We live in a day and age where holding onto the past and recording memories is easy…we have digital records and copies of things we hold dear and no longer look through the pages of large albums. Although I grew up in a home where I was surrounded by my father’s collections of advertising trays, war memorabilia, coins, music boxes, clocks and other antiquities, it is far less common to find such collectors today. Our society tends to lean more towards a more minimalist approach when decorating (less to dust 🙂 ). The question then becomes…what happens to all the “stuff” that at one time was valued by someone and lovingly collected?
National Rarities is an estate buying company that was started by my brother, Dennis McCaffrey, and his business partner, Louis Clough. After college, they were working as estate buyers and discovered a passion for helping individuals learn about their collections. If the items were no longer wanted, they would try to find a home for items of value where they could be cherished again. Although Denny and Louis respected their employer and appreciated all they had learned, they knew they had bigger ideas and goals—so in 2009 they took a giant risk and started National Rarities. What started as two friends and business partners working out of the basement in their parent’s home now currently employs 22 employees (most with GG or AJP certification from GIA), have 55 jewelry store partners, host over 115 events a year and continues to grow! We offer a variety of services to our customers and jewelry store partners including buying and selling estate items.
Why partner with jewelers?
When Denny and Louis first started they hosted their estate buying events in hotels and found that they were constantly telling their customers that if a piece had sentimental value they should take it to a jeweler and have it repaired or take the stones from a few of the pieces and have them combined and redesigned into a piece of jewelry they would actually wear. Instead of telling people to “go to a jeweler” they thought they would partner with jewelry stores so they were already there and could say “go talk to Mr. Smith and he can help you with that redesign”. They knew they wanted to partner with stores that were family owned because they would value their name and reputation as much as Denny and Louis did so they could work together for the mutual success of National Rarities and the jewelry store with whom they were partnering. They take great pride in talking with each customer and not only telling them about their items but also offering options should they choose not to sell.
Looking for a fun customer event that will increase customer traffic, advertise your store and make money?
National Rarities hosts 3-day “Great Estate Buying Shows” that can be customized for your store. Our events are different because we buy almost anything of value from war memorabilia, old advertisements and toys to fine art, jewelry and more. We pay for all advertising and feature our jewelry store partner’s name and logo, on the last day of the event, we pay the store 10% commission on everything we buy,(we continue to pay 10% on any future referrals) and we track how each person heard about the event so that we can share the advertising data with our jewelry store partners to help them see what works for their stores. Estate jewelry is very popular and some of our stores have had a hard time getting a variety of inventory. We recently started a new service where we offer our estate jewelry on memo to some of our stores so they can increase their estate inventory. We rotate the jewelry out every few months or so to keep customers coming back or we can also offer an “estate trunk show” along with our events. We like to think of our relationship with our jewelry stores as a partnership and we work together to see what works best for each store.
A little about me: After teaching high school business and marketing for eleven years, taking care of my three (then small) children and working in direct sales, I was ready for a change! My brother’s estate buying company-National Rarities-was growing fast and he needed someone he could trust to handle a variety of aspects of his growing business, so I jumped at the opportunity. I was thrilled to put the knowledge I had been teaching and using in my own business to work for National Rarities! It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was wearing too many hats and needed help! After doing some research, I called Bottom Line Marketing. It was a match made in heaven! We have been working together for almost a year now, they have helped us redesign our ads, have more digital/social media presence and expanded our marketing campaigns for our jewelers. Together we are getting the word out to jewelers and customers that these events are FUN and profitable! We like to say they are NO RISK and FULL REWARD events…give us a try!