January 17, 2013

"What Sells and What Doesn't: Antique and Craft Show's in California

It is always so interesting to see what sells in different parts of the country


When Carol from The Polka Dot Closet asked me to contribute to her What Sells and What Doesn't series, I was thrilled to share some of the hot sellers and not-so-hot sellers in my neck of the woods.

I'm Betsy and you can find me blogging about my yard sale finds, repurposing projects, and jewelry creations over at My Salvaged Treasures.  I also have an Etsy shop where I sell my repurposed jewelry and other treasures.  I've been selling at antique shows and craft fairs for about 17-18 years now, and continue to enjoy all of it....except setting up for the street shows in the wee hours of the morning.  I hope you enjoy looking at some of the items that continue to be good sellers for me.

Rusty and chippy metal stuff is hot.  Also anything with numbers, letters, and Frenchy graphics.

Old galvanized buckets and small painted furniture are always good sellers.  I even sold the collapsible wire display shelf that morning.  Lamps are starting to slow down.

Manual typewriters and vintage cameras are still going strong...working or not.  

Tarnished silver plate serving trays, salt & pepper shakers, candle sticks, and trophy cups are hot.  No need to polish anything, the tarnished and mismatched look is what sells the best.  My flattened and stamped silver plate flatware (in the tray on the bottom) is my "bread and butter." 

Repurposed jewelry (made from vintage buttons, typewriter keys, hardware, and
 salvaged costume jewelry) is still going strong.  I only have room for one table at the smaller indoor shows, but at the larger shows it can account for more than half of my sales.

Trash to treasure, or just about anything repurposed is still hot and hopefully will be for a long time.  I made this from the side of a vintage iron crib, drapery hooks, and the back side of some old Bingo cards.  This one sold the first morning I had it on display.

Some things wear out their welcome after two or three shows, and I get tired of looking at
them and hauling them around.  When a simple price reduction doesn't do the trick, I switch to plan B.
This coffee table that I hand painted wasn't generating a lot of interest as a table, so I unscrewed the legs, attached heavy duty hooks on the back and sold it as a wall hanging.  A little tweak here and there can make a huge difference.  Sometimes it's as simple as moving something from one area of my booth to another, or sometimes I'll end up remaking a piece
of jewelry that's been hanging around too long.

Some other things that are still hot for me:  painted picture frames without glass, architectural salvage, mannequins, hardware, keys, large shells and coral, chalkboards, burlap anything, religious items, quilts, lace, small painted furniture, buttons, costume jewelry, and rusty anything.  Painted furniture is selling like crazy, especially in all the latest chalk paint colors. I don't sell large furniture because I don't have space to store it or the ability to haul it to the shows, but other booths are loaded with it and I always see it being carried away.  Large storage lockers are also selling like crazy and getting really expensive.

What's not-so-hot these days:  High end china and glassware, windows (unless they're ornate), brass, large framed art, mirrors, dark unpainted furniture, expensive pottery, and fine jewelry.

I always say that the only thing consistent in this business is inconsistency, but I love it!


Hi...It's me, Carol!  Oh My Gosh Betsy Thank you from all of us, Great, Great, info!!!!  Please visit Betsy's blog she has tons of easy to follow tutorials, repurposing projects, jewelry creations and garage sale finds.  Trust me, Betsy's blog "My Salvaged Treasures" is Fabulous......She never disappoints!!!


Tune in next Thursday for another guest blogger sharing....




Happy Creating!
Carol

46 comments:

Maureen said...

Well Betsy, you already know we are kindred spirits when it comes to favorite items like tarnished silver. It used to be so easy to find at the thrift stores even just a few months ago... now, nothing. Well, I guess I have more than enough anyway by now ;)

Great article! I love that you re-did the table into a wall decoration! Brilliant!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Betsy I swear you would be my go to girl if I lived on the West Coast...I hope to meet you next time I visit my daughter!
hugs, Linda

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Thanks so much for asking me to contribute to your series Carol. I'm really looking forward to seeing all the other guest bloggers:-)

Terra said...

This was interesting reading from your seller viewpoint.

Peggy said...

Great insight from the other side of antique/craft fair shopping. Betsy is so creative. You're right Carol, she never disappoints.

Connie Mercer said...

Betsy love all of your ideas!You really know your field and your antiques!

Phyllis @Around the House said...

wow so many cute cute things, love the clock table, the numbered chest and the board with numbers, you get the idea I like numbers, so vintage, thanks for sharing..

miss flibbertigibbet said...

Great post! I am leaving one booth in a more colonial/civil war setting for another more eclectic antique mall. I am hoping that my look will sell better there...very similar to you but in the southeast....a different world and NOT as trendy...looking forward to following this series!

Decora Adora said...

Betsy love all of your ideas this was interesting reading from your seller view point . You really know your field and your antiques
Angélica

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

That was FUN and interesting to learn about like minded bloggers and dealers.
Looking forward to more stories.
Warmly,
deb

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This is so interesting! I love seeing your pretty things on display. Of course I would stand right in front of the jewelry until you made me move...or told me you had a big seashell or coral! heehee! Hugs to you both sweet friends!

Createology said...

Carol this is such a fun and informative theme. Thank you to Betsy for guesting. Love her items and it is nice to get West Coast perspective. Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Mad Maine said...

Great post! Great series! Interesting to see what sells in Florida and now in California. Hoping for a contribution from New England soon :-)

camp and cottage living said...

Betsy
This is so interesting!
Carol
thanks for posting what's hot & what's not!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

So interesting to find out what is hot and what is not across the country! I love your booth displays, Betsy! I am definitely taking notes {and watching what seems to be a hit no matter where} for when I eventually get my own booth. Thanks for sharing!

sissie said...

Great post Betsy! I love seeing the photos of your booth and show displays. I agree that sometimes when something doesn't sell you have to put on the creative hat and turn it into something else.

Also some of the things that aren't selling in your area are selling in ours. I do agree that china and expensive pottery is out.

hugs
Sissie

Cozy Little House said...

I think she's right on target.
Brenda

JoJoand Eloise said...

What a FABULOUS post. I loved her take on what sells and what doesn't. It's funny when she said Lamps have slowed down.. Because those where the first things I eyeballed, LOL!!! What a Fabulous series you have going on, Auntie Carol!!!
xo
Angelina

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love everything you talked about, Betsy...and wish I could shop your space!

DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

Great tips. I loved all the wonderful information. Thanks, Betsy and Carol.

~ Liz ~ said...

What a fun and informative post. I love hearing about your shows and it's always interesting and helpful to hear what people are interested in. Thanks, Betsy!
Liz

Jo said...

Thank you for the series It has helped reconfirm my thoughts!

Roxanne Reinhart said...

I love this series and I love everything Betsy touches. Been following her blog for quite some time. Yours and Betsy's creativity never ails to amaze and inspire.

Marlynne said...

Very interesting! Guest bloggers-fun idea!

Mariella Kennedy said...

very nice posting!!
I love the pics for everything ,,really helps.
do you all think this varies from country to country??
cheers from Oz
_____❤____/)____./¯❤"""/')
¯¯❤¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯\)¯¯¯'\_❤„„„„\) ✿.。.:*Marie *.:。.✿
✿.。.:*http://creacionesartisticas-marie.blogspot.com*.:。.✿

Dina said...

Very interesting to see the difference between the US and overseas. Sometimes the same things are hot, sometimes we are behind or ahead and sometimes it's totally different things.

Teresa said...

So interesting. When you were telling about what's hot and not I was searching for those items instantly to grab and run ahahah
I loved that detail of the table that turned into a hanging and that side of the crib will enter to the ideas to adopt for decorating arouns home.
Thank you for sharing! Wishing you much success and lots of fun!
Teresa

Celestina Marie said...

Great post and info. Love all the treasures shared and the insight.
Every area of the country is a bit different. Rustic iron, burlap treasures, numbers and salvage is still really hot here too.
Great post.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Anne said...

Great tips Betsy! I rent space at an antique mall in Illinois and I agree with all that sells for you too and what doesn't.It's the same here too!
xx
Anne

Malissa said...

Thank You Carol & Betsy. I found this very helpful and informative. r. This is a series I will be following closely.

Malissa

Athena at Minervas Garden said...

Fantastic series, Carol! And thank you, Betsy, for all the great information--also loved seeing the pictures from your booth!

Into Vintage said...

Thanks Carol and Betsy! Love this series. Hoping someday I can attend an event where Betsy is selling -- all of these photos are too tempting.

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

Great stuff! Loved several of her ideas and that clock table! Even better as wall hanging. Fun post.

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Great info, Betsy!!! Love the series, Carol. I can't find your email address anywhere, so email when you can.

Carolyn said...

Betsy and Carol, what a great post and a great series! Betsy, you said your flattened and hammered flatware is your bread and butter. I hate to be a dummy, but what do people use flattened spoons for? This is a new one on me! And how much, if you don't mind my asking, do you sell them for?

Barbara Jean said...

Thanks Betsy, and Carol.
Great post.

blessings
barb

Bellenza Wedding Bistro said...

Have always been fascinated (and slightly in awe) of all the treasures in antique shops & yard sales. Very helpful post!

Laurel@chippingwithcharm said...

Great post...fun series!!

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

Great information! I will go check out Betsy's blog.

Have a great day.
Pam

Olivia said...

I love this post! Absolutely darling! So fun to see what is hot in other parts of the country!!!
xoxo
Olivia

Debbiedoo's said...

That is awesome to know. Mostly all stuff I love too!~ Love this series Carol.

Jann Olson said...

Thanks Carol and Betsy. This was a fun post. I adore anything shabby chippy, metal, or numbered. It's easy to see why others do too. Architectural finds are still my number 1 treasure. Great idea about switching up the table. Sometimes a little tweaking is all it takes to catch someones eye.
hugs,
Jann

Holly said...

this was fun to read about! So many creative ideas on your blog! Is there a button to show your dress form party and where do we sign up?
Thank you!!

Little Miss Maggie said...

Thanks, Carol and Betsy, for a great post. It's so interesting to see what sold even two years ago versus now. We are certainly in the industrial revolution once again.

Debbie said...

I am currently trying to convince my retired uncle that he should do something "official" with his love of antique, vintage, and just plain junk buying. This is a great post for me to give him some direction.

And isn't everything in her stash just plain wonderful?

Harvest Moon said...

What fun to see all your pictures, comments and ideas! I know I'm going to love this series of posts and I'll relish each and every tidbit I read!! Thanks for sharing, Betsy! Loved it! And thank you, Miss Carol, for your open heart and teaching-centric blog. I actually found your blog doing an internet search about "What sells in antique booths", and you've been my inspiration!! Claudia