Sunday, June 8, 2014

Antique Mall Booth Update - May 2014

To say that I am getting frustrated with the booth is probably a slight understatement. While I didn't lose money in May like I did in April, I didn't really make any money either. In fact, I had 0 sales during a weekend where the mall was packed with people, due to Delaware having it's annual Arts Festival right outside its front doors.

I talked to the mall manager, and his thoughts were this - most of the mall shoppers are looking for items that are older than the 60's and 70's, which is mostly what I sell. I do manage to sell some stuff because a small percentage of shoppers are into my kind of things, but for the most part I'm never going to reach the rest of the shoppers unless I start trying to carry older items.

It's a problem. The main reason I don't sell many older items is because they aren't what I love. I'm a mid-century girl through and through! So trying to shift to finding stuff from the 40's and earlier would be a challenge, and finding enough of it at prices I can afford would likely be an even bigger challenge. I know I see "antiques" at the sales a lot - and usually they have a hefty price tag attached to them. I've spent my vintage selling career in the buy low, sell high trenches - I try to put out as little as possible on the front end, in other words. Buying high, to hopefully sell a little higher, has never been my cup of tea.

So I'm still trying to figure out what to do. I do love having the booth, but if I can't make it work, there's just no point in having it...

Here's the breakdown for May:

Wire Plant Stand - $12.80
3 Glass Apothecary Jars - $30.00
Black Telephone Stand - $27.00
Tupperware Cake Carrier - $12.00
3 Vintage Cookbooks - $15.00

Total Sales:  $96.80
- Rent - $72.00
- Commission - $7.19
Total Profit: $17.61 (not including cost of items and time spent working)


Amanda said...

I live in the Atlanta area and often when I go hunting for MCM treasures at antique stores, most of the booths have stuff that's super old, but there always seems to be that one booth with some MCM stuff. Honestly, I have no idea how well these MCM sellers actually do. But I do know that a few of them have started advertising their booths on craigslist and always put certain key words like eames, danish, etc in their posts. I don't know how much extra traffic it generates, but it would at least be some free advertisement.

Mitzi Swisher said...

I do advertise some of my bigger items on Craigslist, I think I have made a few sales that way, but I wouldn't say it was guaranteed to help. In fact a lady wrote me Friday saying she wants the bar cart, I'm going to call just before the mall closes today and see if she actually stopped in and got it... I've had some emails from Craigslist before about stuff that never actually panned out. ::fingers crossed::

Mr. Modtomic said...

Hi Mitzi.

Can I offer some advice? Make it personal. - I just sold a sofa, set of nesting tables, cupboard cabinet and dining table w/ chairs to the same fella here in St. Louis. In talking to him upon delivery of said items he confirmed my theory that buyers like to know a little about the items back story AND make some kind of personal connection with the seller. I do this via the blog, by blogging about every single item every day. You could do the same...or you could write a short note and leave with each item in your booth. Do you remember Elaine (from Seinfeld) and her job as a copy editor for a catalog of clothing? She had to come up with a pithy description for each item as well as a little story about each. IMHO, that works. That serves the same purpose as my blog post. You could do the same in a craigslist ad. Most of all, you've got to find a way to connect with potential buyers. Keep at it. They will come.

Mitzi Swisher said...

You are the king of Craigslist Mr. Modtomic, take a peek at my ads and see if there is anything I could do to improve them?

Gina @Vintage Junk in My Trunk said...

I have the opposite issue. The few mid-century modern things I have are so out of place in my jumble of primitives that I never know how to arrange them. I do know that era sells well at the outdoor venue I do, which is why I bring them along, But they look so weird with my stuff, and no one looks at them so I think I'm going to stop bringing them.

Maybe there's a similar show near you where you can get your stuff out of an antique store and into a venue with more eclectic shoppers? Good luck!

Mags said...

If i can make a humble suggestion, i'd try flea markets if you're up to it.

My parents when they were in the antiquing business had gobs more success at flea markets than when they had the booth.

I know its a PITA to schlepp stuff but that's just been our experience, however, that was 20ish years ago, and MCM was just "dated stuff" at that point- but they were selling stuff from the late 30's/40's with success.

Good luck selling. Love your blog. I found it while searching 80's "dated" stuff to show a friend an example. Wild how things have changed!