This article was originally published in Antique Trader
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Keeping your antiques shop clean and inviting really will perk up sales
I just received my Jan. 4, 2012, Antique Trader and loved the cover story by Zac Bissonnette: “What dealers can do to sell items faster for more money.”
I agree 100 percent with him about the appearances of antique stores. We moved from Connecticut to Florida about two years ago, and I opened my own antiques store. One thing I didn’t want to do was be like everyone else. I had stand-up cabinets with lights and wheels built by a company called Techno Display, Inc. with cherry finish. Though my store is small, I’ve received tons of compliments on how spacious and clean it is.
Unfortunately, some antique stores fall into the same trap. You get dealers in there that either use their space as a storage place or simply don’t care. The owners of the stores aren’t much better. If you own the store, you should have simple rules. Have dealers give you pictures of what they are selling before you accept them. With email and cell phone picture availability, there’s no reason they can’t. You don’t want your store getting the reputation of a junk shop. As one local person told me about a year ago, some owners don’t care what you put in your booth as long as they get the rent. Really? That’s your business reputation at stake now.
All antiques store owners should make their dealers flip their merchandise out roughly every six to eight months. If it hasn’t sold, get rid of it. Move it out, sell it at a show or toss it on eBay or an auction house. You aren’t making money on items just sitting there. And really, who wants to go back to the same antique store and go, “Oh look, that’s been here for two years…” You own the store; you see what’s in there. Don’t let the dealers control your business. They give you a hard time? Toss them out if they don’t like it. There’s plenty of other dealers to take their place, if you have a waiting list.
And Zac is right: Some simple additions to your store or booth space to spruce it up can work wonders. Use small risers or colored cloths to add some color to your space. Put some flowers in a vase, something that will tweak your space to make people look at your items. Use the various holidays during the year to dress your place up (Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, spring season, etc.)
Cassandra Castaldo – Owner
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