The Scoop on Renting Space in an Antique Mall

Thinking about renting space in an antique mall? This can be an exciting and rewarding way to sell your goods. Whether you have items to sell from a personal collection, or just enjoy a weekend treasure hunt, a booth is a great way to share and sell your passion for collecting.

When we started our booth we had a specific inventory in mind. But over time whatever sold became the new focus of interest. After our first year, our original inventory of what we thought were cool vintage pieces, unfortunately weren’t cool interesting pieces to buying customers! Considering it’s much more fun to have sales than not, we began to look for more inventory of what was selling best.  What items sell best in a booth is somewhat of a mystery, a trial and error, and for the most part, there’s just no rhyme or reason as to why, or what sells best at any given time.  I know that sounds a little scary, maybe even financially risky, but the truth is, not really.

Sales are up and down through the year, but that’s normal for any business right? Booths cost money and on top of that there are usually fees. Fees are for things like security tags, credit card sales, liability insurance, and of course the percentage of sales that goes directly to the mall owner. Sounds like a lot, but in all honesty, it really isn’t. Where our booth is, rent and fees come directly out of our sales. We are starting our third year in October and only three times were a little short on rent. What’s a little short? Under ten bucks!

Keep in mind, antique malls are staffed. That means you don’t have to be there! All you have to do is keep your space stocked with inventory. A simple spreadsheet to oversee your inventory and financial stats is easy to maintain at home, and the best part, you can do all this on your own time. So we don’t mind paying fees, it buys us freedom to focus solely on our booth.

Like any business, location is crucial, and antique malls are no exception. It’s important the mall you choose is well known, well advertised, and a place where locals, tourists, and vintage collectors frequent often. Visit different antique malls during the week and again on weekends to see when or if they are busy. Look for a bulletin board or a special place on the checkout counter where there might be a calendar of events or special sale dates displayed. A good indication of a successful antique mall is one that hasn’t any empty booths for rent! Get on a waiting list, it will be worth the wait.

When choosing an antique mall, make sure you’re comfortable with their hours of operation. Weekend hours, holidays, and evening hours are a huge plus! Where we rent space the mall is open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm. The only day they are closed is Christmas, can’t ask for more than that!

Create an Inviting Booth

Take pride in your space. Be creative, simple, and with individual style. Its important to have prices that suit all budgets. Our rule of thumb is to have no more than five items priced $50 more, have most items around $20-25, a lot of items around $10, and a ton of items under $10. Many customers who see a lot of high priced items won’t even bother to enter a booth. Most people are looking for a bargain, so it’s always better to display affordable items of quality where they are highly visible. Moving your inventory around is also important, you’ll want to keep your items for sale looking fresh, a simple change of scenery in a small space makes a huge difference.

Types of Rental Spaces

Booths come in all sizes and prices, don’t be in a hurry to find to right space for you. Many antique malls rent wall space, small corners, and open cases with shelves to display smaller items. For valuable inventory, there are almost always glass cases for rent that can be locked.

Collecting and selling is an exciting adventure… enjoy!

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  1. Thank you for the informative post. I can’t imagine I will ever do something like this, but I do shop at places like this. It will make me question why I like and don’t like some booths.

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