We hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Did you go anywhere or do anything fun? We watched the fireworks display in town and we’ve hit up some antique stores this weekend, but other than that. we’ve kept things low key. And speaking of antique stores, we are doing our second vendor Interview today. This is a day early, but if all goes well, we are going to switch this to Sundays.
For those of you that are new, and just stopping by for the first time, this is a new idea for us. We hosted our first one last week. If you missed it, and would like to read it you can click here. Today, we are talking with Barbara from Barb’s Sassy Garden Glass. Thank you, Barbara for taking the time to talk with us.
1. How long have you been a vintage dealer? Right at about one year.
2. WHAT TYPE OF SETTING ARE YOU IN? I am in a flea market.
3. HOW MANY BOOTHS DO YOU HAVE? At this time, I only have one booth.
4. WHAT DO YOU SELL? I sell a combination of vintage items (mostly kitchen ware) and rustic hand made items. I also sell a lot of colored glass ware.
5. WHAT DO YOU FIND SELLS THE MOST? It will vary, but I seem to sell more of the kitchen wares.
6. WHAT DO YOU FIND SELLS THE LEAST? In my booth, my hand crafted glass yard art sells the least well. After that, large pictures do not do so well.
7. WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR BOOTH HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL? I think my booth is successful for a variety of reasons; I have a storefront window, so my items are seen from the sidewalk. The window also lets the sun shine through my colored glassware (which shows it off to it’s best advantage) and I have a wide range of items and prices. You can find things from $1 to $200 in my booth. A little something for everyone.
8. HOW OFTEN DO YOU REFRESH YOUR BOOTH? I refresh by moving things around and adding a few new items at least once a week. I do a major refresh/overhaul at least once a month.
9. WHAT MISTAKES HAVE YOU MADE AND LEARNED FROM AS A DEALER? I have learned two main things; Always, Always research your item well before pricing it. The market in my area will NOT support ebay prices, and always price your items a tiny bit on the high side. You can always come down in price.
10.WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT? My biggest piece of advice is this; Do not expect to make a killing from your booth! The first month may be great, but there will be months that you barely make rent, and some months when you don’t even do that well. Make sure that what you are selling is something that the market in your area does well with….but don’t expect to do great if every other booth in the flea market is selling the same chalk painted furniture or chalkboard painted trays and mason jars.
11. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NUMBER ONE MISTAKE IS DEALERS MAKE? From seeing vendors come and go in the last year, I think the number one mistake that dealers make is expecting to do great right away. They get discouraged and give up too quickly. Overpricing for your market area is another mistake that I see a lot.
12. DO YOU DO THIS FULL TIME? I guess you could say it’s a full time job. I am always searching for items for my booth, crafting items, or volunteering/working at the flea market. I also spend a lot of time rearranging and freshening my booth. I noticed early on that those who don’t work their booth often, usually don’t sell much.
13. HOW OFTEN DO YOU TAKE NEW INVENTORY INTO YOUR BOOTH? I take new inventory in at least once a week. You’ve got to keep ‘new’ items flowing in for those frequent repeat shoppers.
14. HOW DO YOU BUDGET YOUR TIME? I don’t really ‘budget’ my time, so to speak. I usually spend at least 3-4 hours a week looking for new merchandise. I spend at least 1½ hours each week cleaning, rearranging items, and restocking my booth. I spend approx. 25+ hours each week working on my handmade/craft items for my booth. I also work in the flea market around 20 hours each month.
15. DO YOU STICK WITH A SPECIFIC COLOR SCHEME? I do not stick with a particular color scheme. I have a pale brown rug on the floor, and the side walls are white. The wall the window is in, is painted a bluish color….these colors allow my colored glass to shine without any clashing or competition from my booth as a whole. From time to time, there will be a color that seems to be predominant, but that is usually by accident…not by design.
16. DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA, AND IF SO WHICH ONES WORK BEST FOR YOU? The only social media I use is Facebook. I started the page for my yard art, and it has evolved to encompass all of my work. I have had people come to the flea market to buy something after they saw me post a photo of the item or my booth on my page. The fans of my page also give me great feedback whenever I make a major change in my booth. That helps me gauge how well the ‘foot’ customers will like (or not like) the new setup.
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD? I think the biggest piece of advice I would give to someone who is considering renting a booth is; Make sure this is something you really enjoy doing! If you are looking at a booth as strictly a way to make money, you will be disappointed. You have to love the hunt…the cleaning and/or repairing, the staging, and most of all …the letting go of your items! If you are having fun, and you love what you do, you will sell more items and will have great repeat customers.
I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as we did. If you are a vintage dealer and have had a booth for at least one year or longer, and your booth consistently makes you money every month we would like to talk with you. If you have a question that you would like answered please let us know, and we can post those next time.