Seriously, last month sucked.
I did everything I was supposed to - cleaned, added, removed, restocked, rearranged, promoted, etc, but to no avail.
If there's no traffic at the mall, there are not going to be any sales.
Here's the sad broken-down evidence of this month:
Pathetic, isn't it?
I only made $40 and my rent is $90. $50 loss right there, not even taking into account what I paid for the items and the gas to the thrift stores and antique mall. And that other little thing - my time. I haven't done that math yet. I don't want to actually.
I'm super discouraged and don't really see it getting any better.
I chose the Plano Antique Mall (run, run from the mall fellow vendors!!) because I liked the feel of the mall. It wasn't snooty and snobby like the other ones I visited. Things seemed reasonably priced, not so outrageously expensive that no one would ever purchase anything.
But it's not in the best location. Centrally located in the middle of the city, sure, but at the end of this pretty much abandoned "mall" with a lone Garden Ridge on the opposite side. For years I would occasionally stop into the Garden Ridge and never even knew the antique mall was there. Maybe that should have been my first clue....
It doesn't seem to be very professionally run either. They're in the middle of replacing the worn-out carpet in the aisles with tile. After they did my aisle, I came in to restock and found my booth all messed up. My heavy maple bookcase packed full of breakable merchandise was shoved into the booth, facing backwards so that no one could see inside. I think I see now why I made no sales while I was out of town though. Dried up mortar and grout were everywhere too.
The thing that really bothers me though is that the mall lets anyone rent a booth. They don't care if you're selling vintage or antiques. A booth of month-old magazines at a discount? Sure! A huge corner full of new Tom's shoes? Why not! Crafts not worthy of a garage sale? Of course! As long as they're getting their rent money, they don't care who takes a booth. But in the end, that hurts everyone selling antiques and vintage. Because who wants to return to shop at a mall filling up with pointless booths? Apparently no one.
Lesson learned though. I have 3 months left and I'm counting the days until I'm out of there.
In the meantime, I'm opening up a second Etsy shop to sell all the vintage items. I'm slowly listing things, sneaking them out of the booth and into the shop. Slow going, but eventually I'll make the complete transition to selling online.
I don't mean to be a total Debbie Downer about selling at an antique mall. My main advice though is to take your time choosing a location. Visit it numerous times and make sure the traffic flow in the store is good. Talk to other vendors if you see them stocking their booths and ask questions. Choose your store wisely if you decide to sell in a brick and mortar store, because odds are you'll be locked in for at least 6 months. I was so eager to start selling I didn't do enough research about the mall. Learn from my hasty mistake, and hopefully you'll have success!
But as for me, Etsy's the way to go! At least I'm hoping! Fingers crossed that I make my first sale soon!
Oh, and happy birthday to me! 28! Woo!! Getting too close to 30 now! :)