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Antique Business News (ABN) November 16, 2010
Antique Business News (ABN)
November 16, 2010

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Tips and ideas for merchants in the antiques and collectibles trade
In this issue:
1. Customer want phone numbers on your Web site
2. More traffic from Google
3. People use online stores for research
4. We need your vote!

1. Customers want a phone number on your Web site.
Here at TIAS.com we have a toll free number so that customers can reach us if they have a question about one of our merchants or the merchandise we offer on our site. We get quite a few calls every day. It turns out that with all of the communications technology we have available online, many customers still like the idea of talking to someone before they buy an antique or collectible online. They want to be assured that the seller is a real person and that the merchandise is real. So if you don't offer a phone number on your Web site, consider making one available. Phone numbers make customers happier and increase online sales.

2. More traffic from Google
Google's search results drive traffic and sales. So getting more customers from Google to your Web site is a vital part of your online marketing. One way to do this is to write short, simple, press releases about upcoming sales, shows, newly acquired merchandise and anything newsworthy about your business, what you do and what you sell. These mini press releases can get picked up by Google news and Google search as well as all of the other major search engines and social media like twitter and facebook. Press releases can be as short as 175 words (about 2 paragraphs).
Topics For your press releases might include:

a) In the case of an unusual item sold, publicize the sales., what was unusual about the item and how much did it sell for.
b) If you completed an auction, write up the realized prices into a release.
c) If you completed an antique show, write up a story about the event.
d) If you have new merchandise to sell or auction, talk about it and emphasize what is unusual and newsworthy about it.

Write your press release from the point of view of a reporter. Keep your releases as unbiased as possible and stay away from marketing hype in your releases. If you need information on writing and distributing releases, here are some resources.

a) How to write a press release - This is a blog entry I put together a few months back. See: http://www.bignews.biz/blog/?p=13
b) Where to post your press releases for free - The largest (60,000 visitors a month) online press release distribution site serving the antiques and collectibles trade is http://www.News-Antique.com . There is no cost to open an account and post a press release. Other sites you may want to submit your releases to are:
c) After you have submitted your release to the above sites, consider posting them to this list of general topic press release distribution services. See:
d) If you don't have the time to write and post press releases - You can hire someone to do it for you. There are affordable and reliable writers and pr specialists that would be happy to do the work for you. Here is a tutorial on how to find a writer to work with you on press releases.
See: http://www.bignews.biz/blog/?p=20

If you need assistance, drop me an email at Phil@TIAS.com

3. People use online stores for research
TIAS.com recently conducted an online survey of 16,000 subscribers to their email newsletter asking:
"Your first choice for determining the value of an antique or collectibles is.."
96.2% answered "Research Online"
3.8% mentioned "Research using printed price guides".
Online shops and eBay were mentioned as the most frequently used online sources. So if your Web site is getting lots of traffic but no one is buying, it may be because they are using your site as a price guide.

4. We need your vote!
AuctionBytes will be holding the 2011 "Sellers Choice" awards. TIAS.com needs your vote. Please go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sc_2011 and place your vote for TIAS.com

Comments? Questions?
Email Phil@TIAS.com

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