Better Weather, Better Business?
Spring has sprung, finally, and am I ready for it! Today it hit 84 degrees in Dallas; it’s about time. It has been a long, cold and dreary winter and Texans are pretty spoiled to mild weather. It wasn’t but two weeks ago when it was 72 degrees on Saturday and we awoke to three inches of snow the very next day. The old Texas adage, “if you don’t’ like the weather, just wait a minute…” is true-- or is that adage used everywhere?
Included in this winter of crazy weather was a record-breaking 10-12” snowfall. Great for snowman building for the kids (many had never made a snowman or even seen snow), but terrible for the trees…and business.
Now that the snow has melted and Spring is here, we’re looking at better weather—and tax time. Thank goodness for the ole extension. “Tax time” has always been an excuse for dealers like me to say my business is slow. I can honestly say that April does usually slow down a little and it could be because of taxes, but I imagine most folks who buy fine antiques can manage paying Uncle Sam and still buy what they want. Then there are the lucky few who get a nice return—let’s hope they end up Latiquing if they’re not in our shops.
I do hate to see March end; it has been a record month for us and primarily because of the internet. We shipped items we sold online to California, Florida, Tennessee, and Minnesota in March alone. It’s hard to believe that so many dealers nationwide have not fully embraced the internet to showcase their wares to thousands of qualified buyers. I keep screaming “get on board, or get left behind” to my fellow dealers who aren’t quite sure how to jump online. Some of them are beginning to listen.
April marks the perfect time to get online and blast sites like Latique with your new inventory. I find that folks have grown tired of being cooped up all winter and are anxious to spruce up the house, redecorate, and complete unfinished projects.
I believe the weather this time of year gives us a psychological “boost” and lifts our spirits. Showroom doors are open, convertible tops are down, people are strolling, and nature is blooming. People seem to have a “spring” in their step and a renewed enthusiasm for enjoying the finer things in life. Antiques fit very nicely into that category.
It’s encouraging in Dallas, to know that people are still able to build their dream homes despite a slow economy. With bad weather out of the way, construction resumes and homeowners begin to think about furnishings and fixtures. Several designers visited our store this week with clients selecting special items for homes under construction.
One designer who frequents our store selected a wonderful French Bonnetiere and a nice pair of painted consoles for a client’s new weekend home in Dallas. With Spring in full-swing, I think many buyers will be on the hunt again soon.
If Spring hasn’t quite sprung in your neck of the woods, consider beefing up your internet presence. If buyers aren’t coming to you, you have to go to them, it’s just a fact. Try something new this Spring. Find a new way to sell antiques. You may just get a little lift yourself.