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  • Topic: Afraid to Give Away Your Secrets?

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    • January 12, 2012 10:18 AM CST
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      The question that comes to mind is "Why is it that we always NEED to compete?" Why is not the question, "Why not join forces and win?"

       

      The capitalist country that most of us live in has taught us to hold our friends close but our enemies closer - this doesn't mean we are actually "close" to our enemies (competitors) but we stay close enough to watch them and make sure they are not screwing us over. 

       

      Well....got news for you! The antiques community, although capitalist in nature, is different.  Why? Because 90+ percent of us do it for the love of history and the items that have traveled through it.

       

      Sure, we make a living at it but at the same time,  we are interwoven with the items we buy and sell. They become an intristic part of our lives. So...how is this different?

       

      It's different because we have the opportunity to "link up" with others of "like mind" and share information.  Whether that be helping each other with identification, worth, or the best place to sell an item. It means throwing something "out there" and kicking it around, whether an idea, a problem, a great find or sale, or just getting to know others in the industry.

       

      When it finally comes down to it, how are you using social media to enrich your life?  (Notice I did not ask how you will use social media to sell your next item.)

    • January 12, 2012 10:26 AM CST
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      JUST had this conversation with another local shop owner this morning.
    • January 12, 2012 10:29 AM CST
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      And? Do tell Claude...!
    • January 12, 2012 11:09 AM CST
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      all the antique shops and the artist type shops we get together once a month at a different shop each month, we do a area brochure together, we are friends and competivers not really, competive. we send customers to each other we all have our own specialty, we have a group web site http://thingstodowestmi.com as each also has there own web site.
    • January 12, 2012 11:14 AM CST
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      That is really cool Craig! I like it! Now question is...in social networking...why are people hesitant to hook up and get to know others and work with others?

      It's like there are some people that just post "ads" and then post more but never interact...what are people afraid of? Should we not be promoting ourselves......as wel as others?
    • January 16, 2012 1:20 PM CST
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      Craig Phillips said:
      all the antique shops and the artist type shops we get together once a month at a different shop each month, we do a area brochure together, we are friends and competivers not really, competive. we send customers to each other we all have our own specialty, we have a group web site http://thingstodowestmi.com as each also has there own web site.

       

    • January 16, 2012 1:23 PM CST
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      I really like this idea and wish more dealers were on board. It definitely promotes business. I have had a few people tell me they dont want to lose business. A Good deed done does get recognized and I have often stayed shopping with certain dealers who were open enough to send me to another dealer who had what I was looking for purchase. Working together definitely promotes and increases business!
    • January 16, 2012 2:23 PM CST
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      we use the "pay it forward" thinking I send them people, they intern send some one to someone else who intern sends some one to me. there is NO way I can have everything, tho I have tried,
      and the reason we continuly meet in different shops is to see what they are carrying or have.
      2nd reason for doing things together Also for money reasons, when we split up a $500. billing amongst the 11 of us it is less than $50 each a managable amount of money if we each had to pony up $500. not many would do the addvertisment. we still get the same bang for the buck per say, actually more as 11 shops + get some benifit out of the add. also people will drive further when there is more chances of seeing what they are looking for or more things to see.
      Craig Phillips
      B & C Emporium antiques and original hardware
      http://bandcallegan.weebly.com
      http://www.b-c-e.biz
      http://thingstodowestmi.com
    • January 16, 2012 8:05 PM CST
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      I think this is a really great topic! I've only recently joined the iAntique family to find out more information on various items and share my own collections, but I'm also a member of the Pokemon collecting community on Livejournal.com. While there are thousands of members there buying, selling, and competing to complete their collections, there is a strong feeling of comraderie. My biggest competitors for my favorite merchandise are also some of my greatest friends. :)

      Social media has allowed me to greatly expand upon my collections, as well as share them with the rest of the world and discover new and exciting items. It's especially helpful in determining values of some things, the history and origins of others, and to identify the everpresent remakes and bootlegs. As a seller, it's helped me to find and price items to resell, and connect with the right buyers. Often times other sellers/collectors will refer people to me to make purchases, simply because they knew I had the item in question - and vice versa! I've also gotten messages from my buyers and competition letting me know when they spot an item they know I've been looking for. Paying it forward has plenty of perks!
    • January 16, 2012 10:27 PM CST
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      Caryn,
      You're exactly right. Sharing of information in social networking creates excitement.

      iAntique.com is interested in hosting online group events for various collecting groups. We provide all the assistance.

      We've hosted a couple 'American Girl' Doll events, the first one brought in over 150 young collectors.... about blew up our chatroom :)

      We're always looking for other opportunities to help groups or individuals that would like to share their knowledge with others.

      -Dan
      dan@iantique.com
    • January 23, 2012 4:50 PM CST
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      Interesting you should bring this up, Daye. I had this conversation not so long ago with some members of a well known 'big name' family in the Australian antique world. They felt that cooperation was the only way to go.

      Social media is underutilised in antiques and collectables, but soon we won't have a choice.

    • January 23, 2012 5:33 PM CST
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      Really good insight into what social networking can do for you Caryn. And yes, Aleta, social networking is totally underutilized in this industry. Those that are utilizing it now are going to be way out ahead of those that just do not think it important.
    • January 31, 2012 7:04 AM CST
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      Great topic idea, Daye! It reminds me of the prosperity concept - there is enough for all of us! The fact is that the products we sell are individual and even if someone else is selling the same, our presentation makes the product unique. That's where social media use comes in for me. Researching and describing the history of a piece is crucial to sales. This all is building to a blog article I've been considering that looks at the skills involved in online sales of collectibles.
    • January 31, 2012 7:11 AM CST
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      I see two types of people in the antiques industry and I guess actually in all industry - those that care about what they do and those that are there to turn a buck. It's the same for me as far as the research being crucial to the selling process. I want to "know" something's history for I find it fascinating and it also increases an item's value. My blog is very little about things for sale - I often share the journey of research along with information in identifying and caring for antiques & collectibles.
    • February 7, 2012 12:05 PM CST
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      That's a great question!

       

      When I chat with various dealers from different antique malls, some seasoned dealers are willing to be open about their business. These folks are happy to chat about their passion for what they do.

       

      On the other hand, I also know dealers who will be very vague about discussing anything about their business and/or merchandise...they are a tad competitive and will keep "mum" about revealing anything. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

       

      The overall industry is fun and I really enjoy chatting with customers and dealers about antiques and collectibles in general. :) -pamela

      This post was edited by Pamela Medaglia at February 7, 2012 12:08 PM CST
    • February 9, 2012 6:37 AM CST
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      I agree with social networking. When I opened my antique mall over 2 years ago I approached another local mall. I asked if they would let customers know and to send out flyers & would do the same. At the time they didn't want to cooperate. Around 6 months later they didn't look at me as a threat but instead as an asset. Within the last year my best customers were referred by the shop that didn't want to promote us. The more the merrier is what I quated to our local newspaper when we opened. I love antiques & love to meet new people everyday that are compassionate about antiques.
    • February 9, 2012 10:48 AM CST
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      It's really great to read all the success stories of social networking, whether that be online or in person.
    • February 10, 2012 9:48 AM CST
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      Old River: Perfect story! Last year a marketing group made this statement: 'The R.O.I. of social networking is you'll still be in business in five years.'
    • February 15, 2012 6:32 PM CST
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      @Dan Briddle: that's excellent! Stealing!
    • January 6, 2013 3:39 PM CST
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      Hi, we own a ceramic and sculpting school and studio and ceramic / china restoration lab for 12 years now. We made our mission to share all we know not only within the school's walls but in public through articles, videos and mainly, web tutorials and lessons (see links below). Many of our associates discouraged us from doing so revealing all the details of what makes us unique but we were determined to stay with our mission statement that includes "sharing". Today, we receive over 2,500 unique visitors daily to our web site due it’s “sharing” value” with many daily thank you's from ceramic art teachers, ceramic artists, collectors (ceramic repair tutorials) and school students. The frequent visits to our web site significantly added to our ceramic art student enrolment and our ceramic / china restoration projects which have a whole team working constantly catching up with restoration projects sent to us from the US and Canada. Some of the input we received from those who chose us for ceramic restoration projects felt that we can be trusted given the full disclosure of techniques, materials and instrumentation used.

      See some shared information below:

      http://lakesidepottery.com/Pages/Tips.html

      http://lakesidepottery.com/Pages/Repairing-restoring-ceramic-porcelain-china-pottery-lessons-tutorials.html

      http://lakesidepottery.com/Pages/Pictures/Handbuilding-projects-ideas-pictures.html

      Our conclusion is - sharing benefits all!

    • January 8, 2013 12:41 PM CST
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      Morty & Patty, That's a great story & one where we can all learn (and remember) a very valuable lesson. It describes an approach that iantique has always embraced. I did a chat entitled "Antique Marketing Strategies & Your Secrets," in which I shared a few war stories of my own. If you're interested, it's in the Videos section. Gary
    • January 12, 2013 2:31 PM CST
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      While Antiques Buying, Selliing and Collecting is fun, it is also a BUSINESS. "Secrets" you give away to competitors will probably take away from your own livelyhood and enhance theirs. I don't mind giving away tips and secrets to people far away that I will never cross paths with but it would be really dumb to give away secrets to someone who will hurt my hard earned income.  Been buying and selling and fixing Antiques furniture, lighting and jewelry and anything else of value in my own store for 30 yrs.  I have sold over 15,000 items on Ebay in 4 yrs too. 

    • March 18, 2013 12:10 AM CDT
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      Hello -- new member here.  I own Lamplight Antiques & Vintage in Springboro, Ohio, near Dayton.  We are currently moving to a bigger shop site, and a lady who has a booth at a nearby mall came in to visit and ask for advice, because she was interested in renting the building we're vacating.  She was rather shy at first, fearing my reaction.  Would I mind, she asked, if there was another antiques shop on the same street?  (We're only moving a block north.)  Of course not, I said.  More antiques shops in our little town center pulls in more shoppers, and besides, it's not like we all carry the same merchandise.  She's not going to focus on the same things I stock.  Every shop has its own personality. 

       

      No, I was happy to share -- business advice, knowledge about the items, etc. After all, we have good friends in the local antiques scene, other dealers who have taken us under their wings and helped us along the way.  You NEED networks like this, for many reasons.  One is to help you please clients, and another is to protect you against bad guys.  Some of these con artists seem to think antiques dealers never talk to each other.  Wrong!

       

      The only "secrets" I'm unwilling to give away are my sources.  Especially when I know someone is going after the same type of merchandise!  :) 

       

      Which says to me that in this industry, the sales part is not nearly as competitive as the acquisition.

    • March 18, 2013 12:07 PM CDT
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      Hi Pamela,

       

      I totally agree with your take. Where dealers acquire their inventory is absolutely no body else's business, unless dealers can market merchandise more effectively by saying, for instance, this piece came from an old estate--ie. provide provenance. I did a show on iantique entitled, "Afraid to Give Away Your Secrets?" Its in the Videos section. If you have a chance to watch it, I'd appreciate any comments. Thanks.

       

      Gary

    • March 21, 2013 2:53 PM CDT
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      Been in this business for over 20 years, 14 as a store owner, 16 years on eBay. I have found dealers will discuss the business with you as long as you don't act like a know it all, otherwise they turn you off. Listen, learn. I do not tell people where I get my mdse no more than you would tell someone where the fish are biting. I don't tell other dealers what to price their mdse. I will discuss the ins and outs of credit cards, checks, buying stolen items, how to deal with difficult and or crazy people, but I don't tell anyone how to run their business.

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