Volume 48, Issue 2- February 2013
Everyone in the glass business has a storeroom chock full of supplies that are an overhead expense about which we all complain. So, as the old saying goes, “When you get stuck with lemons, start selling lemonade.” Clean up part of your showroom; put some bins on standard shelving and start selling every supply item you have in stock. Every sale results in profit as you really have no inventory carrying cost.
Sell it All
Still not convinced? Read on and consider selling the following
Make the Most of It
Whenever you have 1/8-inch mirror cutoffs, cut them to 2- by 2-inches, seam the edges and sell compact mirrors for a quarter. Sell 12- by 12-inch pieces of screen wire for the homeowner who needs a base for their bird feeder. There are glass shops that sell broken tempered glass in 10-pound bags for $5 as decorative stone for gardeners. Charge more for tinted! I saw a shop where they drilled ½-inch holes in ¼-inch cutoffs, selling the round slugs in bags of 12 as checker pieces. A bag of clear and a bag of tint sold for $10 each. Go to a game website and buy blank checkerboards and you can sell the whole package.
Every shop probably has an IG unit that is the wrong color or size. Homeowners will buy these units at a discount when they are building something and can be flexible about the size. Don’t assume your only option is to feed your dumpster. Customers also love a “scratch-and-dent” section--your scratched mirrors, table tops or shower doors.
The best single item you can sell, in our glass business or in any business, is a pre-paid gift card. You get the funds now and, on average, only 80-85 percent of the cards will be redeemed. You don’t need a preprinted plastic card; write out a gift certificate on a note card for each sale. Again, put a sign up in your showroom: Give a friend a new table top or a framed mirror using Joe’s Glass Shop’s gift cards.
Paul Bieber has 30 years experience in the glass industry, including 21 years as the executive vice president of Floral Glass in Hauppauge, N.Y., from which he retired in 2005. You can read his blog on Tuesdays at http://usgpaul.usglassmag.com.