Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What do I suggest to someone wanting to be a seller (dealer) in a collectibles/antiques mall?

What do I suggest to someone wanting to be a seller (dealer) in a collectibles/antiques mall?  I've listed a few suggestions that have helped over the years. I may write more another day.

1. Its hard work. You have to do the work yourself. Your business, your labor. You need to be a self-starter and you need to be able to work through adversity.

2. Paper work is extremely important. Be legal. Do it right. File you taxes. 

3. Keep records and receipts. Be organized. Have a paper filing system. Use an accounting program for costs and profits, and keep an inventory (I use a spreadsheet program to track stock in, sold, unsold). Match your record keeping to the tax deductions for your small business. Saves hours of time in April every year.

4. Find the stock. Be a good buyer, fair in your offers, kind in your speech. Be inventive. Only display clean stock. Repair, refurbish, polish stock. Be honest.

5. Study. Read books, articles, newspapers, find trends, study on line. Be flexible.

6.Price fairly (a huge study in itself).

7. Work the space you are renting. What does that mean? Put in fresh stock, move things around, re-group, theme, look around you - what are others in the mall doing - don't copy them. Be true to yourself. Your returning customers have expectations that you help set up with your stock and presentation. Clean. No chips, cracks, damage unless you state that on the tag. Don't try to 'trick' others with poor quality stock. Its your reputation. Remove stock that doesn't work in your booth and let it go or reinvent it.

8. Be sincerely nice to everyone. Say positive things to other dealers, resellers and customers. Don't take cranky people seriously. Don't be a phony.

Today a picture of teapots from my mall space.


  1. These are all great tips! I agree, price fairly. You don't want to have a museum. Also, great to change things around. It feels like you've added items or people notice things that may have been overlooked.

    Love your space and collectibles! Great vintage fan, I see in your header!

    Have a nice week! :) ~M

  2. Great advice. I try to follow these rules and I see so many that do not. Most of all I agree that we need to be fair and honest and kind.
    This business can be cut throat with some dealers but I never want to be a part of that.

    I love your space and your beautiful pieces.


  3. Thanks for sharing! You gave us some great advice!!!

  4. Thanks Michelle, Sissie and A Vintage Vine for your kind comments. I hadn't realized I would have so much to say on the topic of being a dealer in an antiques/collectibles mall.
    - Joy

  5. That is great advice Joy. You obviously know what you are talking about and I am going to assume do well with your sales due to the time you have taken to learn your trade. Great pictures!

    Take care,

  6. Will start having garden sales with my open gardens this year.

    I'm always finding incredible things & want to make sure they get into gardener's hands.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


Thanks for visiting. I read and appreciate all your comments. Joy

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