to do?
If you expect sales revenue, working smarter is the only option.
Ruby Lane is doing what it can, with a different kind of Ruby Red Tag Sale. Only items offered at a deeper discount-50%-qualify for the sale, to be held this weekend, August 4 and 5.
Look at your shop inventory report, which can be sorted by date. Simply click the “Added” column on the report and the items will display from oldest to newest. It is time to decide whether you like it enough to keep an item on display, or if you would rather have some revenue flowing into your shop at a slow time of year! 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing! We all make buying and pricing mistakes from time to time, and tastes change. The things that were hot, and in demand when you stocked that piece may just not be things that are selling right now. While the costs of leaving it in inventory, unsold, are minor, the costs of not having funds available to buy new inventory can be devastating.
"New Arrivals" are a very popular search on Ruby Lane. Our mentors invariably notice that our successful shops are the ones that take advantage of this fact. Shops that add inventory on a regular basis simply attract more customers than shops that do not. Think about your own experiences in brick and mortar shops. What would your reaction be if you went into a shop that had the same items on display that were there the last time you went in? Sitting there, season after season, and never making it to the clearance rack.
Some antique and collectible items are quite rare, and may take a while to find the right buyer. Other items are a bit more common, and the sales of these items are simply going to be made by the shop that has the best price and presentation of these types of items.
Dog Days are the perfect time to clear out any aging inventory and make room for new additions. The vacations will soon be over, the children will be off at school, and collectors will again be browsing and shopping, looking at the new arrivals and at ideas for Holiday gifts. That selling season is right around the corner!
While the Ruby Red Tag Sale is limited to deeper discounts this time, that will probably mean lots of bargain hunters. You may want to consider a smaller reduction on some other items in your shop, or free domestic shipping on some items: Anything to break down the shopper’s resistance and motivate them to BUY IT NOW. Our records from previous Ruby Red Tag Sales indicate a significant increase in sales of regular priced items during these events.
These reductions will reduce your theoretical profits. I say theoretical profits because inventory is an expense until sold. Theoretical profits do not buy new inventory or pay your bills, and I have never filled my gas tank with gallons of inventory equity. Only sales do that.