Antique Store Wisdom: Should You Rent a Booth at the Antique Store?


Should you take the risk? Should you rent a booth at the antique store? Is it worth it when the rent is high and you're unsure of what will sell? I say:

Yes, You Should Rent a Booth at the Antique Store.

However, before you set up shop, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you have ample merchandise to sell?

Before you open a booth, you need stock. Make sure you have boxes of antiques, art, and crafts to sell before you get started.


Do you have enough merchandise to earn the rent cost, and more?

Some antique stores demand high rent for their space. You have to ensure you have enough merchandise to make back the cost of rent and expenses and then some before you set up shop.

Will your items sell?

Do market research and investigate. Examine the antique store in question. What kind of merchandise is featured? Visit on a busy day and look at what people are buying. Get a feel for the demographics. Talk with the antique store owners about what sells and what doesn't.


How will you brand yourself?

What is the theme of your shop? What is the niche you want to occupy? My style is animated and kitschy. I like color and humor; I like to make people laugh. Your aesthetic may be shabby chic or mid century modern. Whatever your style is, own it. Let it shine through in each item you add and clarify it with your staging.

Start-Up Costs Are Low, You've Got Nothing to Lose

Setting up a vintage reselling venture is low-cost. Buying the merchandise second-hand is cheap, and rent at antique shops can be relatively low. If you have the merchandise to sell, try it!


My antique shop booth is my playground to experiment. I try different ways of staging things; I add different items to see what works. I definitely think it's worth the investment.

Previous Antique Store Wisdom Posts:

[2/2/2011]
Don't Underprice Your Items
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For More Reselling Tips: Read A La Modern's Detailed Reselling Tips and check out Apron Thrift Girl for extensive reslling posts and an amazing reseller's resource section.
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17 comments:

  1. Thanks Van.
    I do have 2-3 boxes which I can take. I am also hoping to sell some of my bigger pieces of furniture.

    Love your post

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  2. Great post, I like the direction these are going in, and thank you for the shout out! =) We've been considering the booth for awhile, so really interested in your experience doing the antique store thing. We have most of the questions covered - it's mostly the cost of the booth right now, and the location. Oh also, I guess we are a little curious or concerned about the "dark side" of antique booths which is - Theft and Accidental breakage. I dunno if antique shops talk about it,but I've always wondered about it.

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  3. I've had a booth at my local (and only) antique mall since April 2008 and have started making my rent just within the last 4 months. This is due to lowering my prices to stupid cheap AND doing sales (right now it's 20% off any item over $10, and then of course the owner gets anothoer 10% of each sale). I've increased the size of my booth and also the quality of what I sell--name glassware from Fenton, Westmoreland, Cambridge--but it's just amazing what stuff sells. I was in there the other day "fluffing" my booth and people were buying (from other booths) crappy newer stuff. CHEAP crappy newer stuff. I'm in southern Mississippi where people don't think they should pay what something's worth but in order to sell it . . .
    The local thrift stores charge more for their stuff than I do!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Dear Vintage:
      I know exactly how you feel, Would love to hear more from you. I have been involve with "OLD STUFF" for almost 25 yrs. What you have to do these days to make a sale is just pathetic. All looking for a bargain, or even better, if they can catch something priced too low! Ha!
      I love to tell them to go check out the Good Will, this is a retail store, do you expect a discount when you shop any where else? Anyway, would love to chat more with you!
      Arlene C. Fairhope, Ala.

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  4. Van, your booth looks great! I'd shop there. Thanks for the post. I'm currently playing phone tag with our local antique mall to get prices and such.
    I've also found "Selling in an Antique Mall: A Beginners Guide" helpful. It's an ebook by Inis Lovely and Sue LaLumia.

    What Vintage Christine has to say is interesting. I do think that there is a definite difference in market according to your region.

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  5. I've thought about setting up shop at Southern Crossings, but I need more info on booth space, pricing, their take, etc. Do you like working with them?

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  6. I really want to do a booth at an antique store. I have been on a waiting list since September and the last time I checked, there were still 21 people in front of me!

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  7. A La Modern: I want to interview others about the dark side of antique shops. I haven't had damages yet, but I do worry. My booth is stuffed full and vulnerable.

    Vintage Christine: You stuck it out for a long time! I loved reading your perspective on it. I've noticed some antique malls are more like hodge-podge discount junk stores. Whatever is cheapest, wins! You might have better luck selling your vintage items online.

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  8. Monogirl: Thank you for the suggestion, definitely going to read up on that one!

    Sarah: I love my experience at Southern Crossings. The price and take are not unreasonable, and everyone is friendly. It's like being part of a vintage loving family. There's a community space they let you use to hang things, too. Very helpful!

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  9. My daughter and I had a medium size booth for a few months before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so we now have two much smaller display areas. Even those may soon be too much for me, but 3 months into the bigger booth we were starting to see some good growth. Maybe if the smaller areas pay well we will keep them, depends on my health. BUT, if you don't try it you won't know!!!

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  10. Thanks for the interesting posts on this. I'm definitely not at this point yet, and I'm not sure I'll go this route. But if I do, you can bet I'll be rereading your posts! Hope your booth is going well. I know some things are a slow start, so I hope things are moving along.

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  11. I LOVE the vintage basket you got in the second picture.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

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  12. Love the pictures your booth looks great!

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  13. This store definitely has a great display. It is a wonderful place for the persons who are addicted to antique furniture. I love to walk around in antique shops look at little pieces of the past that make me remember.

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  14. I am planning on opening a new antique mall in my area in Louisiana. It will be located across the street from out local college. There is always a waiting list at our other antique mall and I feel we could use another option. I think a lot of people are wanting to try selling resale but are scared to take the steps so I am going to take several booths and just have consignments in those booths to help people get there feet wet in this business with out a the expense of having to stock a whole both right away. No expense on rental unless item sales.

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  15. I've been in a local antique mall for about 3 years now.In the last year and half there has been high theft in my booth. I'm getting discouraged and is very upsetting that a person or persons would even consider this. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear from you. There is a blind area, so am thinking of opening that up. I have had theft from a locked case. I was told that there are those that have keys to locked units. Sounds like a lose, lose situation. Thanks...

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  16. I've been in a local antique mall for about 3 years now.In the last year and half there has been high theft in my booth. I'm getting discouraged and is very upsetting that a person or persons would even consider this. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear from you. There is a blind area, so am thinking of opening that up. I have had theft from a locked case. I was told that there are those that have keys to locked units. Sounds like a lose, lose situation. Thanks...

    ReplyDelete

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