This notice is not worth noticing

Seth Godin ponders why anyone would put up an “Under New Management” sign, calling it “a vivid symbol of the ego-centric nature of most marketing”.

The most stupid (non-)marketing notice I ever saw was in a newsagents in Lyme Regis. The shop had a huge postcard display, obviously aimed at the thousands of holidaymakers in the town, which was topped off with a notice: Sorry, we do not sell stamps. I stood there in open-mouthed wonder that, if you get asked for stamps so often that you have to put up a notice about it, you wouldn’t stock the stamps in the first place.

When I first started selling for myself on eBay, I made it a rule that if one customer asked me to get something for them, I always would. It was a great way to expand my inventory to what I knew people actually wanted to buy, and in some cases, what they just couldn’t get anywhere else. Why send your customers sniffing round your competition when they could buy the complete package from you.