Selling Collectibles is about Creating Collectors of New Stuff, Old Stuff, All Kinds of Stuff
inMarch 25, 2011 - 11:59am
Is it enough for us to just use Ruby Plaza as a place to sell our stuff or should we also take on an added task? Let's face it; even though it is Plaza's goal of getting us to sell NEW stuff and get away from the collectibles are they not, in fact, just trying to get us to get people to COLLECT new stuff? So it still boils down to collecting. The rest is semantics. New stuff, old stuff, vintage stuff, It's ALL collecting, and OUR goal is to sell it to those who collect it. So as sellers, is it not in our best interests to get more people to become interested in collecting the items that we sell? How do we do that? Well for one thing we can show them how exited WE are about the items that we are selling. We can simply give bland, boring descriptions of our wares, nice colorful pictures and leave it at that. OR, we can go into more then just the physical attributes of our wares. Explain the history of its manufacture; explain the rationale that some makers use to include different features on the items. Show them the development of the item over history and how it came to be in the configuration that it now is. In other words, we can get excited about each and every single item that we have to offer our customers to purchase from us. Jewelry makers can go into the details of how they choose the components or their jewelry and how those are made, especially those who make beaded stuff. Beads are a fascinating subject in and of themselves. Apparel makers can do the same, go into the history behind the fabrics that they use, the closures, the trim accessories, even the threads. There are fascinating tidbits to intrigue our customers there as well. In other words, we not only need to sell to our customers who are already collectors of our stuff but try to increase the total number of collectors. We need to make our market larger and how we do that is to make MORE people into collectors; collectors who will be willing to spend money to obtain the very things that we would love to sell them.
Now even though Ruby Plaza is trying to stress NEW stuff they have not actually banned the rest of us who are selling the vintage collectibles. I love selling my vintage post cards, tins and low end glass ware. Ruby Lane should not have to lower its standards to accommodate this low end stuff, yet some one has to sell it because there are people who love to collect it and buy it. It serves as an introductory level or an affordable level for those who would love to collect but either are afraid to invest heavily into the more precious stuff or simply do not have the where with all to make such investments. We low level sellers of vintage items fill that need to enable those people to enjoy the experience of collecting as well. And that is where our love of these items comes in. There are FAR more people in the situation where they would like to try collecting but can't afford the higher priced items. We can still cater to their desires, attract more of those collectors and enable those who wish to move on to higher quality stuff to use our level as a stepping stone on the way to the next level of collecting. I think that is one of the reasons that Plaza doesn't want to completely get rid of us. We are the beginning level to the more serious collecting levels that Ruby Lane needs to grow and develop. They too need to grow their customer base and they depend on us to provide them a stream of collectors who are ready to move to the next level of collecting. And the way we get people interested n collecting is to show them the pleasures in finding new items and also teaching them WHY there are collectible. We need to teach them what it is that fascinates other collectors about the things that they collect. How we do that is to connect our wares to history. Not just popular history but the history of glassware, pottery, post cards, art, jewelry, clothing, tools, auto parts, you name it. There are collectors of just about everything, and it is up to us, the sellers of these things to generate our own customer base. The best way to do that is to get exited about our holdings and TEACH about them.
I try to include a bit of education in the items which I lost all the time. Each of my post cards includes the history of the maker, the history of the subject on the front of the card, SOMETHING just a little bit extra. Stuff like that makes our customers feel that not only are they buying our stuff but they get the story along with the item. That's how we make repeat customers and new customers. More importantly, it is how we make NEW collectors who will be future customer, not only for us but for our fellow shop owners and the owners of shops on our sister site, Ruby Lane.
There is one added benefit to "adding" information to our descriptive write-ups; there are an increased number of keywords for the search engines to locate our items. And that, my dear fellow shop owners is how we go about getting folks to actually visit and look at what we are trying to sell them. Isn't it?