May 2017

Hillsville flea market

Flea Market Vendors Show Why Price Matters

The entire town was swallowed whole! Was it Hurricane Isaac? Nope. Sink hole? Nope. Flea market? Yep. For the 45th year, the tiny Blue Ridge Mountain burg of Hillsville, Va., (population 2,600) was engulfed by a half-million visitors to the annual Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show. More than 2,000 vendors stretched for more […]

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estate sale

Estate Sales Booming, Antiques Shops Struggle to Pay Rent

In almost every market, the number of traditional antiques stores continues to dwindle while other marketing channels — estate sale companies, auction companies, consignment stores and online venues — continue to grow. Why? One reason is that traditional antiques stores are expensive to operate and entail considerably more financial risk than alternative marketing channels. Another […]

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product descriptions

Sell More with Better Product Descriptions

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s […]

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tax cut

How Managing Your Inventory Can Cut Your Taxes

It’s often said that two of life’s certainties are death and taxes. What’s said less often – but is just as certain – is that your tax liabilities can be the death of your business. You work hard to create profits so you can re-invest those profits into inventory to build your business. Then, when […]

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smartphone marketing

Smartphone Marketing is Smart

What three things do you always take with you when you leave your house? Almost universally, the answer is your keys, your wallet and your smartphone. For decades, urban dwellers left home with just their keys and their wallets. At some point, smartphones became so important that they couldn’t leave home without them, either. A […]

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retail truths

90 Years’ Experience Helps Antiques Dealers

What’s the best advice you ever received that you failed to take? I recently considered that question, and my thoughts went down a rabbit hole that became so deep, so fast, I expected to bump into Alice and the White Rabbit. Yes, I should have bought Apple stock in 1986. Yes, I should have taken […]

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balance sheet

Some Things Only Your Balance Sheet Can Tell You

Since retiring from my full-time pursuits a few years ago, my wife Jill and I have begun to go grocery shopping together. Well, perhaps “shopping together” is a misnomer. We enter the store together, to be sure; but I’m given a list and a hand basket, Jill takes a cart, and we go our separate […]

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Relative Pricing: Market Dictates Worth

You’re a rational person. As a rational person, if I tell you that you’re about to be tricked then you will be on guard, and less likely to be fooled. Or so you think. Prepare yourself to be tricked while taking the following pop quiz: 1. Is the average temperature in San Francisco higher or […]

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refinishing antique furniture

Refinish Your Antique Furniture? It’s a Question of Value

That crisp new $20 bill in your wallet is more valuable than the worn $20 you got as change from the convenience mart. Don’t believe me? Next time you make a purchase, take note of which bill you are inclined to give to the clerk. Chances are you will use the worn $20 and keep […]

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auction bidding

What’s Your Auction – Live Auction Bidding Strategy?

With Valentine’s Day upon us, I’m sure all you romantics are diligently surfing eBay for that perfect and rare gift for your sweetheart. Of course, the fun in surfing eBay isn’t just found in bidding. Winning is even more fun, provided that you don’t pay too much. Therein lies the danger in auction bidding: You […]

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