Sunday, August 7, 2016

“Do not compromise

on the quality and your customers will not negotiate on the price.”
 ~Amit Kalantri    

Obviously, Amit of above quote has not dealt in the resale market because that would not matter to the average consumer.  Perhaps in the very high end world...the Sothebys or Christies world...one would not hear the words, "What is your best price?"  And, maybe at a flea market, that is more acceptable than in a store where the people are paying rent, insurance, utilities, taxes, maintenance, credit card fees, etc etc etc.  So, a little insight into the world of the small retailer.

What got me off on this topic was a discussion with a fellow shopkeeper who was at a yard sale and saw ironstone priced quite high.  The seller cited prices she saw on ebay as her reference.  Now, right there is something that has impacted the resale world.  From the thrift shop that copies an ebay listing to justify their prices to a yard sale, the vintage/antique world has become a crap-shoot.  For example, I have this pitcher in the shop compliments of a friend who found it for me...
Her research tracked it to 1883-1913 based on the mark by Johnson Brothers, and then found that it is called Square Ridge that was created in 1890.  Just that little tidbit of knowledge is worth something, right?  It will be in my shop with a $22 price.  Now consider this pitcher..from an ebay listing...see the pricing issue?
Then you have hand-crafted items not Chinese factory produced.  I have these garden ornaments made from flatware and found bolts...they are $15...
I had someone want to "give" me $3.00 for one; needless to say, I was quite taken back and sent her to the dollar store down the road. 

I also have velvet pumpkins made by a woman in Wisconsin, not China...again...priced with American labor in mind.  If you want to pay McDonalds workers $15 an hour, what about the artists who create for you?
I saw an article that talked about how consumers do not think about prices when it comes to certain items...bottled water...coffee...do you ask that Starbucks barista if he/she can do better on that $4 latte?  Or, cut-up veggies at the grocery store?  Convenience, right?  So, when you wander into a vintage/antique shop, or attend a nice outdoor show, and now with the fall coming, the various craft shows, consider the work that goes into their merchandise...

Also, with the local famers selling produce now...remember them as well...they are bringing it to you directly...so whether you are buying or selling, consider the layers behind all the pricing...and, above all, remember when you buy local, you are supporting more than a corporation!

A co-op down the street closed the end of July.  While it is easy to go online and buy, maybe shops will start to disappear. 
So, just some random thoughts about retail...whether you are buying, creating and/or selling in the small business world, we tend to follow Mother Teresa's motto...
          "Do small things with great love."


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