Twelve years in this business and we have explored many different forms of advertising: TV, radio, billboards, Facebook, magazines and of course the Citrus County Chronicle. We often hear from locals about how long they’ve lived here but never knew Old Inverness antiques existed. Often discovered with an internet search by a visiting family member and once in the store, they are wide-eyed and in disbelief they remember it.
We do not advertise outside of Citrus County unless you count Facebook. The Chinese have found us anyway. First, there are the “scouts” who are searching all stores for Chinese antiques or other quality Asian items. They send the photos to their boss who then negotiates the price with us, the scout buys the item and sends it to the boss who sends it to China. The second happened recently, with some young Chinese girls politely asking to make a video of the shop. He did a livestream to China with the audience, people in China picking up objects. The girls then bought stuff and we didn’t even have to use our bubble wrap. Our conclusion is that they are buying back their history and big gaudy jewelry is inside.
Feels like a different life in Colorado than it was only 20 years ago. Our business was telecommunications, which relied on yellow page advertising. That ad was our sales department and it consistently generated new business. Every house had at least one set of white and yellow pages; There were many copies of businesses. The Yellow Pages were arranged alphabetically with business type and one’s 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 large and heavy and before recycling landfills became heavier each year as new books were updated. I’m not sure if a smartphone is faster than finding something in the yellow pages, but the yellow pages won’t fit in my pocket.
Steve Barnes owns his shop dog Gypsy and operates Old Inverness Antiques.