Should You Open an Antique Mall Booth?

antique mall

Should you open an antique mall booth? The answer to that question will vary according to who you ask. Folks who have opened a booth and failed will, of course, tell you “no”. Many antique dealers will tell you “no” as well, citing the fact that their sales are getting lower every year. Operators who run successful booths will always encourage you to open one, because they realize that, in the antiques business, customers are attracted to the varied inventories of multi-dealer malls. Rather than competition, more dealers grouped together means more sales for all. I subscribe to weekly auction

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Training Antiques Sales Associates to Succeed

training

I get a big kick out of my fellow auctioneers. Some of them (especially the newbies) think that auctioneers are such great salesmen. Wherever auctioneers gather, you will see a few of them assembled telling “war stories” and comparing notes about what they and others have sold. At some point in the conversation, someone will proclaim “(insert name here) was a great salesman! He could sell anything!” Give me a break. How hard is it, really, to stand in front of a crowd, call bids and declare an item sold to the highest bidder, regardless of the price? Such sales

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Retailer Inventory Reduction Live Auction Sale

auction

Retailers are optimists by nature.  You wouldn’t believe it to talk to them but it’s true. They keep hoping that they will have a run on their slow-moving merchandise.  They are not willing to continue to drop their prices, because if they do, their cost of goods sold will go up, and their profits will go down.  Their Balance Sheet will take a hit, and when that happens their ability to borrow suffers.  Having a Liquidation Sale or Auction at their location is out of the question, because their customers might get the wrong impression.  So, month after month they

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How to Buy an Existing Antiques Business

buy antiques business

For Sale: “Great little antique shop … packed floor to rafters with inventory of all types … new owner won’t have to buy inventory for two years … make more money if new owner will keep longer hours and sell on the Internet. Priced at $349,000; Inventory value $299,000 (40% of retail).” What a great deal – for the seller! For potential buyers, this business could be an opportunity for financial ruin. Such “business opportunities” are commonplace. Recently I spent about two hours browsing business-for-sale websites, looking at antiques stores for sale. Having been both a store owner and business

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Anchor Prices for Higher Antique Sales

price anchoring

You’re a rational person. As a rational person, if I tell you that you’re about to be tricked then you will be on guard, and less likely to be fooled. Or so you think. Prepare yourself to be tricked while taking the following pop quiz: 1. Is the average temperature in San Francisco higher or lower than 558 degrees Fahrenheit? 2. Without looking it up, what is the average temperature in San Francisco? (Your best guess will do.) 3. How many Top 10 records did The Beatles release: More than 100,025 or less than 100,025? 4. Give your estimate of

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Things That Only Your Balance Sheet Can Tell You

balance sheet

Since retiring from my full-time pursuits a few years ago, my wife Jill and I have begun to go grocery shopping together. Well, perhaps “shopping together” is a misnomer. We enter the store together, to be sure; but I’m given a list and a hand basket, Jill takes a cart, and we go our separate ways. I spend the next 90 minutes alternately waiting for items to jump off the shelf into my basket and wondering where Jill is. A few weeks ago, while wandering dazed through the snacks and chips aisle, my phone  rang. The call was from a

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3 Ways Google Trends Will Improve Your Business

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Everyone wants to know what’s hot, what’s selling and what’s not. Fashion, entertainment, shopping, news and technology all have their daily “trending now” web updates. “What’s Hot” lists are not uncommon in the antiques trade, but since there is no standardized reporting format (like there is in larger industries), it’s difficult to interpret the list results in terms of an individual dealer’s local market. To be effective, a “What’s Hot” list would have to be assembled for each market. If you knew that consumers were looking for an item that you regularly inventoried, you could almost certainly get a return

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Antique Mall Rents Should Be Based on Location, Traffic

shopping

Why do antique malls tell dealers they are selling space when they are really selling traffic? Who pays for traffic? A well-worn aphorism is that there are but three important considerations in real estate: location, location and location. I submit that this isn’t true for antiques dealers. For antiques dealers, the three most important considerations are location, traffic and lease. Within each of these three categories are variables that can mean the difference between a dealer’s outstanding success and dismal failure. Location, for example, doesn’t just refer to the location of the building you’re in. A small dealer (Vendor A)

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Surveillance Tools Should Be on Everyone’s Radar

surveillance

It was just after 7 a.m., and the Mountain Top Antique Mall in Hillsville, Va., hadn’t opened yet. A late-model black pickup truck pulled into the mall’s lot and parked. An older man got out of the truck, walked up to the porch and tried the door; it was locked. No one was around and the location wasn’t easily visible from the road. The man helped himself to about $150 worth of the hanging flower baskets that decorated the mall’s front porch, loaded them into his truck and drove away. There were no witnesses. Two days later, the police arrested

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Why Dead Inventory Can Kill Your Antiques Business

dead inventory

Not too long ago in an online antiques forum, a dealer posed this question to other dealers: “What do you consider dead inventory and what do you do with it?” It was a lively discussion, with 69 comments in the thread. The forums definitions of dead inventory included: Stuff nobody wants Anything over 10 months old Anything over a year old Inventory that remains unsold way too long Responses to “What do you do with it” included attempts to sell the inventory at: Flea markets Live auctions Yard sales Consignment shops Parking lot/sidewalk sales Some dealers had no plan at

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