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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: January 2010

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A TWIST ON SILENT auctions, delaying a collector on your doorstep, a reason for saving old wishlists, and a few more New Year’s resolutions.

INVENTORYBuy It Now

At your next store event, set some pieces aside for a silent auction, but also put a “buy it now” price on it, a la eBay.

Ladies Gone Wild

The Lagniappe in West Des Moines, IA, does its clearouts with a heavy emphasis on fun. “Our January ‘Lollapalooza’ Sale was a big hit! Our marketing slogan was “Lagniappe Ladies Gone WILD,” owner Caren Sturm says. The store promoted the event via direct mail, e-mail, print and radio. Each person who walked in received a 20 percent off coupon. “If they were feeling lucky, they could ‘deal or no deal’ with another coupon, which could cut their discount to 10 percent or raise it to 50 percent,” she says. The store reported its best traffic and best sales of any January in its history, Sturm says.

FINANCEHigh Yield

Extra holiday cash? Auction it to the highest bidder. At MoneyAisle.com, more than 100 FDIC-insured banks compete for consumer deposits through live auctions. It’s free, and you don’t have to commit to investing anything before you see the results of an auction.

Collection Rights

Use your credit card to keep the store afloat last year? Should collection agencies come calling, send the collector a letter requesting verification of the debt. The collector can’t resume collection activities until sending you confirmation.
Learn your rights: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm.

MARKETINGKeep Wish Lists

Doing some post-Christmas cleaning up? Don’t throw out the wish lists you collected. They can give you useful insights into what a customer might be looking to add to her jewelry wardrobe in the new year or as a gift for another occasion.

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Mini Museum

Every custom shop has its “wall of fame” gallery. Take it a step further and install copies of the best piece you’ve designed in a mini museum in your store.

Best Face

To see an effective use of social marketing, check out Samuel Gordon’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SamuelGordons. When we dropped by in December, it had a Holiday Giveaway video, a Tell a Friend campaign, as well “Tomorrow’s Special, Tonight It’s a Secret. Shhh.” Daniel Gordon got traffic rolling by offering a chance to win a $1,000 gift certificate, Within days he had 600 fans. Today, the Oklahoma City, OK, store has more than 2,300.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONSCheck-Up

1. This year, try an exercise that trainer Scott Ginsberg (the Nametag Guy) uses at his workshops. Take a blank postcard and write the one thing you want to achieve in 2010, why it’s important to you and how you’re going to accomplish it. Then take down an old book from your shelves and slide the card between the pages. Last, make a note in your cell phone’s organizer or your Google calendar to remind you to retrieve it in four months. The purpose of the exercise is to provide a check-up on how you’re progressing with your goals. Sounds simple, but the effect can be profound, says Ginsberg.[/dropcap]

Name Equity

2. Did you name your store Jewelry Central or Gold Mart back when it really was the center of the jewelry universe in your local market 30 years ago? Then 2010 might be the year to consider a change. Yes, we know there’s equity in your name, but it’s not worth much on Google. Marketing guru Seth Godin notes a search for “Jewelry Village” will bring up 15,000 matches on the search engine. A name that generic is not much use when the first thing people now do when considering a jewelry purchase is to turn on their computer.[/dropcap]

Waffle-Free

3. No more hiding behind waffling words. They are terms that don’t mean anything and are designed only to give you cover. So no more “sort ofs” and cut way back on the “justs.” Instead, just say what you mean, says Godin.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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