In Collecting, Perspective Is Everything

Anyone who visits Cowboy Rick’s Corral of Collectibles on Ruby Lane will see a picture of me on the home page standing in front of a large display of cowboy hats. The picture was taken at Wahl Drug in South Dakota—a well-known and often visited tourist stop in an otherwise barren part of the country. I was tickled pink to find this wall of hats because I collect hats, cowboy hats that is. Now I know you can only wear one of them at a time and they do take up a lot of room, but I just can’t seem to stop myself—especially if I see a style that I don’t already own. Like my shop motto says: there are some things you just can’t have too many of.

I don’t usually carry ladies jewelry in my shop. But at a recent flea market I came across an irresistible pin. It was a Mexican boy walking his dog and on his head was a big sombrero. Cinsababe explained that this type of pin where two separate brooches are attached by a chain is called a chatelaine and that this one in particular was a “walkie,” meaning it depicted a person walking their dog. I was jealous of his hat and so I bought the piece and listed it my shop.

It wasn’t long before a buyer had snagged the little fellow. She was a customer in Germany, and I struck up a conversation with her since I knew she had purchased items in my wife’s shop in the past. I told her how much I liked this pin because of the hat and that I was a collector of hats. Boy was I surprised when she wrote back and told me she had purchased the pin because she was a Chihuahua breeder and that’s what the little boy was walking—his Chihuahua!

It really made me chuckle to realize that perspective really is everything when collecting. A salt and pepper shaker collector may collect any figural example, but I have a cowboy salt shaker and he wears his pepper shaker hat. And the picture frame that sits on my desk has—you guessed it—a cowboy hat and boots attached. The more I thought about, the more I realized that as a new shop owner I needed to take a good look at the items I was listing to be sure I was using good key words in my first paragraph not just for what was obvious to me, but what a customer might be using in their search.

I should have had Chihuahua right up there in the front end of the description—not just the generic “dog.” So as I list my cufflinks and such from now on I will be trying to see my offerings through different eyes, and hopefully that will help increase my visibility in the search engines and ultimately increase my sales.

Rick Brown of Cowboy Rick’s Corral of Collectibles


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