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Why you can only buy these watches for 5 days of the month

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and business people in Australia today. This is the first episode of the season. Watch the full episode here.

Picture this: you’ve just launched a new watch brand. By using the social media platforms of your other successful existing businesses as a mouthpiece, you’ve already garnered some interest in the product and you’ve rounded up nearly ten thousand eager customers.

The problem is, you only have roughly a thousand watches to sell.

As far as business problems go, it’s a good one to have, and one that watch label The Fifth’s original co-founder Gretta van Riel certainly didn’t expect to encounter on the first day of trading.

“We sold over a thousand watches on our first day, which was over $100,000 in sales,” she told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Sarah O’Carroll.

(Photo: The Fifth/Yahoo Finance)

Demand was outstripping supply by a mile, and van Riel needed a solution.

“We had 8,000 people signed up who really, really wanted our watchers and we only had 1,200 watches to sell.

“And so rather than I guess, saying, ‘Okay, sorry, we sold out of everything,’ we said, ‘okay, well actually…’

And just like that, the new sales strategy that today defines The Fifth watches was born. To manage demand, the watches were on sale on the fifth day of each month, for five days only.

“It was turning a negative, so selling out, into a positive. And that’s what I had to just learn to do constantly with SkinnyMeTea. It was just about managing expectations through your communications,” she said.

It was also a point of difference that set her apart from other watch brands that van Riel had been observing in the consumer space.

“It was a really interesting interplay between, I guess, consumer psychology and your product,” she told Yahoo Finance.

“So by being only available for five days, it meant that we could increase demand through scarcity and it meant that we could increase perceived value of our product through exclusivity.”

It worked. The company grew faster than van Riel’s first and flagship business, SkinnyMe Tea, which she didn’t think would be possible at the time.

Learn more of Gretta van Riel’s secrets to success by watching her full interview with Yahoo Finance for the The New Investors, My Story video series.

On The Fifth’s first birthday, the company turned over more than a million Australian dollars in a single day on 5 December, 2015.

The success was helped by the hard-won lessons van Riel had learnt from growing the SkinnyMe Tea business. She made good use of personal Instagram account, as well as the social platforms of her other businesses, in generating a “brand awareness funnel” for the launch of The Fifth.

“We started to build awareness around the watches in a few ways. We did some giveaways with products that look quite similar in the space, but we also used a lot of influencer marketing, which has been a cornerstone of the growth of a lot of my businesses,” van Riel told Yahoo Finance.

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople in Australia today. This is the first episode of the season.