Selling Successfully (Your One-Stop Resource for Setting Up, Managing and Marketing)

Making the Most of the Ruby Red Tag Sale

What is a tag sale? Tag sales are opportunities for both buyers and shop owners. For a shopper the name itself implies they will be presented with low prices and great deals. For a shop owner it is an opportunity to make a great sale or put a little cash in their pocket for a personal expense, clear out old inventory to make way for new inventory or to attract first time potential buyers to their shop.

For shop owners the question is: Should they participate in the Red Tag sale, what purpose will it serve? They ask themselves: Can they afford to participate - to reduce prices on select items, especially if it means taking a loss? Some shop owners ask themselves why would they discount their items when the items they carry are hot in the marketplace, they are trending. They know they will sell the item eventually and at full price. If a shop owner defines the purpose of the sale for them, what their main goal is for slashing prices on select items, it will offer clarity and give them the impetus they need to jump in.

For some shop owners, Red Tag sales present an opportunity to do something they have wanted to do but have lacked the motivation to do - clear out the old to make way for the new. It requires them to take stock of their inventory to determine which items are taking up space and collecting dust, items shoppers have shown little interest in; and to single out those items where the cost to maintain it in inventory has met and surpassed its 'shelf life' - where the cost of the item has steadily increased over time far exceeding its value, meaning little or no return on investment.

Participation in a Red Tag Sales allows shop owners to benefit from 'drive-by's' - where shoppers who drive by in a 'search', see an appealing item and automatically click into the shop not because they are so much interested in this particular item but because the item is presented so well, that they decide it is worth their time to enter the shop and take a look around. Whether a shop owner lists the maximum number of items in a tag sale or only one or two items, doing so presents the shop owner with an opportunity to attract new visitors and buyers. The shopper may end up purchasing an item not listed in the Red Tag sale, paying full price for the item, or they will see something they just can't resist and buy on impulse; or they may take note of an item and add it to their wish list to return to later for a full inspection.

Which items they choose is determined by the goal of the sale. If it is to clear out clutter or get rid of items that have met their shelf life then those items are identified when the shop owner takes stock of their inventory. If the purpose to to attract new shoppers they may choose to include the maximum number of items allowed in the sale but at varying price levels giving them maximum visibility in the sale. Or they may chose to list only one or two fantastic items to lure potential customers to their shop. This means picking something of value and listing it in the sale even though it means just breaking even. Shop owners may find it easier to discount a treasured item by labeling the discount a marketing expense. If it means it will draw traffic and create buzz about their shop, then it is worth it.

The one rule of pricing for a tag sale, if one were to have a rule, is to never raise a price on an item to allow for the 50% discount or any amount of discount whereby a shop owner will still realize the original asking price. This is so contrary to good business one would think it not necessary to point it out, but it is. Regular shoppers to Ruby Lane take note of prices and can spot items that are not truly discounted. This gives them a less than desirable feeling about a shop. It puts the shop in disfavor, leaving a negative impression. If a shop owner has an item in their shop at a price they must get for the item then they should not list it in the tag sale, simply leave it at its regular price.

The next step is to decide the best and most cost effective way to advertise the sale. Small and large shops alike should publish the sale to their social sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. They should send out email notifications to their mailing lists, post the sale to their personal blog, ask other bloggers to post the sale and share the news of the sale with friends and relatives via word of mouth. For shops who have an extensive inventory, where they can list many items in the sale, they may want to put up fliers at local businesses in their community, take out an ad on Craig's List or at other online e-classified sites. Getting the word out is key to having a successful sale.

Ruby Red Tag Sales offered during the summer or fall months also provide the perfect opportunity for a shop owner to take stock of their inventory, not only for the reasons stated above, but to start thinking about and making to-do lists in preparation for the most important selling time of year - the holiday season. Not only can they determine what items need to be removed from inventory, sale or no sale but they can also determine what items should be on their 'hunt' list and what items have fallen out of favor and they should discontinue selling.

As with all tag sales there is the reality that a shop owner may only sell a few items out of 50 or nothing at all. This does not mean the sale was not a success. Doing a post-sale review is a good idea to put it all in perspective. Sales are only one factor to consider, if the shop owner took the opportunities presented, such as clearing out clutter, marketing their shop, making preparations for the holiday selling season and to do some general shopkeeping then the sale can be viewed as a success. They have put themselves ahead in the game by inviting potential buyers to visit and shop their shop. Participating in a Ruby Red Tag Sale will have a long term positive effect for a shop, allowing a shop owner to position their shop for greater sales success in the future.