Meet SCVIEW Antique Images & postcards
My Name is Stefano (Steve) Neis. I am 51 years old, married (Wife Linda), with three boys (Antonio 8 yrs, Marcello 7 yrs & Angelo 6 yrs). I am a naturalized US citizen originally from the SAARLAND, Germany. I am an Ex-Submarine officer of the US Navy.
How is your company working?
SCVIEW Antique Images & postcards is a full time store in Columbia, South Carolina (M-F 8-4 EST) with minor online websites at Delcampe.com , Webstore.com , Boocoo.com & Bidstart.com. Our sales focus is online sales only. We no longer do shows. We no longer sell on eBay. Sales online are outstanding for us.
Are you working alone or within a team?
I have a well trained staff of three full time employees (Including myself) and five part time employees. My Office Manager's name is "Becki". She handles all email and customers questions. I have another long term employee "Esmeralda" who handles listing and all communication to Spanish customers. I can read German and speak it poorly. I have one part time employee who only packages our shipments to customers. Two other part timers do our scanning of items.
Why did you choose "Scview" as user name?
SCVIEW = "South Carolina" VIEW, the name is easy to recall. We use this ID on all of our online websites we buy & sell at.
How did you get into the collectibles' world?
I have collected stamps & coins since I was a child. Postcards are an extension of that. While in the U.S. Navy I obtained University degrees in Art & History. These degrees easily apply themselves to the content of postcard images.
I first got into postcards by accident. A stamp shop I was working for bought a VW bug full of postcards for $100 USD. All you could see was the driver and the postcards when the seller showed up at the shop. The store owner realized that most of the cards were foreign. Since my specialty was foreign stamps & coins, he stated I was the new postcard "expert". Yippee.... I was not really interested at the time. I looked through the piles of postcards, found one of a black dancer (Josephine Baker) at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, called a customer and sold it for 100 USD within 15 mins after we had bought the collection. I told the store owner, "Ok, I got your $100 back. Let’s throw the rest of the cards away and get back to stamps & coins. Luckily for me he did not listen to me. Eventually over time the cards grew on me and I came to enjoy them.
What do you collect?
I collect Strawberry postcards & first day of school postcards. Strawberry postcards because my fondest childhood memory is my Oma (Grandmother) making me strawberry sandwiches from wild strawberries I hand picked in the Schwarz-Wald. I also collect First day of school cards relating to the candy cones children get in Germany on Day 1 of school. I have a picture of me, my aunt and my two older 1st cousins where they have their cones, and I am clinging to my aunt’s skirt & crying. I moved to the USA before I got my candy cone. My wife says it has affected me ever since :)
What is your strategy to make your sales more efficient? (Sales techniques, discounts...?)
- We offer private sales to previous customers who have joined our mailing list.
- We offer free shipping if you buy ten items or more at a time.
- We have an unconditional return policy.
- All items shipped are our full responsibility until safely in a customers' hands.
- We accept all reasonable offers on all our items.
- We run major sales every three months to keep the stock fresh and moving.
Which is the favorite item of your collection and which was your best selling experience?
I have a real photo postcard of Differton Germany (Saarland). It is from the 50s. I can see the roof line of what I think was my grandmother’s house, and the forest where I picked all those strawberries 47 years ago. It is not for sale :)
My best selling experience?
I enjoy it when I sell an item to someone and they find a family member in the postcard image. It has happened several times, and each time it leads a bit of story swapping.