Eleven Affordable Tips for Promoting Your Antiques Business

Promoting your antiques business

Among antiques dealers, hope springs eternal. Dealers look forward to a new year, hoping for profitable merchandise, good inventory turnover, and new customers. Some dealers will spend the year hoping; others will make a plan and work to make the plan a reality. Central to gaining more customers and making more sales is building store traffic. Antiques dealers have the same challenges as other retailers: how to build awareness for their business and get more customers in the door. This month, I’ll share some promotions that retailers in other businesses have successfully used; perhaps a few of them will work

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Virtual Antiquing: Putting Pictures to Work

virtual antiquing

Antique Trader’s “virtual antiquing” Facebook page feature has become one of my favorite newsfeed items. I enjoy seeing how shops display merchandise and what types of inventory they carry. When I occasionally spot an unusual item, I get particularly excited. Many of the goods in such photos you just don’t see on eBay. I often find myself clicking to a dealer’s website to see more items, and discover their prices. Of course, what makes virtual antiquing enjoyable is a lot of high-quality photos. The more the better; sometimes I’ll click on every photo. We are visually oriented creatures. The reason

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Build Your Business with Lookalike Audience

lookalike audience

I love Facebook marketing. Compared to the expense and uncertainty of my advertising in the 1980s, Facebook is a dream-come-true. John Wanamaker, the pioneering 19th-century retailer and department store entrepreneur, summed-up my advertising anxiety succinctly: “I know half my advertising works but I don’t know which half.” Changing Face of Marketing Until recently, retailers had few choices in advertising platforms: print, broadcast, and direct mail (in their various formats). All of those media had a common strategy: saturate a market with an advertiser’s message. Then, hope that interested buyers would see or hear an advertisement and take action. Such shotgun-style

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Selling to the Rich: DINKS, WOOFS, and HENRYS


The list of social-status acronyms grows longer each year. I’m sure you’ve heard of YUPPIES (young urban professionals) and probably DINKs (double income, no kids), SINKs (single income, no kids) and SITCOMs (single income, two children, and oppressive mortgage). This week, I discovered the acronyms WOOFs (well-off older folks) and HENRYs (high earners, not rich yet). I’m continually impressed by the amount of money these cohorts spend. Daily, my inbox fills with reports of six-and-seven-figure auction results. Fabulous amounts of money are spent on collectibles, yet antique shops seldom see any of it. Oh, we may score a five-figure sale

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Use Facebook to Build Trust in Your Brand

facebook marketing

Walking down Main Street in Mt. Airy, N.C., I feel like I’ve stepped into a 1960s sitcom. Mt. Airy, the boyhood home of Andy Griffith, was the inspiration for his television home town of Mayberry. As I stroll by Floyd’s Barber Shop, I peek inside and notice that all the chairs are full. Not the barber chairs, but the waiting chairs against the wall. Those seated are engaged in animated conversation, and a crowd has gathered to listen to the dialogue. This is a common sight here in the Blue Ridge Mountains: Residents gathered in a local store to visit

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Antique Dealers Can Master Web Marketing

web marketing

Yesterday’s tools don’t work very well in modern applications. Take a rotary phone, for example: It can still make phone calls, but it won’t work outdoors, it won’t connect to the Internet, and it won’t take photos. A few of you are now saying, “I just want a telephone that makes phone calls.” I’d be willing to bet that it’s these same few who have said “Internet marketing doesn’t work.” It’s not that Internet marketing doesn’t work; it’s that they are taking a new tool (the Internet) and using it like it’s an old tool. It’s like owning an iPhone

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Put Your Antiques Biz on Page 1 with Google My Business

google my business logo

“I’ve never been lost,” said Daniel Boone; “But I was once perplexed for a few days.” It’s said that Boone was a master at staying found. Making his way through the wilderness with nothing more than an incomplete map, a compass, and his own sensibilities, he blazed a trail that thousands would follow from Virginia to Kentucky. “Staying found” is a significant challenge for bricks-and-mortar Antique stores. New customers will stumble upon stores that are located on well-travelled thoroughfares. Dealers who pump money into traditional media advertising (newspapers, radio, yellow pages) may also attract new customers. But, high-traffic locations and

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Online Video: Tap a Super Bowl Sized Audience for Pennies

youtube logo

Do you remember the Super Bowl ad about the antiques dealer? Neither do I. At nearly $3 million for a 30-second ad, you won’t see any small retailers advertising during the Super Bowl. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing an ad for an antiques store on television – ever. The Super Bowl attracted about 111 million viewers last year. The $3-million-for-30-seconds price tag breaks down to less than 3 cents per viewer. Not bad for a cost-per-impression. Now hold on to your seats: 111 million viewers a year is a drop in the bucket compared to how many viewers

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Social Media Marketing For Your Business

social media marketing

These days, social media marketing is pervasive. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn now have membership bases that span generations and spread across the globe.  It is estimated that the membership of Facebook alone exceeds the population of the United States.  The above sites allow you to create a page for your business, as well as a personal page. They are also great because they allow you to discover new business connections.  These social networking websites are free to join and are driven by sharing information and referring friends. Properly using social media marketing with such a huge, referral-focused

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Viral Marketing Success

viral marketing

It’s said that in order to sell something to someone, they must know you, like you, and trust you.  The know-like-trust combination is time-consuming to implement as a marketing strategy.  It requires building one-on-one relationships with your customers; getting introductions to prospects, finding common ground with them, and establishing a level of trust.  This process can be considerably sped up when the quality of your goods or service is recommended from friend to friend.  Friends recommending your business to friends is called word-of-mouth marketing, and viral marketing is word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. Social networking is what powers viral marketing. Let’s

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