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Archive for the ‘Mailbox: 1-on-1 Advice’ Category

Here’s a problem that’s good to have… but it’s still a problem.

A shopowner we’ll call “Overwhelmed” writes:

I’m drowning but in a good way. We have around 1200 active consigners 

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A great question in Auntie Kate’s email box recently. T. H. asks:

Why do customers and consignors give me a hard time? They always argue with me (My things are more in style than what they have out here or They priced this too high, you need to mark it down) and that “they” really irks me. I’m “they” for heaven’s sake! Even my employees are always picking on me: they rearranged my work area last week when I was off! I won’t even tell you how service providers and salesmen treat me.

I’m the boss. How come they don’t treat me like I am?

Auntie Kate answers: A boss needs to look and act the part.

Perhaps your boss-persona needs some polishing. What type of impression do you make on people? When a stranger walks into the shop, can she tell you’re the boss by your charming inviting manner? Or are you often mistaken for the cleaning lady because you have your head down and barely mutter Hi?

Do you dress professionally? It’s hard for a client to respect you and your wonderful store if you are wearing (more…)

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Jackie Hersey of Beverly Bootstraps in MA, asked this question online:

Dress a mannequin contest ideas from TGtbT.com

Photo from mannequinmadness.com

We are thinking about doing a “Dress a Mannequin” contest. It would model after Guy’s Grocery Games (Food Network). Each contestant would have 15-20 minutes to “shop” & dress a mannequin. They would each have one life-line opportunity to ask the opinion of Candy, our staff person who does most of our merchandising. The ensemble would have to include accessories. A panel of judges (folks from the community) would determine the winner. This is a very early stage idea so I am asking if anyone else has done something like this before and if there are any suggestions. Input appreciated…


Kate’s suggestions:


How about making it into a multi-day social media event, like this blog post talks about?
 
Asking social media followers to vote is perfect for racking up those comments which will help you get more visibility on Facebook! Mentioning that a random voter will receive a shop GC will REALLY motivate comments.
 
You could also offer them a chance to “stuff the ballot box”… an INSTORE vote counts as 5 votes for their choice… AND earns a GC of double the online amount. [Bonus for you: an instore ballot will collect their email for your email list.]
 
You could even CHARGE for an instore ballot: $1, which you will deposit in a BIG glass jar collecting funds to spend in store by a local charity of some sort. (You get the goodwill and PR photo op of collecting for the charity… the charity helps promote the contest b/c the more who vote, the more $$ they will have donated to them. You also get the charity to bring their client in to shop your merchandise, so you get the sale AND the opportunity to introduce the charity to how much your resale shop can make their funds go further…) Note: Beverly Bootstraps IS a charity doing just that, so I added these thoughts for our for-profit readers LOL
 

And the winning display earns a GC as well. And if the winner decides to donate her prize to the charity? Bingo: ANOTHER photo opp for the community to see!

Like how Kate thinks? You’ll love this Product for the Professional Resaler!

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One of our members, Tiffany Taylor, is opening soon and would like some input. Here’s what she posted on the NARTS board:

Where do you see the most bang for your buck when it comes to advertising? I know social is huge, but what other channels are working for you? I am biased towards radio because I used to work in it, but the price point is a little steep. Any thoughts and insight would be greatly appreciated. Fingers crossed for opening in the next 30ish days!!”

There were scads of great suggestions from shopkeepers (check them out over in our private Facebook group) and I had some to add as well:

Kate suggests:

I don’t see that you have created (more…)

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A reader wrote:

Any ideas for display windows with small panes? Sooo hard to create colorful window displays with the checkerboard across both of my front windows. I am also on the inside elbow of an L-shaped plaza. I have to work extra extra hard to be seen in the corner for 6 years. To make it worse, my new neighbor is a womens clothing shop that has SEVEN display windows using jumbo colorful Chinese lanterns for her pop of color, seasonal window displays.

Kate replies:

I think it’s great that your new neighbor is calling attention in your direction! How about playing up (more…)

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This situation, sent to Auntie Kate, is challenging. How would you handle it?

Messy buns are cute and au courant. Messy clothes? Never.

Messy buns are cute and au courant. Messy clothes? Never.

I have an employee that is making me so frustrated I can hardly keep from sounding off. She’s been with me for six years, but this problem has been getting worse over the past two years. She’s very dependable, likeable, self-motivated, the customers like her, there are many good qualities about her. However, she comes to work every day looking like a bum. She admittedly shops

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Resale shop coupon in Welcome Baby Basket at TGtbT.comJudy asked: I have just contacted our community’s chamber of commerce with the idea of including a $5 Gift Certificate to my store for the “Welcome Baskets” which are given to Moms in our hospital –about 25 baskets every couple of weeks.

Does this make sense as a

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