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Antique Business News (ABN) - September 2008
Antique Business News (ABN)
September 2008

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Tips and ideas for merchants in the antiques and collectibles trade
In this issue:
1. Holiday shopping season starts.
2. New service to promote your online business
3. Helping people find your business
4. Mailing lists

1. Holiday shopping season

It may not seem like it, but historically the online Holiday shopping season for antiques and collectibles started this month. With the economic downturn, the Wall Street Journal reported this week that retailers are bracing for a very slow season.

At TIAS.com, even with all the economic bad news, we've seen a 20% increase in fixed price sales over last year. So far this month, the average order is coming in at about $25, but we are seeing a higher volume of purchases than last year.

Antiques and Collectibles in this price range might be considered "comfort goods". This type of merchandise almost acts as a security blanket in difficult financial times. The customer gets the satisfaction of owning something that makes them feel good as well as knowing that they only spent $25 on it. Many consumers also take comfort in the idea that if necessary, they can sell the item for close to what they paid for it.

With all this in mind, when advertising to potential customers this season, emphasize the bargain price and the value you are offering. Make your customers feel good about their purchase. Keep thinking about your merchandise as "comfort goods" by emphasizing the quality and the value they are getting at a fantastic price, then back-up your claims by quoting the "book price" or recent auction prices paid for similar items.

2. New service to promote your online business

As online merchants have spread their inventory over multiple Web sites and online antique malls, gathering all of these sites into one centralized directory would make finding these merchants and their stores much easier for buyers.

EveryPlaceISell.com does just that. It is a new directory that helps shoppers find their favorite sellers and specialty merchants and view all of the places they sell online. For instance, if a merchant sells on TIAS.com, eBay and on their own website, shoppers will see that list on the merchant's EveryPlaceISell.com listing and can easily click-through to any or all of the seller's online storefronts. Search the directory by seller name or User ID, browse by category, or search by keyword.

Everyplace I sell is also search engine optimized, making it easier for customers to find information about your store on Google, Yahoo!, MSN and ASK.

To open a free account for your business, go to http://www.everyplaceisell.com/cgi-bin/ep/ep-register.pl

3. Helping people find your business

The Internet is a big place and there are lots of folks out there who are trying to attract your customers. How can you make your business stand out from the crowd?

News releases are part of the answer. BigNews.biz recently posted an online tutorial to help you write a simple news release about your business. Take a look at: http://bignews.biz/blog/?p=13 . Once you have created a release, use this list http://bignews.biz/blog/?p=6 to post it online. A good online news release can bring your business hundreds of new potential customers and has the potential to continue to send you customer for years...

The total cost for this? $0.00.

4. Mailing Lists

If you have a free account at News-Antique.com , you can now create hosted email lists. This means that every time you send out a news release on News-Antique.com your release can also be sent to your own private mailing list. This saves you time and money and you can manage your list from any computer that is connected to the Internet.

Some examples:
If you run an auction house and want to announce an upcoming auction. Just login to your account at News-Antique.com and create a mailing list of your customers. Once the list is created, every time you post a upcoming auction on news-antique.com you can have it emailed to your mailing list as well.

You have a Web store at TIAS.com and just uploaded new inventory for an upcoming Holiday sale. Just login to your account at News-Antique.com create a mailing list and when you send out a press release about your upcoming sale and the new inventory, it will also be sent to your list automatically.

Questions? Comments? Need Help?
Drop me an email at Phil@tias.com

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