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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vintage booths... the 3 shop experiment

In spite of the fact that I am walking with a cane.
In spite of the fact that my leg goes numb with little warning.
In spite of the fact that my physical therapist is going to be miffed...
I spent the last two days working on my booth(s).

I am downsizing. My friend and I are sharing her booth, which I feel is in a pretty prime location. The reason we are downsizing from each having big booths to sharing one is because we are diversifying. We have opened booths in a nearby city, and are opening in another high-end city in a few days.

We are already worried that the second location we chose has locked us into six months, and it might be a money losing proposition. We both sold items right out of the gate and did well in April, but I have not made my rent for May and the month is almost over. I am crossing my fingers that a large item sells this week, but I am not holding my breath.  Another vendor who has been around for a while told me that the last 3 years they have had steadily declining sales.

I have alot more hope for the next location as I could see all the purchasing when I was just inquiring and setting up my booth agreement.. it has been a mad-house every time.

I am not going to trash any of my booth locations, because I can see that demographics and location affect what sells where. I am just confused that things that sold well last year aren't flying out of the store this year... it is strange.

But from what I can tell, each booth needs a different strategy:

Booth 1-middle class area, but everyone seems to be bargain hunting: Since it is overall a discount store selling inexpensive furniture, mattresses and clearance art, and then renting booths, I think I need to keep all my items under $100.00.  Occasionally higher end items sell, but they are not as often as we would like. I believe the items I sell here should be things people can actually use, with some fun items sprinkled in. (Seems like items that sell the best here are clearance items... small end tables, picture frames, and throw pillows, but only when they are on sale. My friend sells dressers if she paints them brightly and keeps the price low.  She has also sold furniture items painted gray.) I have already mentioned how I hate never ending sales.

Booth 2- Mixture of low and middle class, and everyone seems to be looking to fulfill collections:
Even though it was touted as a place to sell the hand painted furniture that I am fully stocked in, it is clear that people who visit here like really unique and rare items.  So that means more time scouring garage sales (all my rusty drawer knobs and pulls have sold out, as well as my flip table and needlepoint chairs. My friend sold out all her African American black and white art from the 1990's)

Booth 3- upper class area, where we are told people want high-end looking items at reasonable prices: My friend and I are going to be sharing this booth and painting furniture in neutral colors. We are sticking to medium and small size pieces since we are starting small. We will be trying out the items we have overstocked in store 1 before sales slowed.  I will report back in sales after a month.

At the end of the summer, we will be looking at our results and making some decisions. Chances are one of the store will be dropped, and we will be able to create a game plan for the long winter months.

If you are a pro at this I will gladly take advice.

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