Tuesday, July 8, 2008

smitty

when we first started...i met an old antique dealer named smitty.....totally famous around here as the best place to buy antiques and a great all around guy.....i sold to him at first, we were pickers and knew nothing and just went to yardsales for our inventory............he ran the most successful antique business i ever saw and i tried to do everything he did....
....here are some of the stuff i learned from him...
**no credit
**no talk about customers, he wouldnt tell anything, you couldnt ask who bought something, or how much it was...
**no lay away
**price by what you pay....sometimes his stuff was amazingly cheap...
**stay to the end of the sale
**make no deals at a sale
he was totally honest too, he didnt guarantee anything and you knew it, but if he knew anything about damage etc, he would tell you for sure...
he was a totally open buyer, even as an old man he would buy some huge piece if it was worth the money...or some huge pile , like 50 shutters, etc..... i got called smitty junior once...!!! and he would buy about anything of value if it was worth something....he never ran out of money...and sold the fastest i have ever seen....he had many many devoted buyers, including me , later....

he was just the greatest.....and he truned his inventory so fast....he might buy a couple of truckloads at a sale on saturday...good stuff!!! and sell almost all by monday....
when we started in business , my line to prospects was ..im even cheaper than smitty....

i knew and dealt with him for probably 15 yrs....and even in his late 70s he would be at the sales and still outbid me on some things..he was ruthless, and never paid any attention to who he was bidding against....he could pay more than me if he knew more than me on an item....or more likely had a better buyer than we did....

basically he taught me that you can make a lot of money on a small mark up.. ....and keep them coming back....wish i had his picture...he was a ww2 vet too...
he might have looked like a junker but he had everything he wanted and great taste too..and probably could have easily been tooling around in a new lexus instead of his old truck....

2 comments:

lyn said...

smitty sounds like a good man! one of the absolute BEST things about your shop is that i can always count on finding something new and different. buyers love a good deal and to be treated like valued customers, but they also don't mind paying for what something is really worth. the worst thing i see as a buyer is going back to a shop and seeing the exact same stuff i saw two months ago... six months ago... a YEAR ago (!!). i got such a nice deal from you on the 'old window' cabinet (i appreciate the complimentary flower pots) and the awesome antique dress form... which i haven't even picked up yet... but when i do i know when i come over there is probably something you just got in... or something i didn't see earlier... that i will also want :)

ann furnivall said...

thanks lyn....did you see your neat greenhouse showcase on here? come to thnk of it i thik the dress form is on here too...its the best one i ever had.... see you soon...ann