We get a lot of dealer questions regarding how to handle certain situations when it comes to other dealers. If you have been in the antique business for any length of time, most likely you have had encountered an unpleasant experience or two. We are flattered you trust us enough to provide a solution, but we are by no means authorities on the matter.
Dawn and I discussed this topic and we both feel a certain obligation to help those that seek our guidance. As we often do, we turned to other dealers and asked them in a Facebook post on Mach 2nd, to share tips and suggestions. We got some great feedback and thought we would share them here. Sorry this took so long.
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to comment or e-mail us. We have shared those those comments below. I think we all can learn from each other. Dawn and I had compiled a list before we posted our thread. So we are sharing those first and then the comments we received from other dealers are at the bottom.
*Do keep your booth tidy and clean. Change out or rotate your merchandise often. No one wants to be beside a dirty stale booth. If things aren’t selling or changing, customers notice and they tend to avoid those booths.
*When you are working in your booth, do not block access or place your items in another booth. This could possibly cause your neighbor to lose a sale, and it certainly causes customers to pass a booth up.
*If you are working your booth and take a break, do not go into your neighbor’s booth and sit on their furniture.
Janet Barcheski Green: Don’t “borrow” from my booth to help stage in yours. Keep the aisles clear or within the rules of the mall. Don’t prop your items up against mine. Don’t allow your items to creep into my space. Don’t hang your items on the back of my tall furniture pieces, or on other “walls” I may have created for my booth, unless you ask me first. (Janet Green, Hazel & Verdie’s, West Des Moines, Iowa.)
Susanne Trofa: Don’t go out and buy the same things I am selling (because these items are selling) …. copying is just tacky.
Anita Ray McAlpin: I had a booth for several years & worked hard to merchandise it. I tried to utilize every inch & used lighting to “feature” areas. Sometimes I’d have areas dedicated to a specific theme based on what I had on hand. Please don’t mess with my lights or items because you think I “need” help. Please don’t “borrow” pegboard hooks without asking or use the back of my pegboard walls (which I hand built) to hang your stuff. If you don’t want to build your own, don’t just assume it’s ok to use mine. Don’t ask me what I pay for my space & compare it to the size you have…I don’t set the price/space & consider it private between owner & myself. DO compliment your fellow vendors items & efforts….be available sometimes to just help newbies.
Tammie Beckner: My biggest complaint with fellow vendors is when they bring in new items and place them in my booth/s, blocking access, while they stage their booth with the new inventory. One vendor in my mall constantly does this. Very disrespectful.
Kathy Setzer Goodson: First, be friendly. If your neighbor seller is in their booth say hello and introduce yourself. As for courtesies…Stay in your space. Don’t block the aisles, don’t spray air freshener or scents in your booth as it floats over to mine as my hubby has allergies. Put walls up if possible to prevent the hanging of items on your furniture or use a large shelving unit to separate the space. Don’t call other vendors and complain about the owners of your shop. Leave me out of your petty arguments. Don’t spread gossip about other vendors. In public don’t criticize the other vendors or their wares. If you put the business down you are hurting your own sales. If you don’t like the way the shop is run just leave. There are other shops. Finally, please don’t copy my ideas. If I create an unique upcycled item don’t make one just like it. Goodson Vintage Treasures.
Desiree Byrne: As the vintage market producer for Front Porch Pickins, I would say never assume. Vendors will say, “Oh, I might be an inch into the neighboring space, but I’m sure they won’t care.” People don’t like confrontation. Your neighbor will smile and act like it’s a non-issue & then come complain to me or my staff. And in that regard, I’d say bring me your problems! My job is to market the event, provide crowds of buyers, AND to serve you, my client. I have no problem with telling another vendor they must be within their designated area. It happens ALL of the time. And the larger the show, the more we need you to bring it to our attention, as with 400+ booths, I guarantee we won’t see every issue.
Cathy Wittmeier: Don’t pretend to be a customer and ask questions about my items, do your own research or at least be honest about your intentions. Don’t overstuff your space so that customers put your things in my space to access what they’re looking for. Stay in your own boundaries- I once had a large room to myself and the next vendor over put up a shelving unit in my doorway.
Sandra Lucas When nailing items on the back side of my walls, be careful. I’m finding items broken on the floor that they have knocked off by their hammering.
Alison Bradley Your booth neighbors can be great resources if you take the time to be friendly. I’ve had sales because other vendors recommended one of my benches to a customer that bought her vanity. Be helpful and courteous. When I moved to a new store my neighbor came with me and we asked to be neighbors again. The more cohesive the space looks the nicer it is for the customers to shop
Jollity at Antique Co-Op Get to know your booth buddies. Talk to them regularly and share local market info. Help them when they need a hand and ask for their help when you need it. Work together to drive your businesses. Building relationships will reap more benefits for each of you and assist in potential conflict resolution. Be open to suggestions and requests. Do not ask for discounts. We get that too much from customers. If you want something buy it at my fair asking price and I will do the same with you.
Cari Dollimore: Hi I’m in England and I’ve sold at a few antiques centres over the years .. at one of them was a dealer who used to regularly go round to all the other sections and stuff his business leaflets in people’s dispensers, or scatter them on their surfaces! Cheeky.
Rosie Parker: Courtesy, Golden Rule, Kindness, and Positive Comments. Works best!
Betty Glendale, AZ: In the mall I’m in the vendors have to pay to have pegboard or sheet rock installed in their booth. I had pegboard hung in my booth, but my neighbor has not had anything put up over her side of the two by fours. So she hangs her s hooks into my pegboard and I’m constantly having to work around them. I think it is unfair that she is using my wall. Very rude.
Anonymous: If you see something selling in my booth don’t be a copycat. Get your own ideas.
Anonymous: don’t eat in your booth. I’m pregnant and my booth neighbor eats in her booth all the time. It stinks and I don’t care to smell it. It makes me sick at my stomach.