June 7, 2012

Selling In An Antiques Mall Booth... Top Hot Selling Items

Just for fun I sat down with the owner and manager of the Orange Tree Antiques Mall in Winter Park Florida where I've had a booth for 9 years and asked the burning question....

 Whats the Hottest Selling items!

Keep in mind this is a list of top selling items in Florida, trends may vary throughout the country and this is not necessarily what is selling in my shabby chic booth, but there is a lot of cross over

I picked the brains of

Sherrie Hershone the owner of Orange Tree Antiques with 30 years of experience in the antiques business
Lynn Coporoso the Manager who also has 30 years of experience and owned a successful antiques mall in New Jersey for 16 years

Here's what they came up with In no particular order

Kitchen Collectables
Everything Mom or Grandma had is now collectable;  Red handled tools, canister sets, Pyrex, jadeite, cookie cutters (Big for the holidays), and cast iron skillets.  Also vintage blenders, mix masters, milk shake makers, toasters, can openers etc.  Mid-Century is very hot in kitchen collectables.

Women love to buy clean, pressed linens; doilies, runners, tablecloths and napkins, hand embroidered towels, pillow cases, and hankies.  Aprons have almost made a comeback.  Women are wearing them in the kitchen again-back to the 50's.

Mid-Century modern is HOT!  In Florida we see many customers moving down from the north and selling their dark mahogany furniture.  They want a lighter look, so they buy wicker, light wood, or go with a "Shabby Chic" look. 

Holiday Items
The biggest holiday collectables are Halloween and Christmas, but they also buy for Valentines Day, Easter, St. Patricks Day, and all of the patriotic holidays.  

Seasonal items
In the spring and summer customers are looking for items to decorate their homes. Gardening decorations including statuary, bird baths, concrete, and iron outdoor furniture.  They also buy vintage garden tools and picnic baskets.

Always a hot seller, it can be costume, gold, or silver. It has become very popular for young people to buy vintage jewelry for their proms or wedding.  Keep in mind that just because a piece of jewelry is not signed does not mean that it is not a good quality.  If you purchase gold or sterling jewelry a stamped mark does not guarantee it's quality, you have to know who you are buying from and their reputation.

Vintage Clothes and accessories
Vintage clothing from the 1950's through the 1980s' is HOT, HOT, HOT!  Our future collectors, those in their 20's through mid 30's, are buying clothes, handbags, shoes, and even sunglasses.

Toys and dolls
Vintage dolls especially French and German with original wigs and clothing are sought by many collectors.  In order to have value, dolls have to be in excellent condition with their original clothes.  Cast iron toys from the 20's and tin toys in good condition, no rust, and with all of  their parts are highly collectable.

Vintage books
With the advent of Nook and Kindle readers, people are buying fewer books for reading pleasure.  However, vintage books are highly collectable.  This includes books on history, religion, decorating, cooking, and etiquette.

Mens Collectables
Shavers, cameras, military badges, ribbons, and fraternal order memorabilia.  Vintage sports equipment, tools, and scientific items are also very collectable.

Musical instruments and vinyl record
Records in their original jackets are very sought after

High end glass and porcelains
European porcelains including, Sevres, Limoges, Herend, Rosental, Lenox, Staffordshire, Royal Worcester, Quimper, Minton, Meissen, Majolica, Longwy, Flow blue, Royal Doulton, and KPM.  High end glass includes Baccarat, American Billiant cut glass, Galle, Tiffany, Lalique, Loetz, Sterben, Pairpoint, Wavecrest, and Webb.   Be aware of reproductions and buy from a reputable dealer.

Antique Asian Items
Many immigrant and tourist Chinese and Japanese are looking for their past history.  Again, be aware of reproductions!

A special thank you to Sherry@Back to Vintage for the use of her photo's 

Join me Monday for  Items that were hot and now they're not

I would love to know the hot sellers in your neck of the woods!

Happy Selling!


Debbie said...

You hit on several on my list. Probably the first things I reach out and touch are linens. I also love books and things kitchen related, from old utensils to the dishes, etc.

I love whimsy so when someone takes items and gives them a whole new personality, I love that too. You do a lot of that which is one of the reasons that I love your style.

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Thanks for sharing what's hot in your neck of the woods. A lot of the same things sell really well around here too. What's really hot right now are storage containers, anything with little drawers, lockers, metal, industrial.

Createology said...

Thank you for sharing such great insight. I have no idea what is hot or selling in this gold rush county. I love it all...

Heart Vintage Design said...

Hi Carol, For me, industrial metal items are what bring them in. I do have a few people looking for Asian items, mostly Buddhas. I think each of us sell what we know best. I love your posts about what's selling. : )

Heart Vintage Design said...

Hi Carol, For me, industrial metal items are what bring them in. I do have a few people looking for Asian items, mostly Buddhas. I think each of us sell what we know best. I love your posts about what's selling. : )

Terra said...

This list is fascinating; thanks for creating it.

Maureen Wyatt said...

I'd say it's the same in Canada with the addition of primitives. Anything used on farms or in homes in the 1800's, and rustic in nature, sells quickly. Thanks for the info! ~ Maureen

Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

Lots of things on my wish list...and lots of things I could be getting cash for!

liked this post!

Bluebirdbasketry said...


Thanks so much for this post! Thanks to your awesome tutorials I have been selling a lot of painted furniture at my local consignment shop but have been thinking about taking the plunge to rent a booth at a mall. I have done it in the past but don't miss the upkeep part of it, consigning is SO easy, however, they do get fifty percent of the selling price (not arguing about that part at all, just thinking if I was willing to work a little harder I could make more money). Your awesome list has given me a lot to think about - thanks so much!


Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Great post, Carol! I'm happy that I've found a few of the "hot" items. I would add "birds" and vintage luggage to the list for my area!

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

What a great post! so informative!Many of the items you mentioned, I collect myself.


Sylvia said...

Carol, great post! Industrial and mid-century items sell fast in my booth, especially the small items.

Crafty items...not so good around here.

Thanks again

Egretta Wells blog said...

Hi carol, I have a booth also, and in Florida. I think you pretty much covered the things selling in my shop, Rustic Star Antiques, Okeechobee, Fl. We are re-purposing some vintage items, too, and they seem to do well. Ex. painted end tables.

NanaDiana said...

What an interesting post- I have really been out of the loop in the lat couple of years so it is fun to see what is HOT now. xo Diana

Unknown said...

Great post Carol! Of course linens for me. Religious items do well along with french inspired.
We are back!!

Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...

Good things to know Carol.


Shabby chic Sandy said...

Great post! It is interesting what sells.

Jane said...

Hi Carol,
Wonderful post! Fun to get a perspective from gals that have been in the business for awhile. A lot of the same sells around here too.....right now I seem to be doing well with metal....boxes, baskets, buckets etc.
Have a great weekend.

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

Great post Carol. Love seeing the perspective of another dealer. Right now, it seems I can't sell anything...lol. It's the unusual stuff I am selling. I had a basket of vintage shoe brushes of all sizes and shapes I had collected. Every single one sold lickety split. Go figure! The owner of the mall told me mirrors are selling like hot cakes so I brought in some true antique etched glass ones I had been saving. They are gorgeous. Yep...you guessed it...still sitting there! And my prices are inexpensive too. For the life of me, I can't figure it out. Have a fabulous weekend Carol. Always love to read your blog post. xoxo

Stampindamour said...

Carol - Fab post!

MCM is hot, esp with the younger generation!! Owls in particular too!

Industrial, salvaged is flying out the door and we even have "Sweet Salvage" store here in Phoenix (which is open four days a month) and gets super crowded on every opening Thursday.

I agree that there is always an audience for Shabby Chic...anything pink or white shabby doesn't stay around very long in my booth!

-pamela ;)

pipigirl said...

i think you pretty much hit the nail on the head. linens, and glass in mine. the kitchen items. not so much and i dont know why. i really need to get on repurposing. that seems to be a HOT COMMODITY. i have several things to do, but trying to prep house to sell really interferes in my shop. thanks for posting hot sellers. seems to be all the rage pretty much everywhere.

Nancy said...

Great Info Carol,thanks for Sharing!! In our New Spot in Brandon for me it is everything that hung from the Ceiling. It zipped out the door and now my ceiling is bare(has been for 2 months) so we have been searching. A line of Vintage Graphic Note Cards and Tags that I get from a Online Lady was the next thing(on my 3rd Order here). Home Decor is big for me, Smalls would be the last on the list. I am going back to the Shop to work tomorrow so will see what goes with all these New Products I am taking in. Mostly White, and re purposed.


Cindy The Victorian Journey said...

Hi Carol, as always great post. Yes, my antique booth in the country for me what sells. I would say, real stain glass picture windows, linens, and primitives. Small furniture white or beautiful brown, tables, chairs not moving at all.

Unknown said...

I was just ticking off the list of stuff I hunt for here and youre right! LOL All very in over in Toronto! :)


Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Hi Carol, some of these I would have guessed right off the bat. Others, not in a million years. Architectural pieces are still real hot here in UT. I love kitchen collectibles. I have been picking them up for years. Fun seeing what's hot.

Anonymous said...

Always fun seeing what is selling in other parts of the country-much the same things here-my vintage clothing is selling nicely these days along with linens!

Sisters Treasures said...

Carol, thank you and the ladies from your mall for compiling this list. I agree with all above that it's great to hear what's selling in different areas to compare. In Texas, rusty, industrial, architectural and mid century modern are hot. Glassware- not so much. Vintage clothes... only if near a college town it seems.
Primitives and painted furniture are still big and the unusual. People are more selective and they want what they can't find themselves.
Thanks again,

hopeandjoyhome said...

What I look for is vintage fabric.I seem to sell random things but old painted pieces esp. smaller with drawers or aqua or green paint go fast. I sold a big rusty 1920's school locker w/ 3 sections in one day, Glassware is dead which is a shame. I price mine for people who would rather "go green" and buy old to reuse than a collector price..I guess I need a sign for my booth.."Go green..buy vintage!"

Chenille Cottage said...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful post. Such a treasure trove of information...I know you spent a lot of time sharing this and I so appreciate it!
Have a blessed day, my friend!

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

Interesting. I love to collect old linens and kitchen items and.... ;)

camp and cottage living said...

What an interesting post.
You are so smart to ask the experts
Tha old kitchen collectables are what I look for too. I also like vintage cabin goods.

Perfectly Printed said...

From my prespective this list in Florida matches the list in Silicon Valley.....my favorite lines!!


Rainbow Gatherer said...

a lovely place to go, I love antiques markets a lot esp. open air ones.

Bohemian said...

I agree that many of the Items that are On Trend in Florida are also popular here in the Southwest. I would add Globes, Architectural Salvage, Retro Items, Kitsch, French Nordic, Old Typewriters, Old Signage and Vintage Suitcases to the list of Hot Sellers in our part of the Country.

This would be a good Post to update from time to time, along with what is going Off Trend... since so many peeps I know are now renting Booths in Antique Malls and Flea Markets to hawk their Found Treasures and capitalize on their Junquing Passion, but are Novices in the Biz. {Including Moi! Winks}

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Debbiedoos said...

Trends are funny! this is great information to share though and for us all to keep in mind. So many things come and go. I read your not selling list as well. I remember my Mom collecting most of those things and now she has cabinets full. Now of course she is collecting the new things. We just buy old and have for a very long time so I have never been too trendy in terms of collecting items. Wait, I take that back..I have tons of tea pots!

The Vintage Farmhouse said...

All of the "Nots" were right on the money here in central IN, but all of the "Hots" are items that don't really sell here either. Blue balls jars are a big seller here,frames, mirrors, green glass,
Vintage textiles, christmas and books are items I can hardly even give away. It's so funny though how things trend and how it can vary even from town to town!

Judy said...

After reading your post above about things that aren't selling now, I read this post. I do agree with some of your hot sellers, but I still find that a lot of what you listed here doesn't sell well here in Arizona. We have huge influx of winter refugees and they tend to buy the smalls, but not much of the smalls you mention here.

Can only agree with furniture (younger people furnishing a new place), vintage jewelry (for decoration, to wear, or use in art work), vintage clothing, vintage books (for decorator touches only unless it's a children's book, first edition, or what you mentioned). Seasonal items are slow movers and I don't buy much of it anymore. It's hard to find.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I think it is good for others to see what goes and what sits.