Does the title of this blog post give it away? Okay, it might not be the most creative title I have come up with but it is what this post is about and I want to share my experiences, suggestions, do’s and don’ts, etc. if you are possibly thinking of making this small business adventure as well.
I am currently a booth vendor for two separate stores and I absolutely love it!!! I’ve only been doing this since the beginning of this year but have learned so much and realize I wish I would have taken the chance a long time ago! The two stores are a little different in the fact that one emphasizes more of a vintage and antique appeal, whereas, the other definitely specializes in primitive country.
Vintage & Antique Primitive Country
Choosing a store that you’re comfortable with is of utmost importance. After all, this is a business…YOUR business!! For years, I have shopped in both of these stores and knew that they had high foot traffic and quality vendors which were both factors that appealed to me. Below, I have listed factors that should weigh in to your decision on becoming a vendor and if so, what store or antique mall to choose.
Factors to Consider:
- Rent (national average is $2.00/sq. ft.) You will also want to ask store owner if they take a certain commission percentage from your sales. Stores that don’t require a commission often charge vendors a certain percentage for credit card sales.
- Contract with store owner – best if you can go month to month. You’ll want to double check your contract to see if the store owner pays the sales tax or if you are expected to do so.
- Your selection of items. You need to make sure that your collection is diverse enough to interest a broad spectrum of buyers.
- Inventory! Acquiring enough items to sell when your booth first opens. Keep in mind, that you’ll need more items to sell and always want to have an adequate inventory.
- Location! You always hear location, location, location when real estate or a business is concerned. It is most definitely true. As mentioned above, a good location is going to help maintain great foot traffic as well as appeal to new customers.
- Reputation. Look around the store or mall that you are interested in and check out the quality of the other vendors or if there are many vacancies. Habitual sales in a particular store, especially ones that are consistently offering 50% off should be a red flag.
Once your decision is made and your booth is ready for move in…the fun begins!!! You definitely want to pack as much merchandise as you can into your booth. However, you don’t want to scare potential customers off with too much clutter in that they’re afraid they will knock something over. I, personally like a flow to my booth in which the customer enters and will need to walk around to see all the displayed items. Therefore, the aisle(s) need to be kept clear.
Over time, you will learn what appeals most to your clientele and display accordingly! Visual merchandising is one of the most important aspects since this is what is going to make customers want to enter your booth. A lot of booths have colored peg boards, so it is necessary to make them appealing as possible!
Like I said earlier, I love being a booth vendor and the opportunity it brings to the other part of my business which is home décor and interior decorating! Hope these tips help and that you get to take this step if it is our passion! I’d love to hear back from you…with comments, questions, etc. Thank you for taking the time to stop by!!