Have you ever thought about renting space at an antiques mall or shopped at one, and wondered how they worked?
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I have rented space at Orange Tree Antiques Mall in Winter Park Florida for 7 years, by no means am I the expert, but I can give you the general idea of what renting involves.
It is kind of addictive. I started with a small booth and I am now in an 8 X 8 both. Prices vary greatly by region, you can expect to pay $150.00 to $300.00 a month for a booth, but of course the sky is the limit on cost and size.
On top of my rent I pay the mall owners a percentage of my sales. I pay rent plus 10% of sales. My Friend Deb "Garage Sale Gal" in Minnesota pays rent plus 6%.
My mall requires just a month to month lease. Deb also has a month to month lease after an initial 3 month commitment.
So, what does this get me? I get the rental space to decorate and sell what I choose. The owners run the store and pay all of the bills involved. They hire employees to run the cash register, collect sales tax, help my customers, do advertising, keep the store clean, the coffee made and the cookie tray full. Once a month I get a spread sheet with what I sold and a check.
I can come in as often as I like to replenish and straighten up my booth. I usually go in a couple times a week and never less than once a week.
Pricing is always the interesting part. I have to take into consideration that I pay rent plus a percentage of my sales and usually participate in all of the advertised sales at the store, further marking my inventory down 10-20%.
My rule of thumb is to mark an item up X3 what I paid for it, so if I see an item at an estate sale I have to think, can I sell this for at lease 3X what I paid for it. This is the only way I will make a profit and cover my expenses. Now, it goes without saying if I paint it, repair it, wash and iron it, or upholster it, the price will go up for my time and supplies. Of course if I SCORE and get something for way below it's value, I mark it according to what it is worth. My biggest find was a statue I purchased at a thrift store for $7.00 and sold for $488.00. When I bought it I just thought it was a beautiful piece and then did a computer search and got the OMG high that we all live for!
There are 93 vendors at the mall where I rent. I am very lucky that the owners only let one vendor of a specialty in at a time. I am the only one that has the Shabby Romantic items.
I love linen and have a large selection, most dealers do not want to mess with it.
I have a lot of "Smalls" as we call them, my small lower priced items, as it really helps increase sales.
Just a few parting thoughts.
I have a locked cabinet for expensive jewelry and fragile items.
I try to keep my booth fresh, adding new items and moving items around. So many Antique store visitors are repeat customers.
I have the rented space at the antique mall and I have an online store. The antique mall is easier for me. The benefit of my online store is working completely out of my home, I can have as many or as few a products as I choose and an international customer base. There is a lot of steps in the process once I have the product, I photograph it, list it, price it, inventory it, sell it, wrap it, weigh it, calculate and print postage, and ship it, all the while hoping my computer does not poop out on me.
The beauty of renting a space is once I have the product, I price it, put it in my booth, and pick up my check. I am lucky that the mall where I rent is in a tourist area close to Disney World and Universal studios, it is very busy, and well managed.
WHEW!! I'm done! I wonder if anyone is still listening??
I would love for you to share how your antique mall works, along with your thoughts and tips.