January 10, 2013

Announcing A New Series "What Sells and What Doesn't: Antiques Booth in Orlando, Florida"

I'm starting a new series! 

Two years ago I did a post titled
It is still one of my most viewed posts.  I know so many of my readers are small business owners (Shops, booths, craft fairs, Etsy, etc) and many have expressed the desire to grow or start a business so, in the hopes of giving you a hand......  

......I'm starting a NEW series

I've asked some blogging friends that are experienced at selling in antiques booths, flea markets, and craft fairs, to share.... What sells and what doesn't in their neck of the woods.  I can't think of a better way to "Pay it forward", than sharing their knowledge.

Watch for their posts starting next week

I'm going to kick the series off today by telling you what does and doesn't sell in my neck of the woods. 

My antiques booth in Orlando, Florida


I've had an antiques booth for 9 years.  Two years ago I did a post  Here on what sells and what doesn't and I often get emails asking me if anything has changed........Some things have and some haven't

These are my top sellers

Linen, this pays my rent.  I think the key is to have a large selection and to price it right, I keep most linen priced below $20


Small tables, since my booth is shabby chic I paint them white, blue, or green.  I have painted them pink, but pink is not a quick seller.

Stools, any stools...Foot stools, bar stool (Painted), piano benches, and a hot seller right now is small wooden step stools!  I price them at $28- $32 and they are gone in a week


Picture frames, painted white, any size metal, wood, or plastic the more ornate the better.  

Wall shelves, painted white, green, or blue.  They can be large or small, the more decorative details the better



Miscellaneous items, mirror trays, tea cups and saucers, vintage bottles, vintage tool caddy's, metal tool boxes, wood and wire crates

What doesn't sell...Some of these were hot and now their not 

Clear glass....Bowls, dinnerware, vases, etc

Small decorative trinket boxes

Complete sets of dinnerware

Figurines..Ladies, animals, etc

Precious Moments

Avon

Altered vintage books, I add this as an example of what was hot and now it's not.  There was a time I could not keep them stocked, possibly it was a trend that passed, but I think more likely it is because many of my customers are "Regulars" and once those that were interested purchased them, they cooled off


My best selling tip is:

 "Working your space"

This is tidying, restocking, taking out stale merchandise, or just rearranging your space.  If I work my booth once a week I will have good sales, if I "Work" it twice a week, I will have great sales.  Every time I get derailed by life events, my sales, without fail, will be down.  If you sell in an antiques mall I would bet your best dealers are those that "Work" their booths often!

Next Thursday will be my first guest blogger watch for 
Happy Creating!
Carol

To read guest bloggers telling what sells and what doesn't around the country click HERE for a full list

66 comments:

AllyJo said...

I'm probably one of those who found you with that exact google search. I made a killin' about 10 years ago with my booth in Texas. I've recently started again here in Dade City. I have no idea what Floridians buy. The taste is different here. So I appreciate your blog and all your helpful info. I hope to get to Orlando and visit your booth. :)

Mad Maine said...

Love that you are expanding this into a regular feature. Such a good insider way of sharing knowledge. I am about to embark on painting my booth to make it prettier - wish me luck :-)

mizdarlin said...

I'm in a different category, in that I sell what I make, but the answer to 'what sells or not" is a tricky one..
I've decided to blog on this issue, myself, because it's a timely one (I'm back at my regular outdoor market starting this Saturday!)
Stop by and say "hi" to me...you already know how much I appreciate your blog...

Laurie said...

such wonderful info, I have a friend with a Boutique she opened not long ago and I will tell her to read this,

A Vintage Fairy said...

I am looking forward to the posts! I have a very tiny booth space, some months I do very well and others not.

Maureen said...

I've had two shops that sold a mixture of antique, vintage and new. My parents had an antique store. The slowest movers were always clear glass, full dinner sets and artwork. Reasonably priced dining room suites, painted or not, vintage or not sold quickly and brought in the biggest chunk of cash. Great series!

Karen Mary Butterfly said...

Great post with wonderful useful information! All that I know is most everything I sell is sold to the south or east coast. Is that what I am selling or an economic issue. I am in California and we joke constantly that no one out here in the west is buying. Not sure why.
Karen

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

It's always so interesting to see what hot and what's not in different areas of the country. I always enjoy looking at pictures of your treasures and look forward to more.

Into Vintage said...

Thanks so much for doing this! I'll be curious to see what's selling around the country vs the antique mall where I sell in Portland, OR. I'd also be interested to know how quickly things are selling -- I have certain items that fly out the door while others take a bit longer to move.

Thanks again!

Linda Primmer said...

Great post for sharing what sells in your area. I am sure it makes it quite easy, deciding on what to carry. Good luck with your fabulous treasures.

Graceful Rose said...

Carol, thanks for doing this series. I am contemplating a move up north to Ohio and am on a waiting list for a booth in a huge antique mall there. I will be watching very closely what sells and what doesn't. Thanks again for doing this.

Desiree Siegel said...

This is so wonderful of you to do! What a great way to pay it forward. Can't wait to see what the other parts of the country have to say. :)

Connie said...

Hi Carol, I am looking forward to your new series of posts. This is going to be very interesting.
You totally amaze me with your projects and ideas . . . I'll bet you keep a note pad on your nightstand to record the ideas that pop into your head during the middle of the night :)
The best word to describe you, my friend, is Awesome.
Have a lovely day and thank you for your kindness in sharing your delightful ideas with all of us :)
Your blogging sister,
Connie

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

What I find interesting is that I am not allll that far from you (a matter of hours) and the things you sell easily do not sell for me. I do love reading about it though and look forward to this series.
(())

sissie said...

Hi Carol,
I love this post. I agree with you that the best dealers are the ones that work their booths the most. Some of my biggest sellers are mirrors, trays, shelfs, chalkboards, frames and small tables.

hugs
Sissie

NanaDiana said...

Thank you, Carol. I will love seeing this feature. I would love to have a booth somewhere but there are none in our area. I have actually thought about using a building and renting booths...but don't know how viable it would be in this area. I love coming here and seeing what you are up to- xo Diana

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I'm so glad you are doing this series, Carol! I am hoping this is the year I get a booth and I will be taking notes from everyone. I tend to agree with your list but from a customer perspective. Those happen to be the things that I look for and will buy. I'm sure I will learn a lot from this series!

Amy Jo said...

Hi Carol,

I am so excited that you posted this!! I am opening a booth at the Oviedo Antique Mall in Oviedo right outside of Orlando. I had a booth in Wildwood several years ago with my Mom but when I moved back to Orlando I had to let that go... But now I'm back!! I get to move in and start selling Feb. 1st!! I have been so busy getting ready. I look forward to all of your posts in this series.

Blessings,
Amy Jo

Debbiedoo's said...

What a great idea for a series Carol!~ Different and I am interested in reading it myself.

Sue@House Pretty said...

Thanks for this series. I'm kind of interested, myself, to see what types of things sell, and what doesn't. I knit, and I'm trying my best to get a couple of things finished for my daughter, so I can start making things to sell...that is, of course, if knitting sells?

Shabby chic Sandy said...

I love this! The Junk Sisters show is coming here in a month--and Janae and I have made it a goal to have our own booth in it when it comes in 2014. So these posts will be great education for me! I hope to someday have a regular booth space with Janae. I really appreciate these posts you are doing!

Jocelyne said...

What a great idea! I am so glad you are doing this. I have a booth in Colorado and my best sellers are painted frames and mirror trays, painted furniture (black or white) I haven't ventured with other colors yet!)& Aprons that I make. Purses and vintage luggage go fast too. Dish sets and teacups are slower, but if vintage they sell. Little knick knacks don't move unless highly collectable.

June said...

Carol,
I am starting my fourth year of having a small antique booth - and it's just about an hour and a half from Orlando. I can agree with everything in your "what sells and what doesn't" post! I am thinking of removing all of my Avon (except an Eiffel tower perfume bottle.) It will be included in my Paris/French inspired display that I will be setting up this weekend! I am so excited about this theme and hope it sells!

Createology said...

I have no booth however I adore yours dear. Your info is always so pertinent and I enjoy it very much. This new feature will be very much appreciated. Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Heart Vintage Design said...

Love this post especially the part about "working your booth." So true!

Decora Adora said...

Great post with wonderful useful information! Thank you, Carol. I will love seeing this feature

Jo said...

Thank you for doing this series

KarenSue Farash said...

You are so smart, great idea!
Too bad it's to late for us..haha
Let's do lunch soon!

sandy said...

Very interesting post! We have twice yearly occasional sales and do very well. We're often surprised by the things that sell. Also, it seems that how we display them makes the biggest difference. It seems that eventually things will sell. Our linens our the biggest sellers also.
Good info to share.
Have a great week!
sandy :)

Sharon said...

I love this post and find that the very same items you mentioned do well in my booth here in VA. I saw your original post a few years ago and so much information on your blog helps with my booth. Thank you!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This is such wonderful information! I love to thrift shop but don't resale...not yet any way! I've been tempted to because I find so many neat things and can't keep it all! lol Thanks for sharing!

Roxanne Reinhart said...

I do not ha e a booth nor do I sell anything but I still love the info in this post and will be looking forward to more posts on the subject. Very interesting.

bk said...

I refer to your blog often and call you "my inspiration". We opened our booth last February and used many of your pointers. My Husband looked at all the "stuff" that was going there and said "no one will want that" and after selling over a $100 before we were fully moved in he changed his mind. A year later we have never paid rent out of pocket,have made money and sell almost everything we take to the booth.
Painted picture frames (no glass) are a best seller, painted mirrors and shelves little painted tables,vintage tablecloths all sell very well. Anything "pink" is gone immediately. Train cases and vintage luggage is gone before the day is out once we take it. I love your luggage pieces but do not paint mine - only a good cleaning. I also do custom embroidery so monogrammed towels with a certain "A" or big eared animal on them sell really well. I do sell a lot of glassware, and every set of vintage china I can find sells within days. I've also found a lot of vintage crewel pillows and those sell as well as custom pillows that I make. We are in Alabama and have a lot of wonderful Thrift Stores in our area which provide me with most of my merchandise.
Thanks for your inspiration and wonderful advice to those of us who are not as experienced.

Katherine Wolak said...

Thank you for these tips dearest! I love great ideas and these will be SO useful! Sweet of you! :)

Hugs,

DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

I look forward to this series. It's so interesting to see the variety of items that are "hot" in some areas and not so "hot" in others. I love the comments from the other bloggers....additional inspiration. Thanks so much.

Diane said...

Very interesting! Am looking forward to more of these posts.

Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage said...

Thanks for this, Carol! I had been anticipating opening my booth in the spring but have hit a roadblock. My landlord had given me a large pile of old windows and doors that I was counting on selling well but he took them back. :( I want to be patient.

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Carol, Your series sounds like such a great idea. Your booth looks so inviting. It reminds me of my many years in the antique malls and three at one time, I must have been crazy, but had loads of fun and several booths in each. For me, different malls had different best sellers. So it was a matter of learning my area and what to stock. Small furniture pieces and chairs hand painted with folk art or roses was always my best sellers. Of course that has changed having an online shop and so the best sellers are smaller.
Looking forward to your series. Have a great weekend.
Hugs, CM

Dewdrop Gardens said...

This is a great post! I'll be keeping a look out for each new post in this series. I don't have a booth, or sell my stuff...but I've had a lot of friends and family tell me I should be. So I'll be devouring all the information you can offer in the hopes one day I do! Thanks for sharing.
Debbie :)

Diane Mars said...

Well I don't have a re-sell shop but I do find this all most interesting, thank you for sharing your knowledge.. I will be staying tune for more info. Happy New Year, Diane

Little Miss Maggie said...

I couldn't agree more. A space must be worked at least once a week. Great post, Carol.

Dee @ A Lapin Life said...

I enjoyed reading about what's in and what's not. I look forward to your new series Carol!

Judy said...

This year will be the 10th year that I have had a booth in an antique mall. It is located in Chandler, AZ.

Like you, some things are hot now but will cool off during the summer when the temps do not cool off. What has been big over the last year was the "industrial chic" look. Now it is not and I am having to sell off the remainder at big discounts. I have gone back to my shabby chic look and it is doing much better.

Another thing that I know has been a big help is to take a lot of pictures of my booth, close up as well as overall, and then post them to my Facebook page that is exclusively for my booth and it is also attached to the mall I am in. That has really boosted my sales and I will continue to do it.

Definitely check your booth at the very least once a week. I am usually in the mall a minimum of twice a week (I live close enough to do that) to put in new items and refresh the look.

My particular mall has subscribed to the Mall Reporter so I get my sales report every day and that helps me decide if I need to visit to restock or fluff.

I could go on, but I think I have said enough. Good blog post! Thanks for sharing!

Stacy's Shabby Shoppe said...

I've been trying to figure out the answer to this question for the past 11 years...I still have no clue, but pretty much fly by the seat of my pants. What doesn't sell...china...unless the roses are exquisite!

donna said...

I love your shop. If I stop in and shop I would go straight for the linens.
Hugs
donna

Meschill Billington said...

So excited about this new series! Thank you so much for sharing!

Olivia said...

Hello sweet Carol! Your booth looks gorgeous!!! I agree with you on all of these points! Thank you so much for sharing your lovely tips of the trade with us! I cannot wait to do my write up!!! Sending big squishy hugs,
xoxo
Olivia

Marlynne said...

Oh How interesting! I so miss not having a booth!

Sunny said...

Grand idea!! And you're so right about working your space...it's an absolute must! I look forward to this new series! Thanks for all you share!

❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ said...

I think this is a great idea!!It's always interesting to see what's popular in other parts of the country. Looking forward to seeing what your guest bloggers have to share.

Rhissanna said...

This is a useful list. I see tea cups came back!

20 North Ora said...

Good information. I don't have a booth but an Etsy shop and alot of this applies to that also.

Thanks.

Judy

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Lots of good hints, Carol...your booth is lovely!

aimee said...

Hi! I'm so excited about your new series, and I appreciate that you are willing to help us sellers out! I just love that you tell us how you creat your projects. Thank you so much.
Blessings, Aimee

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Carol,
i will definitely be looking forward to this series!!
I live in an area that is "behind the current times and treds"!! Sad but so true!!
If I tried to sell what ias hot on the blogs now, people look at me like I have 2 heads here!! LOL!
I am thinking of returning to EBay this year for a broader audience....
Hugs,
Deb

miss flibbertigibbet said...

I found you through my friend Maggie...this will be very interesting I think! I think you have hit one important point right on the head....working the booth. I am in the process of moving my booth from a site 1 1/2 hrs from my home. It was NOT working and sales were VERY erratic. I will now be 20 min from home and am anxious to see the difference! I look forward to following this series!

Teresa said...

You're so sweet in sharing your experience and knowledge -
I will follow the series from a curiosity point of view because I can't sell anything. Really!

But from a customer point of view I'm aware of the entering-a-route when buying in the same place. After some time you seem to have seen all and already bought what you liked it, so you don't buy the same more or hubby would start the "don't you have, like 20 of those?!" (and their opinion is important. even when we can't live without something (I guess that's why the pink doesn't sell so well: you're thrilled with it but he says: "cute. where are you going to put it?" and doubt arises and you decide for the white or blue ;) ahahahah

Oh, but the wonder when the seller takes time to showcase things you might have not noticed before?! There's no feeling like this!

Have Fun with your Series!

Teresa

Little Miss Maggie said...

Hi Carol, just in case you didn't get my other email, I did not get your Jan. 1 email about guest blogging but I would love to do a post for you. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment on my hangers. Yes, I hope they are a great seller for me. I would love to do more of them, but who knows what's gonna sell and what won't. You know the drill.

Sue@Uniquely Chic said...

What a great idea for a series. I hope you have some Northeast guest poster. Would love to hear what's hot up here. Wonder if there is much of a difference between locations, hmmm!

pipigirl said...

i think this is going to be very interesting. i totally agreewith you about working your booth. if you dont it doesnt move. i so need to get in gear. havent been in mine for 3 wks. hurt my back/knee. im going to reall yenjoy this seies. thanks so very much. for all that you do, your inspiration. it is very uplifting:)

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

How funny that pink doesn't sell. :)

Lorie said...

I have a booth in Jacksonville, Fl. The things that sell for me are side tables, night stands and mirrors.

House Crazy in Michigan! said...

Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge. This is such a important topic for those of us that are new to this business. This will be so helpful. Maybe a regional report can be collected to help those of us in different parts of the US?

I live and sell in SW Michigan. Because of winter, we are a seasonal tourist area so this definitely effects our sales.

What sells for me in a tight market is antiques and vintage household items. Price is definitely an issues as MI is a very economically depressed state. I HAVE to buy right and price right. I scour church bazarres and garage sales and pick up items priced at .25 and.50. I can price them at $5.00 and they sell quickly to dealers who can price them at $10.00. It's a win/win for both of us. Allegan County is a huge knitting and felting area due to the Michigan Fiberfest. Anything knitting sells here. I'd like to sell more hand-painted furniture items but the price point makes that difficult. Maybe this summer when the tourist return!

Jan Flood said...

I finally did it! After years of looking, thinking and being encouraged I am finally opening my antique booth at Wildwood Antiques. My "grand opening" will be Friday 4/5 at the First Friday social. When I saw a for rent sign on a nice booth at a popular antiques store here I thought this must be a sign :) It's been a madhouse around here, washing and ironing linens, painting small tables and all the other little and not so little jobs that go into setting up a booth. Not the least is decorating the booth and deciding which items to take in - then pricing everything. Everyone says you only have to do this once, then it's just maintaining - thank Heaven :)

Me said...

Thank you so much for your posts on antique booths and your beautiful blog! I have finally takent he plunge and rented a booth at a local antique co-op. I moved in last weekend and this weeka I've been gathering photos of how to re-arrange and artrfully display the many more treasures I have to stock my booth with this weekend. I am so excited and can't wait to hear more from you.

Check out my blog sometime http://treschicdecor.wordpress.com

I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for the inspiration!

Cathy

White Elephant Exchange said...

Thank you for these topics you are blogging about! As an Antique Mall Owner myself in Florida, I feel that no one is really talking about the basic business aspects of antique dealing. Especially via internet. Well done and well appreciated!!