Hi everybody! I'm a little discouraged - I had great sales for September & October, but November was slow and December has been kind of slow as well. I took the time to run out to my booth this morning to spruce it up and start a 25% off sale in hopes of increasing sales, and all I sold today was a single $1.00 item! My mall has a "hold shelf" and I saw one of my "Winter Fantasy" holiday Barbie on it as I was leaving, but alas, I guess the customer didn't buy it because it wasn't listed on my online sales report for today. Sigh...I guess those big months get me all excited and I think every month is going to be like that.
Topic: How have your booth sales been lately?(67 posts)
I checked on my sales yesterday & I've sold enough so far to cover my rent. It's not going to be a good month, I think.
I alsways change my merchandising tactic for the holidays. I have found this time of year that you have to focus on smalls. Either decorations or items that are giftable. I scour all year long to pick up holiday decorations when it's affordable. I make sure that I can price it for $5-$6. This encourages multiples on the ornaments.
Haven't done well at all the last two months. Part of it is my fault, I know. Haven't had the time to "stir up" my booths, freshen them up, etc.
Maybe after Christmas I can get in there and totally revamp them.
when we were totally antiques in our store december was the worst month.....we figured it was normal and because people dont really know what an antique person would want for a gift, or what to pay....
.and also people have so much to buy right now for their families and friends and maybe they are letting their home stuff and personal buying take a back s eat....
I am in two shops. One is going gang-busters, and the other "bust" :-)... probably my fault because I spent more time in the profitable shop although it is an hour away and a hassle to get to. This shop seems to be in the middle of nowhere but does extremely well, a combo of shabby chic furniture and boutique accessories (scarves, jewelry, etc). My spot cannot hold big furniture (nor can I at 67!) so I do mostly smalls, small tables, jewelry, etc. Even during my worst months I've done min. 4x rent and usually 5-7x. This month I've sold mostly "gifty" items, cashmere scarves, jewelry, some Christmasy trees/wreaths, even a $55 mirror. Now the bad news, she's going up 10% on rent! :-)
Now, the other shop... hate to leave because rent is so cheap and it's only 3 mi. away, but it's pretty much a glorified yard sale with a sprinkling of good stuff. I cannot sell anything good to save my life. If I have a table in there for 3 months and it doesn't sell, I bring to the other shop,raise it $10, and it's gone in a week! I always make my rent, but usually make only $25-50 more than that.. hardly worth my while. They just don't get the retail buyer in there, just other dealers looking for a "deal" and older folks just out for a browse and "Look, Sis, Mom used to have these S&P shakers!" LOL! They have monthly "themes" but most people come to walk around and eat cookies. Sadly, the owner of this shop passed away suddenly this year and her husband and daughters are carrying on. They close down for month of January and they are saying that changes are coming. It will be interesting to see if they come up with some good marketing ideas - wish they'd give us dealers a chance to put in some suggestions. I'm thinking of asking them if we could have a dealer meeting. I hope the only change isn't a raise in my rent! LOL! I know of 4 dealers who are leaving at the end of this month. We'll see.
Hello everyone! I am new to this website but have been "lurking" & have gotten some really great ideas from you ladies. I am starting a booth here in my hometown in our antique mall next month & have been a little anxious. But after reading some of your posts, I feel a little more confident :)
I like this post, Carol. It helps to read what others are experiencing.
Our store has been open for almost two years. I am a first-time antiques vendor and rented a booth about two months after the store opened.
I have had a similar experience as others in September and October. Big profits. November and December have been slower. The economy has made this fall tougher than last fall.
I have increased my profit by working at the store one day/week for free rent. I LOVE it!!! I also have learned A LOT about what sells and I have to say I work my booth very hard. I am constantly working at my small business--creating, buying, rearranging, posting sales,
I carry a lot of smalls. I also carry things for both male and female customers. I don't stick to one style, but primitive is what sells best in our area. I don't sell strictly antiques, either.
There are no real ways of predicting what will sell or not. And the economy is discouraging.
I DO clearly see that the vendors who work hard at selling see a lot more monthly profit than those who aren't as engaged.
Blossom, you are SO right - there is no predicting! Lots of things I think are totally fabulous and very well priced sit there for a long time, while others I think might never sell go quickly! I'm glad I decided to have that 25% off sale before Christmas instead of waiting til next week - sales have picked up and I'll have a pretty good month after all. I always try to mark my things up enough when I first put them out so that even if I have a sale I still make money. I should ask my mall manager if they need any additional help occasionally. I have another part-time job two days a week and wouldn't want to do it every week, but it would be fun to work there maybe once or twice a month. Like you said, it would be a great way to find out what sells.
My fall has been slower -- still fine, but slower. I have, however, been more of an "absentee landlord" due to my barn sales AND I do know that working your booth is really important. I just finished a 9 hour total redo of my booth last night...."touched everything" --- cleaning & rearranging & redisplaying. I really liked the end result and will be interested if it helps with sales. I also initiated a 25% off sale. I always like to offer a sale several times a year -- that way, if I have priced items too high -- the sale may finally move that item out...I usually offer the sale towards the end of a season or holiday -- and I am already thinking spring!
Ok I'm a little nervous now. I am really excited about opening my first booth next month but I guess I am scared I'll feel like a complete idiot if I go months without even making rent. Oh well, I've DREAMED of owning my own thift store for years. If I start off small with a 8x10 booth and make it there for a while the thrift store will become a reality one day.
I constantly am thinking of ways to sell/attract repeat buyers. Here are some quick tips; PLEASE take them with a grain of salt.
Stage your booth. Little vignettes here and there help folks visualize how your item(s) can be used in their home. I notice that most gift shops do this. Use your creativity to your advantage.
Buy cheap! You already know this...I read your Goodwill post!! Give yourself a little wiggle room when marking prices...people almost always ask for a discount.
Sell cheap! You will establish a reputation pretty quickly if your merchandise is appealing and affordable!! The silver-lining of our present economic state is that an antiquer can find items that are much more affordable than they were a few years ago.
Carry some unique pieces. You may have to invest a little more $, but the payoff will come when you attract customers to your booth.
Carry smalls. Too many large pieces with large prices can lead to large "outstanding-rent amounts" at the end of each month.
Pay attention to what sells. For instance, glassware does not sell too much in our mall. I stopped buying it.
Notice successful vendors booths-- and pay attention to their items, prices, arrangement of booth, etc.
Advertise. Right now I am advertising items from our store on Craigslist. It's free. I advertise every few days by genre: Primitive items, shabby items, lamps, pottery etc. It REALLY works and has increased store traffic. You can take four pictures of items in YOUR booth and give your booth location and store location/ store phone number.
Realize that there is very little predictability and very many factors that make a business successful or unsuccessful. Never feel
bad about chasing a dream. Consider this to be a learning experience and then gather every ounce of wisdom you can.
I became a Realtor one year before the housing market took a dive. There were many aspects I liked about real estate, but the toll it took on my family-time made me prioritize. When the market went south...I quit. But, I learned! I ended up saving us thousands of dollars when we bought a new home that did not have a warranty or a statement of "property condition". It was a life-lesson and I feel good about the knowledge I gained and the people I helped.
I am not a huge risk taker, so I totally understand your anxiety! I did not start my antiques venture with a booth. I rented some shelves.
Then, after a while, I rented the smallest booth at the store. Now, I wish my standard-sized booth was larger!! Best of all, I LOVE what I am doing!
"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that's where you will find success."-Tom Watson
"The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The "sure-thing" boat never gets far from shore."
AWESOME! Such excellent info.
I have read and re read posts that you and other "booth" ladies have written and they all have such great information that makes perfect sence. Once I read them I think to myself, "of course". So needless to say I am taking everything to heart.
I am not starting my booth until next month. My husband is excited because now he thinks that our house will stop looking like the show Horders. What ever..it's not that bad. :-)
I will take pictures once I get everything staged and looking purty.:-)
I just got back from Florida.
It was an eventful trip.
DH had the radiator on the van replaced a few days before we left. The mechanic did not tighten all the places on the lines from the radiator to the transmission.
The transmission leaked.
We did get there and we did get home.
I had to cut my prices but I sold 13 out of 14 boxes of junk (maybe 500 pounds of stuff)
(DH wanted me to get rid of ALL of it to lighten the load going home)
We baked and sold scones. Sales were down all but one day.
That day we were taking orders 2 hours out.
I'm sick of scones.....
I also had a run in with a hook on a port-o-let door. Spent a few hours in the ER. My nose will eventually look the same...
Oh bless your heart. At least you got rid of junk though. That's one positive spin on it.
Let me ask you ladies a question ! they have opened a new Peddelers Mart in Ohio, the cost is for a 12x4 booth $109.00 per month plus 8% comm. 12x8 booth is $199.00 per month plus 8%comm. is this the normal rate for a booth in a Mart such as this.. they do ask you how many hours you plan on spending in your booth per week, they do the selling of your products.. ??? and if they do this.. how safe are your items in your booth..?? just some quesions I know My daughter may want to ask if she choses to do this.
This Peddlers Mart I spoke of is in an old Wal-Mart store. and they do have larger booths, just gave you the amount for two.
This Peddlers Mart I spoke of is in an old Wal-Mart store. and they do have larger booths, just gave you the amount for two.
Oh copper sorry about your nose bless your heart. Glad you made it back safe...
Huggybear...I'm not too crazy about the 8% comm. I believe that if you already give them rent each month you shouldnt have to pay from your comm. But that's just me.
Thanks Weezola , I thank you for your input.. I was wondering about that comm too. could be cause they sell items for you and that you do not have to be there all the time.. which makes me wonder just how safe it would be.. hummmm.. I will find out more and keep you all posted..
Cooperhead sorry to hear about your nose.. must have hurt like the dickens.. where did you go in Florida that you sold all that junk and scones? and how do you make them? Now I am not asking you to give away any secerts for the scones.. so I was just interested in where and how you did that. hope I am not being to nosey.. if so.. send my butt to the ER and have my nose put back where it belongs..LOL
I don't think You should have to pay comm either if you pay rent...
There is a Peddler's market around here but I don't see it getting a lot of action. I'm thinking before I would set up in a place I would kind of scout it out - how busy is it? Talk to a vendor... you can sometimes read their faces to know if things are selling.
I went to The Alafia River Rendezvous in Bartow FL - you can google search that. To get into the site you have to scroll down and click on the buttons at the bottom of the picture. It was a historical camp with over a thousand people. I sold a lot of books right off the bat. Then I sold out all my pewter to another dealer. I sold a lot of brass and wooden things pretty quickly too. I had a few old wooden games. Anything that has to do with the ocean sells there - I just don't get much of it around here. At that place everything has to be somewhat historical looking. The last three days it was open to the public. Junk sold mostly before public had a chance to see it. We were swamped on Saturday - people remembered us from last few years - the ones that remembered would give us an order for scones, pay and come back on their way out and pick it up. A lot of other vendors were complaining that nothing was selling. I did ok... we have done better...
We baked scones in a dutch oven. You have to start with a good scone recipe - google search there are tons. Scones are a Scottish bread. The key to scones is to not handle the dough too much. To cook in a dutch oven you need to cook over coals and then put coals on the dutch oven. The dutch oven heats about 350 degrees more or less. DH has baked hundreds of batches - burns one out of a couple hundred I'd say. It is for sure an art. We had major problems with the wood this year though or we would have made a whole lot more scones/money. There was a man who has offered us wood from his yard for next year - I hope he means it... we have his phone number.
You all have to laugh - I am not a coffee drinker. DH is NOT a coffee drinker. We don't even know how to make coffee. OK that said... Some of our friends decided we should sell coffee... LOL ROTFLMBO LOL... Anyway. We were given some bags with coffee to cook... All you have to do is get the coffee pot full of water and get the water boiling. Right. Check. So DH had the pot on the fire and I dropped in the bag full of coffee... I was supervised by two old geezers who were wanting coffee with their scones. DH pitched a fit. That was water he was heating to wash dishes.... OOPS. Major OOPS. My bad... I guess... So I let the stuff set for 5 minutes - that's what the bag said. Check. OK so I pour coffee for the two old geezers. So on one hand I have DH fit to be tied about loosing is dish water and two old geezers wanting coffee. One old geezer tries the coffee... "HMMMM tastes just like dish water" says the old geezer. I ended up putting the coffee in something else to keep DH happy. Did I tell you the name of the bake shop is "Grumpy's Dutch Oven Bake Shoppe"????? People ask who is grumpy and we point at each other. I also have a chalk board sign that says "Scones $3 each - eat at yer own peril - Grumpy"
Cooperhead GREAT story. I laughed out loud with the "tastes just like dish water" comment.
greta....can i put your business recipe on my greenoak blog? its pretty wonderful...
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Hi everyone! I forgot that I joined this community awhile back and was going through my bookmarks. So glad that I rediscovered this website! I rented an antique mall space with a friend (to make it affordable) in November. I have just been making rent but not a profit yet. I spend a lot of time searching for stuff to take to my booth. I peruse the sales reports that the mall owner prints out daily and just cannot get a sense of what people are buying. The antique mall that I am in allows just about anything to bring in and sell so I don't have to stick to true antiques which helps.
I hope that spring will bring in more customers and sales!
Welcome back, ladydianab! Be encouraged; don't give up! I've had a booth for about 4 1/2 years now, and at first I had several months where I just barely made my rent. Praise the Lord, I've never had a month yet where I've not made rent, and overall have done quite well. I got a slightly larger space a little over a year ago, and that made a difference. You are right, there is no "rhyme nor reason" to what sells. Just when I think I've figured out some kind of pattern, it changes! :) I do think it's important to move your stuff around frequently even if you can't bring in a lot of new things every week. I also work part-time in a bookstore/gift shop, and it's amazing how when we change the shop around, people will see something that's been there forever and think it's new!!
May the Lord bless you in your endeavors,
Carol in Tulsa
My sales have been down as of late...as have sales all across the mall. Still set a goal to make at least twice my rent -- and generally come through with at least that. I do try to work my booth -- change things about...and reflect on my pricing & finds.
Recently I re-established my case to a new niche/theme: seasonal, holiday...with plans to have a partial shelf of vintage items for each celebration - that remain out year round. I like the look and sales show that this might work. Now my booth -- still thinking that through.
I have also come to the conclusion that the lower sales may also have to do with less marketing on the part of the mall. They are considering doing more with this in 2011 -- so we shall see.
Hard to guess -- there are also going to be slow months any way -- was told when I first starting selling that September, May & December are generally slow.
As in any business -- head up, ask questions, reflect, and set realistic goals.
I read your blog, Ann. I often do. I enjoyed seeing my name in lights! ha ha Seriously though, I take note of what YOU have to say about your 20+ year business. You are business-minded and stated that you love "talking" business. Thinking about the "game" is how one stays on the "playing field"...especially when the game becomes muddy and flags are thrown in your path. I like your determination to navigate through the tough times.
I will say that January in Kentucky has been tough for our store. Sales are down from last year. Our winters are usually pretty temperate, but this year's constant snowfall reeks havoc with shoppers. Also, we have seen a lot of job-loss in our area--one that was once industry based and quite prosperous.
Our store's location proves to be one of our biggest assets. We are one mile from of a major interstate with our store named as a tourist attraction. Many travelers frequent the shop.
My craigslist ads for the store are working!!. Today, two different couples told us they "discovered" us. We are hearing this more and more frequently. We have advertised on TV, in the paper, and on the radio, folks STILL didn't know we existed until they saw our ad on craigslist. Others, did not realize how large the store is and the variety of items we carry.
I strongly feel that advertising is a key component for success. I wish we could unearth some gi-normous oddity to put in front of our store. It might sound crazy, but I know it's a tried and true means of attracting attention. Instant landmark!
Perhaps I'll find something in an industrial-sized dumpster!!!!!
HHHMMMM Greta, you might go looking for a neglected landmark and ask for it.
build a two story double decker outhouse painted purple with a sign that says "look out below"... you can google search double decker outhouse and then hit images for ideas
check out Jungle Jim's porta potty bathroom http://purpleslinky.com/offbeat/10-of-the-world%E2%80%99s-most-unique-restrooms-understanding-the-new-toilet-culture/ - (it's the last set of pictures)
speaking of Jungle Jim's, check out Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati - the place has mastered the "attraction concept" with stuff you could NEVER think up... He started with a giant chalk board out front and has gone from that to the old mono rail from King's Island in front of the store (among hundreds of other things) http://www.junglejims.com/ just watch the slide show on the web page... you'll get some idea but to really appreciate you have to GO there and plan to spend the WHOLE day - it's a grocery store - well, I think it is anyway... take some money too
a big old propane tank painted up?
a small shed shaped like a church for people to take pictures/get married - you can Google search world's smallest church (hit images) and get some ideas
Great ideas and LOVE the sites! Thank you!
thanks greta thanks copper.... great ideas!!! ..coppperhead, you know we have a pole building out on 31....what could we do to it to intice people to turn and come see the store? we are willing to paint it wild ...but then what ???
so many would enjoy us all, if they only knew....i really believe that...especially if we stay interesting and reasonable in price....like greta says in her recipe..
Really enjoy reading about everybody's successes and lessons on this thread.
I worked at a small antiques store for a few years and remember what it's like to feel tumbleweeds going down the center aisle. The storefront was perfectly located with a Starbuck's and a branch of the town library down the block. Our stock sparkled with 20's crystal chandeliers, mahogany furniture and lots of pretty smalls. Despite this, when consumer confidence trended lower, there were some very long days of little or no business.
I think it's during those down times when the tough really need to take Mr. Watson and Carnegie's advice to heart---per Greta with big thanks! great quotes---to get going. It's probably the hardest time to muster the energy and focus, and that's the trick of it.
One risk that's small and free is Craigslist. As a freelancer, I write a blog about garage sales, etc. in and around Chicago and have observed several regular sellers who have good success by posting on Craigslist. Some have quit their day jobs and are earning a living this way. If you're interested, here's a post about two of them. http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/garage-sale-warrior/2011/01/craigslist-as-mid-century-modern-showroom-two-local-sellers-have-what-you-want.html
One good thing about Craigslist--you can start small and totally anonymous if it makes you nervous, so there's really no risk other than the time it takes to write the ad. No response on a Monday? Try Thursday, or a different item. Then, when you include your business ID, you'll build awareness, letting people know you're out there.
Ann - I know you are like me and not so good with the camera/computer thing but I think I need a picture. I know you are off the beaten path and if you have a building on 3
Welcome finediving...I see you live in CH. Hope you fare well from this storm...
OOPS I hit the send post button somehow... Well I'll keep going.... Ann if you have a building you could paint on US 31 I would figure something that makes a statement for sure. On the drive up there we saw roofs with pictures in the shingles. It is otherwise a drab drive - if you can lighten things up and advertise - well, why not? do stick up a picture of your pole barn - we'll all brain storm on it a while - nothin' better to do this week... well, there is work... The freezing rain just started here. It's suppose to be a doozie.
If you get time look at that Jungle Jim site - go there if you get a chance - it is a blast...
thanks copperhead... its just a small pole building..with a nice blank wall.....my best idea so far is a giant fake cupboard nailed to the wall.....but thats kindof boring.....but????.you cant see the garden iron out there..thats whats there now.... chained to the fence..... we cant deal with 2 places and crew and inventory..so actually opening up there is out of the question.... ....hey, that bathroom link is great!! ...
we never had much luck wilth craigs list....being too high compared to all the folks just trying to get rid of things...we have big overhead etc and have to have a healthy mark up....but this thread has me thinking about it again...
really facebook, another free thing, has been major for us...it seems like most of our young customers are on it and many have joined us...
..FINEDIVING,we get a lot of our big stuff from chicago...our big chicago cabinets AND CEILING TIN,FROM DEMOLISHED BUILDINGS I GUESS,,, but we arent an old fashioned antique store at all.....most of those didnt make it......to survive we really had to change, .......no more buyers for pretty dishes or hardly any of the old stuff that we thought was good ..no more 300$ quilts or depression glass collectors....now we are a lot different....and really busy.with new customers.....even tho january is our worst month....we had about 10.. 15 cars in the parking lot all day last sunday....about normal
i know a f ew really going resale shops and high class consignment shops....but its really tough for sure ...and times have changed....i would love to read your view of the resale world....do you have a blog?
I think I remember seeing some stuff & maybe a sign or something along the road when we got up there - I can't remember the barn. You didn't have anything memorable... A giant cupcake made of junk instead of a cupola? Maybe a re-purposed looking gingerbread house with some strong colors? Put the iron up on the roof? You don't want to attract vandals either. Is the wall of the barn corrugated or smooth? I do remember someone at your shop painted some wonderful zany junky signs - maybe paint something like one of those on one side of the building? Change it once in a while... (Isn't there a sign somewhere on US 31 that says "Eat Here and Get Gas" it's farther in toward Indy... I've always wanted to stop and see what the heck... at least it isn't Mc D's...) A BIG fancy arrow made out of junk pointing to the turn off? Maybe you could stick up a framed sheet or two of plywood and paint it chalkboard black and use neon chalk letters to make a "chalkboard" sign? Change it out once in a while...
That site about how to create a landmark was interesting. Here's more: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/map/trip/about
you can make a route and look for sites - you might get some idea what else is on route 31 - or if you don't see much on the website send them some contributions along with what ever you do with your place. I'm not sure what all is on US 31.
Ann, there used to be a huge billboard in Broadripple (the hoity toity college area of Indianapolis) made with junk surrounding the sides and top - it was GLORIOUS if you are a junker... eyesore if not I guess... I should have taken a picture of it before they tore it down. Maybe something like that - it did get attention. Trim it up with the junk you were going to throw away after your garage sale...
How about 4 ft high letters made out of real junk?
Ooh la la, Ann. Wish you were closer to me, I'd be in every week if just to commune with the pieces you have. What's your best sellers?
Mid-Century Modern---credenzas, low upholstered furniture and coffee tables--are big in Chicago and other urban areas, too, esp. with the younger population who wants to define their style and has a few dollars in their pocket. This is where the flippers on Craigslist/Facebook here are making their money.
My blog, Garage Sale Warrior (http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/garage-sale-warrior/), targets what I call urban scavengers here. I talks about yard sales, thrift and estate sales (what else is there to talk about in winter?) and give some DIY tips. It's a huge window of content, some days I think I should whittle it down to a smaller niche. Like the resale business, getting customers, readers, attention from the community is very competitive.
Thanks for the welcome note, Leveta! Off to walk the dog. We got a few inches, more supposedly on the way.
Finediving (great name!!!)
I just scoured your website. Love it! Your Chicago location is like a massive schoolroom. It provides INFINITE junking opportunities, incredible insight, and a wealth of material for your free-lancing. You are blessed! You have learned so much and are willing to share with/inspire others!
I marvel at the Craigslist "flippers" who have been able to quit their day jobs! Incredible! Talk about opportunity knocking on your door; these folks have the guts to SEIZE opportunity from dumpsters, curbs, and back alleys! I might move West!
As for the Chinoiserie table, I can't imagine a better color choice! Looks great!
And the hotel furniture sale! That 25 dollar headboard...I'm drooling! And that gorgeous mirror...WOW!
So glad you found us! Can we come visit you in "The Windy City" for thrift tours? ; )
You know about anything can become a landmark... well, in Cincinnati that is... One morning some strange noises woke me up early. I peeked out the window and saw Ben, a neighbor painting his house with purple paint. I commented to my DH and he said to get back in bed I was having a nightmare. Well, sure enough when we got up that house across the street was PURPLE. The neighbors had a block meeting and offered to repaint that house for free... For 10 years when we told people where we lived they would ask if it was anywhere near that purple house. Or we would tell them it was across from the purple house. When the old man died he wasn't even buried before his kids painted it blue.
How funny...I've seen so pretty bright ones around our area over time. We had one in our town that was bright pink...I've seen purple and there is one that is Ky blue...
THANKS COPPERHEAD...I LOVED THAT BROADRIPPLE SIGN...IT WAS EYE GLASSES I THINK..... THANKS FOR SUCH GOOD IDEAS...HMMMM
SO GLAD YOU FOUND US FINEDIVING....IM GOING TO LOOK AT YOUR BLOG....WHAT SUPRISED ME WAS A CHICAGO RESALE PLACE WITH DANISH MODERN....i dont think i could give that look away down here in corn country......ha ha... probably next year..... we dont do too well with mid century either, except with chicago people.....
we sell tons of recycled buffets, especially with knobby knees, you know heavy legs and lots of carving,,, and painted white or black....they are just great for us.... for sinks or tvs or dressers or foyer pieces....and we do well withall kinds of parts from corbels to spindles....
i figure our big georgous chicago cabinets start out with the scavengers in chicago who beat the demolition team...then go to auction then to us or our picker at auction then to the horse and buggy amish carpenters and then onto our floor.... they have been on the dan ryan and in a workshop with no lights or car or phone.....
i push recycling and design more than antique as far as words go....
Copperhead, I am laughing because I have a seriously purple house just around the corner. I tease my kiddo that I want my house to be that purple. He tells me I am not funny. I live in an area of town that it seems anything goes. You should see Christmas!
Finediving, I love your blog/website. I would like to do something like that for my town (Lawrence, Kansas home of Kansas University and the Kansas Jayhawks bball team). My husband was a dumpster diver long before it became cool to do so. In the 80s (yes, I said 80s, cough), my husband found lots of useful household items now they have kind of put a stop to all that because it got out of hand with all the "treasure hunters" there are now. The college kids are also becoming more environmental friendly and are donating rather than throwing away their stuff.
There are lots of garage sales and lots of hunters so I have to be very assertive in finding items to put in my little booth at the antique mall.
Speaking of booths: I just wanted to add that my booth is about 3x4 and rents for $80/mo. and takes 10%. It is downtown though which sees a lot of traffic.
Thanks, everyone, for visiting my site. Thrift tours are ready to depart anytime!
I talked with our bookkeeper, who works at the store on Fridays and Saturdays. She had just finished her January report. It was a tough month for the entire store.
Our weather, like most people's, has hurt business.
The shocker? The store did four hundred dollars more in JANUARY than it did in October--which I realized was another slow month. I would never have thought that.
I truly believe that the advertising on Craiglist--which was started in late December--has been the reason January's terrible weather didn't cripple our sales.
I posted an ad for our store's huge selection of crocks, jugs, churns, bean pots, on Thursday night. Friday brought phone calls and people into the store.
February will be another tough month. Perhaps a local radio ad? I know a couple friends from the shop would definitely contribute.
***"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it." --Michelangelo
Blossom that is great...Advertising is a key to getting the word out. That is so great that your store done that well in Jan...
I stopped by the antiques store this morning to pick up a magazine a friend had left for me to read. My friend, Curtis, was working.
Our Craigslist advertising is gaining enthusiasm as the vendors (especially the five of us who work at the store) are seeing positive results.
When I arrived, Curtis asked me to guess who had bought the first sale item of the day. I had no clue and was thinking of a particular person...like someone famous!
Curtis smiled at me and said, "Someone who found us on Craigslist!"
Never give up! I have been a flea market vendor for 30 years ,and these things always cycle up and down. Just have faith in your merchandise,know it is priced well, and wait for better times. Junk selling is not for the faint-hearted!!!!!!!!!
Welcome JunkCrazy...Do you know Alren Chittwood? He lived or lives there.
An antique pedal car sold today because of Craiglist. It was a one hundred fifty dollar sale! We live in a tri-state area and so the Craigslistings serve us well.
I want to create a website for the store, but am not quite sure where to begin. Someone gave me a site-builder today. Said it was a basic step-by-step process and costs thirty dollars/year. Our owner approved. I realize I will be responsible for the upkeep and freshening. I hope this web-building site is good.
I checked out your store on Facebook. It looks great! This may sound silly, but I am wondering if just you refer folks to Facebook, or if they find your store somehow...or if friends tell friends??? I don't have a Facebook account.... yet...so am not quite sure how it works.
My booth mates and I are in charge of putting ads on Craigslist each month. We've been doing it for about 3 months now. I also do the blog for our store. http://rockinbantiques.blogspot.com/ Furniture that we list there sells especially well. Smalls are a little trickier. I have also had success with linking Craigslist items to our blog and then putting lots of other items for sale on a blog post. For instance, I'll list a table, then on the blog I have photos of lots more tables. Business is really increasing. We get new people in with CL, then they come back again on their own.
greta....i would do facebook first....its way easier than a website... i can do it myself, after help setting it up, and im not tekkie.....facebook is so fluid and easy and you can add things everyday if you want..... i love our website but only terri and dh are able to manage anything on it..it took hours and hours to set up , you would probably have to hire someone....but facebook is easy and used by so many... and
i can put new things on facebook all the time... and most of my customers are on it....
we have a huge customer base that we are in snail mail and email to...some have been on it for 20 yrs...wierd huh? so when we added the web and later facebook we had a built in AUDIENCE....a lotof it i dont understand either.....
we put or web address and our facebook address on about very piece of paper that gets to the customer...reciepts. flyers, tags etc etc...
another thing you need to get on facebook as a person first ....then get a business page.... so many of us on here would be your friend on facebook!!!
i hear you on craigs list...might tryit again..
I have a blog & a website. The blog is easy to do. My website is too. I have a Mac computer and it's all set up with templates so that makes it really easy. The only thing I have often seen my website on computers other than Mac's and sometimes the placement of pictures or words isn't how I have it on mine. Not sure why that is. ??? Need to take more classes! I have a personal facebook address but, hope to get one done for the store soon. I know I have found other antique stores through Craig's list so will look into posting on that too. Market, market, market!!! Have to do all we can these days. And anything that is low cost is a bonus! Also in my little store events are a big draw. I send postcards, we have lots of new product, snacks & sometimes a drawing for a gift basket or gift certificate. My son just opened a nutrition store here in our town. He is doing radio and tv ads. They have helped but, they are REALLY expensive. That's not in my budget but maybe a mall could pull their resources.
Good luck to all of us!
Thanks gals for your blog/facebook info. I have read your blogs, websites, and facebook pages and am learning from all. I plan on putting all site info on our craigslist ads. This will give people a broader scope of what we carry.
This week we have had a lot of response to two Craigslist ads I have placed. The one for antique toys has been a HUGE hit.
One thing I am noticing: due to the high cost of gas, folks who call from Craigslist request a lot of details (about items) over the phone. They want to decide whether or not a particular item of interest is worth the trip.
A website, blog, or Facebook page full of pictures and descriptions would probably entice cautious/frugal/detail-oriented shoppers to bite the bullet and make the trip....after all, "A picture (or photos) is worth a thousand words."
Before retirement, my father was a newspaper publisher and was president of the Kentucky Press Association. He has always stressed the critical importance of advertising!! I guess his wisdom didn't fall upon deaf ears! It seems to be a bent of mine!
******If I could just learn the technology part. Can any of you recommend a really good site-builder...easy to follow....good graphics...easy photo upload...decently priced???? My computer is an iMac.
I have a Mac and mine came with an application called iweb. I did my own website from there. It is a pretty simple website. It's basically been a point and click. I am not selling product from it and am not set up to paypal or anything like that. It's basically an information site. I update pictures of shows, put my event calendar on there, a page with detail about the next event.
Mac also has tutorials to help. http://www.apple.com/ilife/tutorials/iweb I had very little computer experience before. It was only a glorified typewriter until I got my Mac. They make it so easy. Not perfect... I've had some glitches but, overall pretty easy.
I have an Etsy shop, and really like it, I'm going to start putting more creations on there, right now it is primarily vintage. the plus is you don't have to drive your own traffic to it, driving traffic to your store is a plus, but they have traffic to begin with, the down side is getting lost in in.
My booth sales were actually UP this month, crazy, but I sold some larger items and it gave me a boost of energy in my post holiday slump!
Hello everyone! I have been re-reading our posts and as always I read things that I have missed. Well, my booth is almost 4mo old. and I am still trying to get a feel for what is in demand and selling. These last two weeks I have only sold one $5 item. Since I share the booth with a friend I don't usually have a big loss.
So.. what do you all find is the trend right now? I have been told that items from the 50s and 60s are pretty hot. I look at the sales reports that the antique mall owner prints out but wow! is it all over the place. I know that I have asked this before, so forgive me, but what are you stocking on your shelves?
One more question: Do you feel like you have your own little store within the mall? I still kinda feel like I am working for the owner and I am just providing the merchandise.
I love to talk and think business. We are in extremely difficult economic times. Antiques are selling for less than half of what they would have brought about six years ago.
I think most antiquers agree that there is very little predictability regarding sales right now. Trends are NOT country-wide. Antique-preferences differ from locale to locale. For instance, one of our vendors has another booth one hour away...he sells upscale clear glass and does well with it. In our store is sits...and collects dust. Retro does not sell like it does in your part of Kansas. It sells, but on a small scale.
Big sellers at our store:
**Furniture...primitive pieces, beds, desks, harvest tables
**Costume jewelry...in magazines it is being used as craft/home decor as well as apparel decor.
**Clocks...seem to sell steadily.
**Antique light fixtures-- both hanging and lamp.
**Candles--we have a lady who makes/sells them...great sales.
**Antique toys!!!!!! Peddle cars, old metal logo trucks are two biggies.
**Gas station memorabilia: gas pump globes, old oil cans, old gas cans
**Soft drink memorabilia...signs, thermometers..the real deal
**Primitive...sifters, dough bowls, egg baskets...wood and wire, wooden tools, red handled cooking utensils
As per your second question: I feel like I have my own little store. I have had my booth for almost two years, though. I have threatened to give it up umpteen times before I actually began making a significant profit. I also work one day/week. I spend a lot of time at the store. I pay attention. I ask for the opinion of veteran antiquers. I go to auctions. I go to estate sales. Two of my closest contacts at the store are old enough to be my parents, have both owned their own antique stores and are BOTH wise. They are also WILLING to share their wisdom with me.
My rent is 125/month and then 10% commission on all sales. My booth size is 12' x 12'. I guarantee when you start making money... you will feel the addictive rush of being a merchant. When this happens, it will still be tough, but it will be enjoyable. It takes time.
In the beginning, when I was barely eeking out a profit from my booth, I felt much the same way you do. Being in the red feels futile.
It gets better.
If I had one piece of advice to give you it would be to gain every bit of knowledge you can. Go to antiques shows, go to auctions, go to estate sales. Take a notebook and write down what people are buying. A lot of people at the aforementioned events are DEALERS! Or they are folks buying for themselves. In either instance, you will begin to see buying patterns.
Spend a day at the store. Do nothing. Take notes of what sells and what draws folks to particular booths. But, be warned, like I said before, it is not an exact science.
The only formula I know to be 100% true at our store is this: the folks who work their booth-- add merchandise, flip merchandise, build eye-catching displays, post sales, follow trends, etc the are the top sellers EVERY month.
To ladydianab (can I call you Diana?) - Small things are what is selling for me right now (items under $20). I don't know if people are still paying for Christmas and not spending much, or what. Also we had a HUGE snowstorm and extremely cold weather here for 2 weeks, and the mall I'm at was closed for several days. So sales are pretty slow so far for February.
Regarding your last question, I know what you mean about feeling like you are "working for the owner" of the mall, and yes, in a sense we are. However, I'm not having to pay utilities, collect sales taxes and fill out reports, provide wrapping paper and sacks, and be there every day to wait on customers and run the cash register. It's well worth it to me to have the freedom to go whenever I choose to restock or rearrange my booth. I am very blessed in that I've been doing this for about 4 1/2 years and have never had a month I did not make enough to cover my rent and still get a check.
This is just my guess, but I would bet that very few people really make that much profit from their booths, if you figure in all your costs and expenses. It's more of a fun hobby and a way to make a little extra spending money (so we can go to more sales and buy more stuff!:)
Here's the thing...and the way I look at it.
I would be going flea marketing, garage saling, etc. -- so why not operate a business where I can also deduct .50 a mile at tax time?
Any hobby costs money -- so as long as I am not over spending beyond my means AND it is fun --- then why not enjoy having a booth as my hobby?
So -- this can be a hobby with the ambition of a business. Make sense?
The trick is finding the right balance for you -- figuring out what makes this enjoyable and the financial risk you are willing to put into it -- because, as in any business...risk is involved.
I personally sort of count on a business loss at tax time -- plain and simple -- and deducting mileage offers just that for me. As long as I track my mileage, maintain appropriate records of purchases made on those antiquing adventures -- it is deductable. Last year I deducted almost 15,000 miles as business expense...the year before 22,000 miles.
Certainly I set goals -- a realistic goal I have been able to meet since I began selling in 2001 is to make at least twice my rent. And, as mentioned in all the other posts, I devote time & energy and enjoyment into making this business work for me.
I keep an eye on trends, but always stay true to myself first. I will never sell retro --- cause it just isn't my thing. I have found that it has to pull at my heart-strings first -- before I will invest in it and hope to capture someone else's heart too.
It is a business --- but a fun one. It is also a hobby -- at least for me...and I treat it as both.
You must log in to post.