This issue (June '08) will be a little late in getting to some of you because of the holiday and the fact I took off a few days. (Man, did I need it.) Look for FedEx in the coming week and statements, also.
We're getting reports about increases of theft in shops and malls. Most shops and malls can't afford elaborate anti-theft systems so the best recourse is to pay attention to your customers, particularly ones you don't know. Many times the layout of the shop/mall makes that difficult particularly with limited staff. In that case, make sure your most valuable items are under lock and key.
Other things to consider is posting a sign at the front door stating "NO LARGE BAGS IN STORE," and enforcing the policy. A favorite trick of shoplifters is working in teams as one thief distracts a clerk and the other steals. If there's more than one person working the store, don't get caught with both clerks helping one customer. If alone, a good policy is not to leave the counter behind the front door, therefore watching who comes and goes, and if someone has a question, have them bring the question to the clerk.
Times are getting easier so be wary of unfamiliar faces. If you've got some ideas on preventing theft, comment back. And, of course, talk to your local police force about other prevention measures to take.
The new issue will be out tomorrow. In an interview with Bruce Burstert, a dealer in Lexington/Kansas City, MO that is part of the cover feature, he mentions that antiques are "undervalued." Unfortunately, we need to follow up with that remark.
Shop owner occasionly mention — particularly when we raise our advertising rates — that they can't do the same...i.e. raise their prices.
Why not? Could it be the market they're in? Could it be the quality of the inventory? Could it be the misperception that price alone governs someone's buying motivation? With the cost of everything going up, when and how much to raise prices to cover increasing costs are vital issues for survival.