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Advice for doing buying events



Nate asks,
“Have you ever conducted a TRAVELING BUYING EVENT to buy antiques?”

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I haven’t done buying events. I have friends who do them, so here’s some advice based on what they’ve told me.

Note: this is not a technique for people just starting out. You need some experience and a large amount of cash on hand.

Basically you run ads the papers the Sunday before, then on Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sunday for an event on Sat. and Sunday. If you can specify locations you want the top half of ODD pages.

Take pictures of the people who sell you interesting items and then use them in your future ads. “John Smith was amazed when we paid him $$$$$ for his _______” The Weds, and Thurs. ads can be smaller but you want larger ads on the other days. The papers should give you a nice discount for buying a number of ads and paying in advance.

In your ads you want to show the best and most expensive items. The majority of items you’ll be offered will be cheaper. By showing the better items, you’ll have an easier time explaining to a seller that his item is not worth as much as the one shown in your ad.

Don’t overlook the small papers in your market. Most have gone under in the past few years, but monthly papers in retirement communities and driveway drop papers can be quite effective because they are cheap. These little papers are also more likely to do an article about you holding a buying event. Some will even just run your press release as an article.

When you do the event, you want to deal with sellers without having other people standing around making comments. This will prevent people from screwing up your deals.

If you’re renting a room at a hotel, make sure to get a ground floor room with exterior exits directly to the parking lot. You also want a hotel that provides a safe in the room, or a safety deposit box to keep your money in.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the money, you can hire an off duty police officer to handle crowd control. You pay them by the hour ($10-20 is normal), and they will wear their uniforms and guns. The off duty officer will also make it easier for you to eject people who stand outside trying to take the deals away from you. Just call the local police department (not the 911 emergency number) and ask about hiring an officer.

One point you need to watch is doing appraisals. There was a guy in Chicago who was prosecuted for doing appraisals and low-balling items so he could buy them cheaply. You don’t do appraisals, you make cash offers based on your desire for the item.

Terry


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