Edge Retail Academy Blog

The ‘Secret Sale’ … Shhhhhhhhhh

by Darci Aselage

Here is an idea for a sale that will gain attention, drive traffic and thereby increase sales. 


 The first thing to know is that this is a Celebration Sale not a Desperation Sale. Your staff will love it; your special customers will love it. And you will enjoy the success!

When traditional techniques for liquidating inventory have been rendered ineffective, the ‘Secret Sale’ approach represents one of the best ways to achieve the results you need!

This ‘Secret Sale’ sale is all about ‘Staying in Business’. There are plenty of ‘Going out of Business Sales’ or ‘Retirement Sales’, which can be highly effective because you’ve come to the end of the road. But this sale uses one of your most valuable and largely under-utilized assets – your customer base to increase sales. It’s designed to draw your VVIP, VIP and special shoppers into your store for this very special event.

Benefits of a ‘Secret Sale’

  • Turn aged and non-performing inventory into cash
  • Retire high interest debt
  • Help fund your retirement
  • Pay bills, pay off the bank … whatever you want
  • Stimulate store traffic and sluggish sales
  • Stay in touch with your loyal customers
  • Help turn your ‘infrequent’ shoppers into ‘frequent’ shoppers
  • Protect your valuable image (remember it’s a Secret)
  • It is very cost effective given that many of the traditional ‘Mass Media’ marketing is no longer working
  • Receive a customized inventory plan within two weeks of the Sale ending
  • It is targeted and personal
  • There is a low 6% success fee (with a Success Guarantee) in addition to the database services
  • We are with you all the way and with our Success Guarantee, our success is your success
  • Turning old inventory into cash may mean the difference between surviving and not

Sure, you have run your own sales in the past. But, your current level of aged inventory is proof enough that something needs to change.

How the ‘Secret Sale’ works

  • The ‘Secret Sale’ typically runs for six (6) days although this may vary depending on the size of your customer base. During the ‘Invitation Only’ period there is no external sign that you are having a sale. No banners, displays or mass media advertising at all – just a steady stream of your regular customers and their friends. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, it’s business as usual.
  • After we receive your Customer Base electronically, we run it through the NCOA (National Change of Address) list and then check it for duplicate names. Once your Customer Base is ‘clean,’ we separate it into three categories – VVIP, VIP and other.
  • This includes a high quality, digital color personalized self mailer with your logo, picture and signature. The mailer invites these special customers to an exclusive one-week only opportunity.   Everything in store will be offered to these customers at between 55% and 70% off.
  • A ‘Telephone Script’ and training are provided which will help your salespeople significantly increase attendance by calling these important customers.
  • Optional: Depending on your recent success with mass media, another three days can be opened to the general public using our proven Half Price Stock Liquidation Sale. At this stage, everything in store will be offered for sale at Half Price so we will help you identify any items not to be included.

Important: While we recommend the final three days to attract new, lifetime customers – if it is not economical to spend money on mass media marketing, or you are simply opposed to this concept, there are alternatives. The word ‘Liquidation’ is deliberate because it has been proven to produce the best response from ‘non customers.’

  • We also do a full analysis of your inventory prior to the event to make sure your margins are set correctly, thereby maximizing the profit for you.   Also, after the event we do a further analysis of your remaining inventory to ensure you have the right inventory, in the appropriate quantities, to maximize your future sales and profitability.

Our low Success Fee and Guarantee

 We are very confident about getting an excellent result for you, and we work closely with you at all times to achieve the best possible outcome. Our low 6% success fee is also subject to our ‘Success Guarantee’, which works by linking the success of the event with our success fee. In simple terms, if you only do 80% of the budgeted sales, we only charge you 80% of the normal success fee – and so on. This means peace of mind for you because you know that we are in this together.

The sale’s success, depends on a number of variables, that can impact the final result. These include:

  • The number, quality and selling skills of your sales people
  • The existing relationship between you and your customers i.e. when was the last time you contacted them; how do they perceive your store; how many VVIP’s and VIP’s do you have
  • The quality and accuracy of your customer base. When did you last mail to your clients and did you update any mailing returns? Also, if your database includes
  • A transient community, such as University or Military town, it could impact the size of store traffic.
  • Your competitors. How many other jewelers are in your area and how successful are they; how many competitors do you have (i.e. travel agents, book stores and all other luxury goods suppliers are also vying for the same limited dollars.) What recent ‘sale’ activity has there been in your area …
  • Your ‘Brands’. Some stores carry a high percentage of branded products such as Pandora, Hearts on Fire and David Yurman, and although these items sell during the sale, they are typically not discounted therefore cannot be specifically attributed to the sale advertising
  • What street exposure do you have to the public; how easy is it to park close to your store; how convenient is your store location?
  • What other local events, vacations and celebrations are you competing against; what is the best and worst time of the year for a sale in your area?
  • Other factors. The state of the nation and the local economy; the effectiveness of your local media options; the climate … the list goes on and on. These are all factors, beyond our immediate control ,that can impact your final result. It’s for this reason that we don’t think it is fair to ask for a percentage of your sales during this event. There are just too many variables.

In other words, you have nothing to lose … and everything to gain!

Typically, the advertising we do tends to bring Pandora customers, repair customers, custom work and special orders – none of which should be included in the final calculation for fees.

Secret Sale FAQ’s

You will have many questions as we move forward with your Secret Sale, but here is a list of the most frequently asked questions. We’re happy to answer these, as well as any other questions, should you be interested in this sale event:

Q:        Why should I have a sale?

Q:        How much of my aged inventory should sell during the sale?

Q:        Will the sale affect the good name of my store?

Q:        Will my store look empty after the sale?

Q:        Why are the discounts so high?

Q:        What response rate should I expect?

Q:        Is it really necessary to call my customers?

Q:        How accurate is the customer data cleaning?

Q:        How many of my customers should I mail to?

Q:        Will our customers think we are going out of business?

Q:        If this sale works, should we have it again next year?

Q:        Can I change the letter to suit my style and personality?

Q:        What if my customers can’t come in on their specified day?

Your aged inventory has POTENTIAL. It’s time to turn it into PROFIT! Let us know if we can help you create a successful Secret Sale event! Please contact The Edge Retail Academy at Inquiries@EdgeRetailAcademy.com or 877-569-8657.

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