This article offers tips for opening and operating a booth in an antiques mall.
You love antiques and collectibles. Perhaps the sight of a gleaming 19th
century mahogany china closet makes your heart beat faster, or maybe you have
an impressive collection of cookie jars from the 1950s. You’ve often daydreamed
of owning a quaint little antiques shop that’s overflowing with beautiful items
full of character and patina, but concerns about the time commitment, start up
costs and risks involved have prevented you from pursuing that dream. Why not
open a booth in an antiques mall instead?
In an antiques mall, antique dealers rent space from the mall owner in order
to sell their wares. The dealers purchase inventory, create their own displays
and decide upon pricing. There are much lower start up costs and risks, dealers
do not need to man the shop at all hours and they can take advantage of the
large number of customers attracted to the variety of antiques available from
the many different booths.
If you are interested in opening a booth, begin by visiting the antiques
malls in your area. Browse around the booths to get a feel for the place. Do
you like what you see? Is it busy? Would the antiques you want to sell fit in
at this mall? For example, if you plan to sell old farm tools, you probably
shouldn’t start out at a mall that primarily carries antique furniture and
draws customers looking for home furnishings.
Once you’ve found a few malls that you like, ask to talk to the owner or
manager and inquire about the conditions for owning a booth. Be sure to ask
about the amount of advance notice needed if you choose to leave the mall and
carefully read over any contracts before signing. Different malls will have
different requirements. Many will have a price per square foot of rented space.
In addition, many require a percentage of any sales. Some will request that you
work one day a month, helping customers and watching out for shoplifters. Some
will require a security deposit, perhaps one month’s rent. The owner may also
be able to tell you how to obtain a sales tax id number, if it is required
where you live.