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Selling your Stash (part two)

So maybe you have decided to jump in and rent a booth at an antique mall. Now what?? You will need a variety of merchandise. Every item in your booth should be for sale. If you have shelves, bookcases to display your merchandise, you should be willing to sell them if the price is right.

Clean and price your items. People are more inclined to buy something if they can take it home and start using it. If it needs to be fixed or cleaned up, they buy may pass. Be sure to educate yourself on how to clean certain items (linens, tins, wood furniture). You don't want to ruin the value by cleaning it.

I have a plastic tote with all my pricing materials. I take it with me every time I go to my booth. You never know when a price tag has come off or been removed. My plastic tote is pictured below.

I have pricing tags in a variety of sizes, tape, scissors, safety pins, string, markers, pencils, pens and a single hole punch. The safety pins are to attach tag to linens or other fabric items. I buy Avery marking tags in a small size for smaller items. I also pick up packs of labels, stickers and price tags at garage sales. I also have pricing tags I design and print.

I upload an image to and create my own tags. You can get 500 for about $20 which is comparable to regular price tags. I just recently upgraded to craft paper, which costs a little more, but I love the tags. Some malls require specific tags so check before you invest.

Most malls require the above information on the price tag. Booth number, price and description. You want to be as accurate as you can with the price tag.

I will pause here for a rant. Something I have learned over the years is that consumers will remove tags, switch tags, alter tags and outright shoplift items from antique malls. I had no idea people did this when I started dealing. Ensure your mall will call you if there is no tag. The consumer may say, "Oh, I think I saw a tag and it was $5," and maybe your item was really $15. One thing I learned the hard way is to always put a $ on your tag. I had a primitive trunk in my booth. I had 150.00 on it. Someone simply took a pen and made a $ sign out of the 1 on my tag and literally got a steal for $50.00. The nerve of some people is unending. You will probably get burned at some point. Don't let it discourage you. Rant over.

I also have a tote with cleaning supplies, a hammer, screwdrivers, glue, picture hanging materials, nails, tape measure, hand sanitizer, Chlorox wipes, packing tape and an utility knife. I also take this with me every time I go to my booth. Most malls require you to clean your booth. I am amazed at how dusty my booth gets. People will also leave their trash in your booth. Candy wrappers, water bottles, gum (yes, people are gross).

Gather your larger items first—furniture, shelves, anything that will sit on the floor. I staged things in my garage before I hauled things to my first booth. I have plastic totes for all my small items. I price merchandise as I acquire it and put it in a tote. It makes it simple when I load up to restock my booth. Think about accessories for staging. I pick up artificial flowers and stems at garage sales. I switch them out seasonally. Many items sell better if people can picture them in their home. Putting some flowers in an old pitcher help your customers visualize that it can be used for a vase as well. If you have an item that can be repurposed, stage it that way. Help your customer think outside the box about how items can be used.

A cookie jar without a lid can hold utensils.

Old canning jars become vases.

A suitcase holds cards at a graduation party.

An old planter can hold notepads.

A condiment dish can hold office supplies.

Staging your booth this way really helps sales. Give it a try!

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