How to Rent Space at an Antique Mall

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If you've been toying with the idea of opening your own antique shop, take that notion for a test drive by setting up shop at a local antique mall. Here, many different dealers rent space to display their wares, creating a one-stop shopping bonanza for collectors.

Things You'll Need

  • Display Cases
  • Booth
  • Display cases
  • Merchandise

Take inventory to see if you have enough merchandise to fill up the space you rent. Remember, the more diverse your inventory, the more shoppers you'll entice.

Choose a mall with good foot traffic and a friendly staff. Ask yourself, "Would I shop here?"

Weigh your commitment. You will pay the mall owner rent for the space you choose, plus a portion of your sales income-- 10 percent is common.

Choose a space. A display case may be all you need if you're selling sports cards or jewelry. Some malls even rent single open shelves. If you have furniture, you'll want a booth. Prices vary from state to state.

Know the local market and what appeals to the mall's clientele. If you have a lot of diverse items but not what shoppers want, the merchandise won't move.

Display your wares in a way that makes it easy for passersby to see what you have for sale. Don't stack items on top of or in front of each other.

Give customers room to shop. Don't pack your booth so full of merchandise that people can't get close to items they want to look at. Collectors are hands-on shoppers.

Price your goods appropriately and fairly. Consult price guides and compare your merchandise to that of other sellers in the mall when pricing items. If something doesn't sell, mark it down. Discounted tickets will attract attention.

Keep your booth or display case looking fresh by bringing out new merchandise. If it appears the same from week to week, repeat shoppers will walk by without a second glance.

Let mall employees handle the sales for you. One of the advantages of showing merchandise in an antique mall is that you don't have to deal with customer questions and requests.

Review your progress, keeping a close eye on profits. Contracts for mall space tend to be short-term, and either party can terminate them, which is to your advantage if you find the antiquemall route isn't for you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Think like a business owner. Keep items dusted and looking their best. Faded price tags indicate to shoppers that no one is minding the booth.
  • Label items with as many facts as you have, including the date an item was made, its rarity, and any information on its provenance. All those factors will help make a sale.
  • Make sure your insurance is sufficient and up to date. If merchandise is stolen, broken or lost in a fire, the owner of the items, not the owner of the mall, is responsible for their loss.

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