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Old 9th November 2015, 09:09 PM   #1

Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2
Default Owner Who Won't Price Items

Hello all! My name is Rose and I am from the Bay Area in California. I sell vintage clothes at two different shops, and its the newest one I am worried about.

The shop is a quasi antique store/art gallery. It has been in existence for a year. I have been there for 2 1/2 months. The owner of the store is new at retail. He has a few people rent space, he sells his own stuff and buys antiques from walk-ins.

The issue is that he buys in great quantity, puts everything in the store, and doesn't price anything. He is also worried and upset that sales are slow - and they are!

My feeling is that a majority of people are impulse buyers. If you ask for their name and number and tell then you will call back, they lose interest. Do you think this is the case?

I am going to talk to him tomorrow or the next day, and would like some input from any of you on this issue.

Thanks much!


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Old 10th November 2015, 02:14 PM   #2
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Location: Triangle area, NC, USA, North America, Earth (usually)
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Are these big-ticket items we're talking about, are they mostly smaller/lower-value items, or is it a mix?

It might be helpful to probe a little and find out why he doesn't want to put prices on anything. If he's afraid that his prices will be too high and his sales will suffer, you can point out that sales are already suffering.

Personally, if I walk in to a store and see merchandise on display, I expect to be able to pay for that merchandise on the spot and either take it with me or make arrangements to have it delivered (depending on the size and nature of said merchandise). There are times when I may come back a couple of times to look something over and consider whether to buy (especially for big ticket items), but in general -- having made the decision -- I want to be able to pay and go. I would not be happy to learn that I then have to wait for a clerk to phone the business owner, learn the asking price and call me back before we can even begin the negotiation process.

He doesn't have to post prices on the pieces if that isn't standard practice among your competitors, but he does need to price the goods and furnish you with a price list. I think most customers in antique shops expect to be able to negotiate on the price, so he also needs to empower you to negotiate (perhaps give you an initial asking price -- maybe you'll be lucky and the customer will just pay that right off -- and also give you the "rock bottom" price below which he will not go, with your instructions to bring the sale in at the highest possible point between those two extremes).

If he's not willing to give you a price list and he's not willing to allow you to negotiate on the store's behalf, his only other option is that he needs to be on-site all day, every day while the place is open so he can negotiate directly with the customers when they're ready to buy. Otherwise, I think he's going to find that his sales continue to languish.

This will likely be hard for him. Business founders are notorious control-freaks. He probably believes that no one else can negotiate as effectively as he can, or that no one else cares as much about the success of his business as he does. Unfortunately, he's going to have to loosen his grip or he's going to lose the store.



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Old 10th November 2015, 07:37 PM   #3

Join Date: Nov 2015
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Default Owner/Prices

Hi Torka! Thanks for your response. To answer your first question, it is all different priced items. Some for thousands, some for $40.

Honestly, he is an old hippie and just way too laid back. As I said, this is his first retail experience so he is learning.

Today the manager and I talked to him and he is starting to get it. I am just hoping those with experience can give me some words of wisdom that will make him really "get it," tho I don't know, I think he might be getting it after all.



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Old 11th November 2015, 01:54 PM   #4

Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 64

You need to either have the items priced or have a price list. Many customers will not come back to get the price.

I had a liquidation sale that I could not get prices on kitchen cabinets. After three weeks, the owner came up with a price list and they started to sell instantly.

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