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Bravo Store Spotlight: Liberty Pawn & Gold
About Liberty Pawn & Gold
Owned and operated by Dave and Tammy Munsee, Liberty Pawn & Gold has three locations in Fredericksburg, VA. They are proud members of the National Pawnbrokers Association, the local chamber of commerce, and are active members in the local community. Their stores specialize in a number of services including buying gold, jewelry, notary, and consignment. They also pursue a multi-channel ecommerce strategy with presence on platforms like eBay, Buya, Etsy, Gunbroker, Amazon, Craigslist, and their own company-branded online store.
Black Friday Advice
It can be tricky for pawnbrokers to align their promotional efforts with those of big box retailers on a massive sales day like Black Friday since pawn shops are typically vendors that has one of everything instead of multiples of items, therefore negating the ability to discount a large quantity of a particular item.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t capitalize on the holiday selling season push, you just have to take a different route and methodology when it comes to your promotions. For instance, we are putting discounts on inventory we have multiple of, like video games, game systems, and jewelry – and also, discounting items like TVs to remain somewhat competitive with other retailer’s Black Friday specials.
As far as promoting Black Friday itself, we already run ads in the local newspaper as it is, but will market Black Friday by running some flyers. However, I don’t feel it is necessarily a great move to spend any additional marketing dollars on Black Friday itself since the return probably won’t be there. Instead, the focus should be more on your online efforts and Cyber Monday – where you could get the most bang for your buck.
Cyber Monday Tips
As I mentioned, it’s difficult for pawn shops to compete with large retailers and their massive Black Friday deals since we normally operate and sell with a wide array of inventory that we may only have one or two of, and not the thousands that big box retailers are able to offer deep discounts on. With this in mind, we tend to put more emphasis on Cyber Monday over Black Friday because it is simpler to promote individual items on eCommerce and you can also get your products in front of the eyes of a lot more people.
As an example, we are pushing hard on eBay this year and using their built-in promotion generator to elicit maximum sales this holiday season. By offering order discount promotions like “Buy One Get One 20% Off,” we hope to incentivize the online shoppers to buy multiples of items like video games or pair their purchase with a companion item that they might not have bought by itself. We tactically chose the BOGO option, although there are other promotions you can choose to run through the eBay promotion generator, to encourage a higher volume of inventory being sold. We are also combining this with offering more free shipping than typical in order to really drive our online sales this season.
Besides this extra push on eBay for the holiday season, we’ve been taking additional steps to build upon and create a solid presence across 6 different eCommerce platforms. We were already present on eBay, Buya, Gunbroker, Amazon, and Craigslist, but this year we opened an Etsy store where we have been selling jewelry and our more unique/one-of-a-kind items.
Now, we are 6 months in to posting on Etsy and have posted 400 items, selling around 35 so far and up to one sale a day. That may not seem like a huge number to you but what’s important to understand is that with Etsy, there is an extremely high profit margin – roughly 85%. Not only can you move some of your more oddball items – for instance, we have posted a Navajo rug on Etsy – but you are also getting a great return with the high margin.
One of the most important things to consider, whether you are posting on Etsy or any other eCommerce platform, is to take high quality photos of your inventory before you post it online. The great thing is that you don’t need a professional camera anymore since smartphones now take pretty high quality pictures themselves. With the Bravo app, all you have to do is open it up, scan the barcode of the item, and snap some pictures with your phone, and it will automatically update the inventory images in Bravo.
Take some time to clean the item when it falls out of pawn and before you update the photos. Disinfect it, scrub it, shine it, touch it up, whatever it takes to make the item look as pristine as it can before posting it online. This will significantly increase the value of the item (just by making it look good) and also pleases the customer.
Lastly, don’t forget that your pictures and item descriptions are very important for successful online listings. Proofread descriptions for any errors, make sure to have keywords in your title to draw people to your listing, and point out any flaws in the item – essentially, list what you would want to know and see about the item if you were the one buying it. If you follow all of these steps, you will lead to more conversions, sales, and possibly even repeat customers!