Why are vintage pieces in antique stores priced so high? Why the different prices for the same item? These are common questions antique & flea market sellers hear all the time. First of all, in my opinion, there are three categories of selling places that determine to some extent the pricing. Items sold in garage sales are priced the lowest, flea markets a little higher, and eBay the highest. Merchandise sold in a rented space within an antique mall are priced somewhere in the middle. That’s my philosophy anyway.
As far as pricing items, it’s not uncommon to find different prices for the same item. It all depends on what the seller originally paid for it. If I find a bargain priced treasure, that means I can pass it along to somebody else for a bargain too! Let’s face it, nobody is getting rich from selling vintage collectibles in an antique mall, it’s mostly about enjoying what you do.
Sellers in antique malls are paying for their space, security tags, insurance, taxes, and at least 10% of all sales are owed to the mall owner. Let’s not forget sellers need merchandise! That means driving all over the place to estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores, online shopping, etc. So hopefully after all these expenses, they can price their vintage finds high enough to have a little extra spending money in their pockets.
Every seller has their own way of doing things, some sell their treasures “as found”, meaning they sell it exactly in the condition they found it in. Easier that way I suppose, but not me, I like everything in our booth to be shinny and clean… mint if possible. That means scrubbing, polishing, sanding, painting, whatever it takes to make something old look beautiful again. This also means a lot of extra work, and we’re usually not paid much more for our trouble… again, it’s more about enjoying what we do.