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Antique Business News - December 2010
Antique Business News - December 2010

A little help getting more people to pay attention to your antiques & collectibles business.

In this issue:
1. The top 20 Google searches containing the word "Antique"
2. Alert the media - How to write a "Microrelease" in 20 minutes or less
3. Online customers are looking for the best price
4. The Top 10 antiques & collectibles searches for December 1-29, 2010

1. The top 20 Google searches containing the word "Antique".
Google has an interesting tool where you can find out how many times a specific term or word has been searched for on their system over the course of a month. Here are the top 20 results for the word "Antique", followed by the number of times that term/word was searched for in a one month period.

antique - 6,120,000
antiques - 1,220,000
antiques furniture - 246,000
antique furniture - 246,000
antique for sale - 165,000
antique road show - 135,000
antique roadshow - 135,000
antique rings - 135,000
antique jewelry - 110,000
antiques road show - 110,000
antiques roadshow - 90,500
roadshow antiques - 90,500
antique wedding dresses - 90,500
antique and - 90,500
antique clock - 90,500
antique posters - 90,500
antiquity - 74,000
antique glass - 74,000
antique silver - 74,000
antique jewelry - 74,000

It's interesting to note how many more people will search for a term using just a slight variation in words or just adding an "s" to make a word plural. Keep this in mind when writing press releases, marketing copy & advertising for distribution over the Internet. Make sure your text is optimized with the most appropriate and popular keywords for your business.

2. Alert the media - How to write a "Microrelease" in 20 minutes or less.
Press releases are VITAL to your Internet marketing strategy. They let the public and the media know about the latest news at your TIAS store. Publicity attracts new customers and increases sales.

The complaint I hear the most about writing and posting press releases is that it takes too long. The potential benefits are huge, so either hire someone to write a proper press release for you or take 20 minutes and write a quick & to the point "Microrelease". This can be broken out into the following elements....

1. Title - Maximum length of no more than 140 characters that tells what your press release is about.
2. Summary - Maximum length of no more than 200 characters - Gives slightly more detail than your Title
3. Press Release - Minimum length 175 words - Be sure to include all keywords and phrases that are pertinent to your business and this news event. The body of the release has smaller parts including...
a) Dateline - Date and location - when and where the release was sent from
b) First paragraph - More detail than Summary
c) Second paragraph - Additional detail about this event
d) Third paragraph - This would be your "About Us" paragraph that gives details about your company. This is sometimes called the "boiler plate". You use it at the end of all your press releases, so this can be used over and over again, cutting down even more time for creating future microreleases.
e) Contact Us - The name of your company, the name of the media contact person at your company, followed by the postal mailing address, email address and phone number for the media contact.

OK, here is an example of a quick microrelease based on the above info....
Online Antiques & Collectibles Mall TIAS.com Guarantees All Online Purchases

Customers who purchase antiques & collectibles from merchants at TIAS.com are now covered for up to $500 of the purchase price.

Press Release:
December 29, 2010 - Garden City, New York - TIAS.com the Web's largest online antiques & collectibles mall today launched their "TIAS Trusted Merchant" program. When a customer buys from a "TIAS Trusted Merchant" their purchase is guaranteed by TIAS.com for up to $500 of the purchase price and they may return the item for any reason within a minimum of 7 days of their purchase (program details are available online).

TIAS had recently launched a number of initiatives that were designed to make buyers more comfortable purchasing from TIAS merchants. The company had found one of the biggest obstacles customers had when buying antiques and collectibles online was the lack of "trust" when buying items from independent online merchants that they were not familiar with. To address this issue, TIAS launched the "TIAS Trusted Merchant" program.

About TIAS - (Note that you can use this same section again in your next microrelease)
TIAS serves approximately 800,000 unique visitors each month. About 400 merchants sell through the TIAS system, listing well over 630,000 items for sale online. The company has been building e-commerce systems for merchants since 1995.

For more information contact:
Phillip Davies,
TIAS.com Inc.
The above microrelease has 184 words, not including the title and the summary. This might take you 15 to 20 minutes to write. Possible topics for a microrelease about your business might include...
a) New Inventory just posted to your online store or auction.
b) Recently listed unusual item(s).
c) Upcoming show/auction dates
d) Insights into market trends
e) insights into antiques & collectibles that you specialize in.
f) Brief articles about care and maintenance of specific antiques or collectibles
g) anything unusual or newsworthy that would be of interest to the public or the media.

Once you have completed your microrelease, create a free account at http://News-Antique.com or one of these other free press release distribution services http://www.bignews.biz/blog/?p=6 and they will feed your press release to writers, editors, bloggers and collectors.

If you still need some help figuring this stuff out, contact me at Phil@tias.com

3. Online customers are looking for the best price
When someone buys an antique or collectible online it takes them just a few seconds to find similar items and compare prices from other online sellers. So determining the current online value of your merchandise is incredibly important when setting the prices for your merchandise.

Before you post an item for sale online, act like one of your customers and research prices for similar items. Be sure to include completed eBay auctions in your research as well as asking prices on Google shopping, Google search, Bing search and Yahoo!. If everyone else is selling their "thing a ma jigs" for $20 and you are asking $30, the $20 item is going to get sold.

Also, if you have had items for sale online for over 6 month and have not checked on the current market value of your merchandise, it's time to check your asking prices and adjust them to the current market value.

4. The Top 10 antiques & collectibles searches for December 1-29, 2010
We don't usually release this data until the month has completed, but I doubt there will be any serious changes before the end of the month. Here are the top 10 categories that were searched for on TIAS.com in the first 29 days of December 2010.

1) China & Dinnerware
2) Glass
3) Porcelain & Pottery
4) Silver
5) Vases
6) Figurines
7) Dolls
8) Antiquities
9) Stamps
10) Art

Questions? Comments? Email Phil@tias.com or call 888-653-7883

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