Twelve years in this business and we have explored many forms of advertising: TV, radio, billboard, Facebook, magazines and of course the Citrus County Chronicle. We frequently hear locals telling us how long they’ve lived here, but we never knew Olde Inverness Antiques existed. Often discovered by a visiting family member with an internet search and once in the store they are wide eyed and in disbelief they missed it.
Unless you count Facebook, we don’t advertise outside of Citrus County. The Chinese found us anyway. First, there are the “scouts” who search all stores for Chinese antiques or other quality Asian items. They send pictures to their boss who then negotiates a price with us, the scout buys the item (s) and sends them to the boss who ships them to China. The second happened recently, a couple of young Chinese girls politely asked to film the store. They did a live broadcast in China with an audience, people in China chose articles. The girls then bought the items and we didn’t even have to use our bubble wrap. Our conclusion is that they are redeeming their history and big showy jewelry is out there.
What seems like a different life in Colorado was only 20 years ago. Our business was telecommunications, which relied on yellow page advertising. This announcement was our sales department and it was constantly generating new business. Each household had at least one set of white and yellow pages; companies had several copies. The yellow pages were organized alphabetically with the type of business and the options were easy to find. The slogan “let your fingers walk” still applies but is now in the palm of your hand. Depending on the size of the city, these books were big and heavy and before recycling landfills were overwhelmed every year as new books were updated. I don’t know if a smartphone is faster than finding something in the yellow pages, but the yellow pages don’t fit in my pocket.
Steve Barnes owns and, with his store dog Gypsy, operates Olde Inverness Antiques.