Friday, February 18, 2011

Selling in an antique mall

Want to be a dealer in an antique mall? Are you already in a mall, but you need a little boost? Vintage Rescue has a new E- book that is spot on.

I don't usually think of myself as a quick learner, but as soon as I went into the antique (junk) business I was off to the races. It was either sink or swim. This meant making plenty of mistakes, but learning from each one. This process is ongoing. I am always looking for new inventory, the latest trends and unique display ideas.

I started with a tiny booth upstairs that I shared with another dealer. Sales started out slow. I kept on experimenting with different inventory and styles. I somehow hit on a winning look when I just simply went with what I love. Not what I was trying to get rid of or some bargain item I couldn't pass up.

Items that I would decorate my own home with.

This was a huge milestone for me. I soon moved to a bigger booth downstairs and about a year after that I added another one. I have been having fun ever since!

One way to display that I have found successful is to put like items together. They can be similar in color,

a theme

or like items.

I also am a little fanatical about taking photos of my booths. Many of these end up on my blog, but I also have another purpose to snap a few. I look at these pictures when I get home and see things I didn't notice when I was there.

For example: You may not notice anything wrong with the displays in this picture. I saw something right off the bat that needed to be changed. You can see the stained glass doors in the next booth through the back of the white open shelves. The items displayed get lost among all of the colors.

I changed it the next day by hanging a burlap sack as a back drop. It may not seem like a huge difference to you, but it did change how the eye followed what was on the shelf.

I would never say I am an expert by any means. I still consider myself a newbie.

I would highly recommend buying the E-book: Selling in an Antique Mall.
An exerpt from the conclusion of the book -

Selling vintiques is a time-honored and honest way to make a living – in any economy. It won’t always be easy, but if you take the time to research the right location for you, set up your business professionally, take pride in your items and displays, and keep an eye on spending, you’ll succeed. If you’re selling what you love, it will be evident in your booth, and customers will notice.
I couldn't agree more!!


Sue (Vintage Rescue) said...

Nancy, thanks for the shoutout. Your trajectory is EXACTLY the same as mine. Once i started focusing on what I loved, rather than what I found cheaply or what I thought I should be selling, it got much easier.

Excellent tip about taking the photos for a different viewpoint—and good solution!

Artsy Fartsy Junkin Finds said...

Your booth looks fabulous! Love that chippy basket lamp! You are a booth PRO! Hgs, Janna

Roxanne said...

Nancy, is the house on your header yours? Its gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I purchased the e-book for myself and our daughter. It is very informative.

Celena said...

Hi Nancy, I just purchased the nook book :) Can't wait to start reading it! I also mentioned you on my blog! Come by for a visit :)

Stephanie said...

Great tip Nancy and your booth always looks amazing!

DFWgirliegirl Housewife said...

I just found your blog and as I read this post, reading about how you started out in an upstairs booth...I thought, that sounds like the antique mall in McKinney that I love... After reading a few more posts I noticed your little ad for your booth and IT IS the same mall. I will be sure to keep an eye on your blog to see if I find any goodies to make me go back (not that I need a reason, it is one of my favorite antique malls).


Miss Gracie's House said...

I've read parts of this and found it to re-affirm the way I was going...I agree with all of your tips...display is my favorite part of the business.

CindyJanesAttic said...

Thanks, Nancy, for sharing your discovery of that eBook. I found the book about a month ago too, and as a newbie niche retailer, I found quite a number of helpful tips to add to my toolbox. I love hearing about how you began, how you have expanded, and your display suggestions. I'd love to hear how you began your blog. Not only are you a "booth pro", a buying expert, and an artist/designer extraordinaire, you are a seasoned blogger as well. Thanks so much for your willingness to share from all that you've learned along the way. How I love learning from those of you who have been enjoying this profession for so long ... and you do seem to still receive great pleasure from it ... and that's inspirational!

Unknown said...

I've had an "antique mall" booth for about a month. We call them flea markets here, but antique mall is used interchangeably. I've been trying to find tips on how to operate my booth successfully, and not finding anything except tips for the weekend-sort of flea market booths online. Just realized I should search for 'antique mall" and your blog was the first one I came to. I LOVE your booth pictures! That is so what I want mine to be like! At this point we are just getting rid of excess stuff that we own and have inherited from my late mother-in-law, but once we are done with that and garage sale season comes back around we have intentions to make this a real venture into doing what we love (which is shopping thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales) combined with selling that which we don't have room for. I have noticed that the things that have sold the best are the things that I hated parted with the most, so its true that "what I love" seems to sell best. Thanks for the advice and I will continue to read your blog!