Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What You Need To Consider When Renting An Antique Booth

Advice On Renting An Antique Booth   
Let's talk turkey...and I am not referring to Thanksgiving, I'm talking about renting a booth space in an Antique Mall or Antique group shop. How much should one expect to pay for leasing space and what kind of space is right for you?  My experience as a leasee covers a few decades. I have been known to stuff my kitsch n collectibles into shelves, showcases, open shelves, small booths, large booths as well as odd shaped nooks and crannies. I love challenging spaces.

Everything And The Kitsch n Sink
I even  offered to clean the bathroom of one Antique group shop in exchange for allowing me to hang my kitschy decor on the walls. The joke is that I sold more stuff from the bathroom than from  my open shelves at the opposite end of the store.

What Kind Of Space Do You Need For Your Antique Business?

There are many different types of rentals available including showcases, booths (full or half) and shelves.  If you walk into a lovely store and they show you a nicley placed open shelf unit or perhaps an available half  booth  (i.e. 6' X 9")  would you know if that is a good deal or not? Here are some of the questions to review.

 What You Need To Consider When Renting An Antique Booth

1. How large is the group shop or Antique Mall ( how many dealers are there?)
2. How much traffic does the Antique Mall get.
3. How many years has the store been in business?
4. How many days is the store open?
5. How much space will you get?
6. Do you have to work the floor?
7. How much stuff do you have?
8. What is the average price your items will sell for?
9. How big is your stuff?
10. Does your stuff need to be locked up?

How Much Do Antique Booths, Showcases, Open Shelves Rent For? 

Remember rental prices vary  throughout the country.  But  most stores that I am familiar with offer full booths  at $200 -350.00 a month and half booths $125.00 -175.00 a month.  You may also find that you can rent open shelves or showcases for $75.00-200.00 depending on size and placement.

What Are You Planning On Selling In Your Antique Booth Or Showcase?
So readers how do you begin figuring all this out....what will make sense for you...a booth (half or full), a showcase, shelving and where?  First I would ask what are you  planning on selling? If you like to go to tag sales and pick up a little of this and a little of that....does this and that add up to what your rent is? If most of what you have to sell are collectibles under $15.00-20.00, will you make your rent?

On the other hand if you are selling gorgeous antique and collectible perfume bottles and you have a following, a showcase for $150.00 might be just fine. But don't take a showcase for selling Beanie Babies in 2012-2013 cause you'll get burnt!

Where Is The Antique Mall Or Group Shop?

Now that we have cleared up what you are selling and if you can make the rent . Where is this Antique Mall or group shop you are considering? If you have to bring an Eagle Scout with you to find it you may be in trouble. On the other hand if the antique store is located on a main road, has been around for a long time and has a waiting list, that's a positive sign.

How Many Days Is The Antique Store Open?

And how many days is the antique group shop open? Is this a 7 days a week place? Or is it only weekends? Use your noodle, why pay the same amount of money for a weekend place as for a place that is open full time, sevens days a week?  While you are contemplating your options, also  look at  how many people are on hand helping customers in the prospective store you want to rent space in. I would also wonder about how well the store is managed.  Are all the moving parts working together for a smooth operation?  Do you feel comfortable in this store?

How Frequently Will You Get Paid?

Some antique stores are run with fancy computer systems while others (even successful ones) use
old fashioned  record keeping? Find out more about how sales are processed. Is there a administrative charge deducted from your check? Do you have to do floor time? How often will you get paid? How does the store keep track of inventory? What kind of record will you receive etc.

 Is This Where You Want Your Antique Business To Be  

 Before you sign on the dotted line, is this store conveniently located ? Remember you will need to replenish your stock frequently. Can you see yourself travelling easily to this store? Do you  like the staff?  Is this where you want your Antique business to be?

I welcome comments, experiences, suggestions, ideas from my readers.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.com Visit my website, CDianneZweig.com Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists


  1. What I would like to know is: Do both of those adorable sets of canisters belong to you? I really am a fool for kitchen stuff! Also, your post contains some very valuable information. I love antique malls, but have to say that I'm most attracted to the ones with the best displays. Some of them instantly draw you in. I always go back to the dealers with the best prices.
    Thanks for the great info! Keep blogging!


  2. One of the shops where I rent space is a very "low tech" operation. They take cash only - no checks or credit cards. I almost didn't take the space because I thought that would turn away potential customers. But fortunately there were other dealers there who told me it has not been a problem (it helps that there is an ATM right next door). So I took the space, and they were right. It is always helpful to talk to your fellow dealers.

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  4. Diary of a thrift store girl...both sets of canisters I believe are sold.

  5. Hi C. D. Z.

    Having recently opened a booth in a local antique mall here in St. Louis (The Green Shag Market) I'd like to offer a small bit of advice to anyone considering the prospect: so long as it does not Bind you to taking a booth (which I can't imagine it would) go ahead and put yourself on the waiting list for a booth, even if you aren't absolutely positive that you are going to open one. I hesitated and instead of waiting a couple weeks, I ended up waiting months for a booth to open up. He (or she) who hesitates may never arrive. Also, it's a good idea to keep track of your own inventory, what has sold, how much YOU paid for it and how much UT sold for. Thank God I've got a wonderful Girlfriend who likes to keep track of these things fir me. It's the only way to know if you are making any real money at this...and you may need this info come Tax time!

  6. Another major consideration that should be made is the overall merchandise trends of your prospective antique mall. It is best to follow a shop for a period of time, or talk to other vendors or locals who are more familiar with the mall than you are. They can tell you how the mall is trending, if the merchandise offered by its vendors has gone up in quality or down in quality over time. If what the mall has to offer (inventory wise) is trending down, i.e. the overall quality seems to have diminished with each successive wave of sales, and the inventory brought in by vendors to replace the sold items is of lesser and lesser value, the image of the mall could be taking a hit before you ever even rent a booth. No matter how great or fresh your items are, if half of the vendors are being allowed to stock the mall with junk, gaining repeat customers will be a struggle. This seems to be more of a problem with newer, less-established shops.

    -Morgan Montgomery-


  7. Hi, I’m intereted in Avignon antique fair. Let me
    know the fair schedule of 2015 and if you have any other information about antiques collectibles