Monday, January 7, 2008

wondering about the source

Antique News (about the only vehicle this trade has for disseminating information about the antiques and collectibles on a large scale) issued a press release Jan. 1 quoting as having a "19%" increase in sales volume in December 2007 compared to December 2006. The press release appeared to have been completely written by TIAS, a Mr. Phillip Davies more specifically.

Man, it didn't take them long to pull together the day? And since Antique News didn't appear to do any verifying on the claim, then we must assume they did all the math in one day. Pretty good, considering TIAS says it sells for 530 merchants.

The press release went on to say that "many Internet based antique & collectibles merchants have reported significant decreases in online sales volume over the past 3 years." The press release didn't identify who those other online merchants were.

The press release also made a point of expressing that because of (I assume) their sales increases and that "many merchants have just pulled out of the market entirely because they could not get the returns they need to stay in business," the market may be turning around.

We could all rejoice to the market "turning around." Still, I have to say the press release seemed somewhat self-serving for Sort of, they did good, everybody else didn't.

To their credit, they invited "accredited media" to give them a call to discuss the press release and other issues related to online sales. Hopefully, someone at Antique News takes them up on it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

new year news

Economic news about retail sales were just about what was predicted for the most part. People shopped, they just didn't buy as much.

One bit of news you should pay attention to if you're a retailer is that online sales jumped 21% from last year. If you have a shopping cart with your site, it's time to advertise as such...advertise online, of course.

Depending upon what you read or whom you listen to on the news programs, we're either toying with a recession or overstating the possibility of it. Trouble with the forecasting is that's it's all macro – the big picture, without regard to specific areas of the country or segements of the economy. I could write for hours on what I think antique shop owners should do to ride out any rough economic times; some of our recent articles allude to such suggestions. But I have to face it, most antique business people think they know what they need to know, and a lot don't pay much attention to the industry except in their own backyard. No wonder the trade is suffering – ignorance can be a killer in this business.