Will Monie mentioned they provide a link on their website to recently posted material. It encourages people to look every week and he reports buyers regularly checking. That’s a very smart idea.
Printed catalogues have been important and some dealers continue to rely on them. Many others do not. It’s understandable that commoditized materials [many copies and few unique written descriptions] are hardly the stuff to make a recipient put all else down to see what’s for sale. So catalogues are probably only going to be worth the expense if the material is interesting. Such efforts should be supported for they sell more than what’s offered. They also promote the field.
As to electronic catalogues not many report success. I personally like the 25 or so a year online catalogues of appealing, often arcane material that DeWolfe and Wood offer on random Mondays. Scott DeWolfe tells me they don’t make much money but in my opinion they are terrific sales tools. If there was a set time when such catalogues were issued by a hundred dealers, assuming the material appealing and the prices compelling, I think many people would like the shared experience of competing for what’s just been offered. The field is losing its sense of community. A periodic shared competitive experience that links Australia, England, Canada, and the United States in a free-for-all would be both fun and rewarding.
Recently George Fox spent a few days in Cincinnati for the American Historical Print Collectors Society conference. Such groups and associations are high concentrations of the seriously interested in a single niche. Attending makes sense if you’re involved in the category. It’s easy to think that the Internet reaches everyone but it doesn’t. So George Fox was recently on a plane and many others in other fields recently planning to attend similar meetings and conventions in their categories. In a changing world such associations are high stakes commitments that sometimes pay off.
To these possibilities I’ll add one more. You can invent a new field. Jeremy Norman, the Bay area sciences dealer, has been developing for a decade a bibliography relating to human origins and expects to publish it in a year or so. With that road map in hand he believes collectors will find the field and its material as compelling as he has.
So it turns out there are many ways to adjust and lowering prices just one of them. But it is almost certain that changing one’s stance to the market will be more effective than cutting prices. At the end of the day reducing prices will always be an option. In the meantime raising your profile will probably be more effective.