Chapter 12

Products and Inventory

Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.

—Walter Landor

Needless to say, the type, quality, and style of the products you stock go hand in hand with the brand you create. The question now is where to find those products and how best to keep them on hand. Although stocking the store may initially seem like a needle-in-a-haystack chore, it need not be. With a bit of investigation, you can find the right suppliers.

It's All in the Buying

John owns a very successful antique shop in California. In fact, it is so successful that John works only six hours a day, four days a week, and he still makes a nice six-figure income. His store is usually busy, and it is not hard to see why. It is full of fascinating old knickknacks, doodads, odds and ends, and other items that he buys from a variety of sources: dealers, antique shows, garage sales, classified ads, and estate sales are the most common.

When asked about the secret of his success, John answers quickly. “It's all in the buying,” he says. John loves shopping for things to put in his shop, but he won't buy anything, no matter how much he likes it, unless he can get it for the right price. He knows that if he pays too much, no matter how interesting the item is, it will take up valuable space in his store—space that could be occupied by products that sell for nice profits. He also knows that if he can get the right item for the right price, selling it won't be a problem. ...

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