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The Traveling Retailer's Tip #18:Two Things Are For Certain!

Furniture World News Desk on 3/5/2016

Good ol’ Ben Franklin had a lot of quotes about SLEEP. You may have heard that “Early to Bed-Early to Rise” thing once or twice. But he kind of missed the mark on his quote “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes It might have been the after effects of that kite and lightning episode, for it can also be said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except SLEEP and taxes.

Your shoppers get to enjoy FIVE seasons this year-the four traditional ones AND-Tax Refund Season-which official starts today. You may have had a few shoppers in your store over the last couple of weeks, but that is only the PRE-SEASON. Tax refunds are cascading forward to your shoppers-rewarding them with a forced savings account that is paying them back THOUSANDS. In many cases, tax refunds exceed any personal savings your shoppers may have gained in all of 2015!

Luckily for us, we live in a consumer driven economy. That is Big Fancy Words that boil down to “If you give me a big bunch of money, I will spend it”. Shoppers will have lots of options to invest their windfall-your goal is to make BEAUTIFUL ROOMS filled with GREAT FURNITURE move to the top of their shopping list.
Technology is a great thing. As short as 10 years ago the majority of taxpayers filed via written forms and waited six to eight weeks for a refund-by check! Now more than 91% of all 1040s are filed electronically, most with direct deposit, which means the average wait time for a refund is EIGHT DAYS. (Side note-written filings take three to four weeks for direct deposit.) What this means to you is that CHANCES ARE GOOD that you shopper who is “waiting for a tax refund” knows exactly how much it will be, and when it will come".

One common objection to placing orders used by customers is that they are waiting for a tax refund check. Realistically, if they file taxes on Friday, and shop on Saturday then their refund will be in the bank before your delivery next Tuesday! Here are a few hints to build business during this time of consumer demand.

  • Promote In-Store that $99 starts any order. Be willing to take a small deposit today on an order and get payment CBD or COD. 

  • Don’t forget credit terms-use 6 or 12 month financing to stretch your shopper’s refund. If they fall in love with a $1500 grouping and are only getting an $800 refund, transfer the $700 balance to a 12 month SAC account. It’s about $55 a month. 

  • Or offer to S-T-R-E-T-C-H their refund! Let your shoppers know that their refund is worth 10% more in your store. If they are getting a $1000 refund, allow them to spend $1100 and accept the $1000 as payment in full.

  • If your state and city will allow it, this is a great time to promote TAX-FREE or Savings Equal to Sales Tax Events. One local retailer in my area promotes Double and Triple Tax Free Events.

  • New Merchandise is arriving soon. An Inventory Reduction Sale can become your IRS sale. Creative tagging can make this happen.

  • Offer a FREE GIFT to everyone that comes in. Something simple like a calculator from the Dollar Store or a heavy duty envelope to store their printed tax forms can make you a hero. Don’t forget to tape or glue a business card to either of those items!
Hopefully your tax filing experience goes well and we hope you get a BIG refund. Be sure to save a few pennies, as Ben Franklin suggested, and get to bed early so you can be healthy, wealthy, and wise!

Gordon Hecht is a Growth and Development Manager for National Bedding Company’s America’s Mattress stores, nearly 400 locally owned and operated bedding stores across the country selling Serta-branded and America’s Mattress-branded mattresses. He started his 30+ years experience in the Home Furnishings industry in Las Vegas, NV as a delivery helper and driver.

He has been recognized for outstanding sales and management achievement with several organizations including Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Drexel-Heritage, RB Furniture, Reliable Stores, and Sofa Express. He has served as Store Manager, Multi-unit manager and National Director of Sales. With his first-hand knowledge of our industry’s front line, Gordon has devoted his career to guiding others to exceed their goals.

Joining National Bedding Company in 2014, as part of the Serta Retail Concepts Group With over 400 stores, America’s Mattress stores is one of the fastest growing bedding retailers in the country.

Co-author of the “Better Bedding Selling Tips” featured on Furniture World Online, Gordon has been a frequent contributor to company newsletters, and contributing writer for industry magazines.
Read other articles by Gordon Hecht