I have been selling 30 years of antique accumulations from the farm and barn. It is all the stuff left over from doing the Marburger Farm show in Round Top, TX. I have only had a booth in a mall since January, so it has been a learning curve.
First, the mall I'm in has over 300 dealers. LOTS of stuff. Therefore, the dollars are spread out more. Secondly, I have noticed that the smaller stuff sells more - OK is in a recession and the choke point seems to be around $20.00.
The booth I'm in is about 8x8 feet; not big enough for furniture and crammed to the ceiling. I just love the booths that are spare and styled, but my thought is, if it isn't in there it won't get sold and I have to pay rent, a commission that goes to the mall and I pay all credit card fees (they don't accept checks.) It is difficult to keep it all orderly and leave room to walk around the booth freely. It is a lot of work. I had hoped to sell out quickly so I would't have to keep it going for too long.
And oh the joys of keeping up with my stuff. If it is missing, they encourage you to walk the entire mall to look for it. I did that for awhile, but quickly tired of that and wait for booth owners to turn it in to the front desk and they will return it. I have had things missing for a couple of months. I notice things that aren't mine right away, but evidently some booth owners never come in. I now have a new appreciation for putting something down across a store when I change my mind. It happens a lot.
Then, there is a crazy person that comes in regularly and tears through the far corners of my booth - turns it inside out. I'd like to smack them. No normal person would leave a booth in that condition. In fact, I had to remove all my textiles, like quilts and rugs, as I'd find antique quilts in a heap in the middle of the floor.
I've had a few 25% off sales, but I don't really sell more during them. How's that? I don't know as it would make a difference to me. Nonetheless, I haven't had a sale this month and won't for awhile. One item, an old metal Life Savers display, brightly colored and in great condition, sat there for two months. I marked the price up and it sold. I am just trying to make my money back, but will take a loss if I have to. But, some things are one of a kind, rare, and I refuse to give them away. Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face? It is hard to know. The market has changed. Whereas, large wooden English pieces were once all the rage, you can't give them away now. Thankfully, I don't have any. I love primitives, but now, in Tulsa anyway, they are not selling. They still sell in TX, but I have to wait for a buyer from TX to come through. The younger crowd don't like antiques so much anymore - they like modern and minimalism.
So what does all this have to do with the lamp in the picture? I saw this lamp and bought it to see if I could make money on it in the booth. I have only bought two things to sell in this booth. It is French, Art Nouveau from the 1890's. Heavy painted metal, it is also a candelabra lamp. It is beautiful, but not really my style. I got it all priced and ready to take to my booth, then at the last minute decided not to. Why, you say? Because I fear the customers will try and pick it up and mess it up or even worse, break it. I thought about putting a sign up - please do not touch - but they will. So, I sat it in the entryway and will ponder what to do with it.
It's a whole new world in antiques. This old antique has lost her touch. Not like the days when I was into it.