IMG_2920The booth’s appearance was wearing on me at HSAM. So I changed some things around. A 1-hour job took 4 or 5 hours.

I was tired of similar items in 2 or 3 different locations. I didn’t like that what was up front-and-center wasn’t selling and what was hidden might be good cash.

IMG_2921I also wasn’t pleased with the P-shape of the booth, with only one way in and out. In August, it’ll be a year that we’ve had the booth, so as you keep adding and adding furniture, shelving and goodies, the frame stays the same but the fat starts to bulge. I wanted a U-shape, with two ways people can enter or leave, without feeling trapped in, or like they’re going to trap another person in.

IMG_2931So, like a played-out Scrabble game, I tossed the board to start afresh … almost. I pulled the two 2-tier tables and put up a 3×4 cube shelf unit. This allowed us to use the vertical retail space (When you pay rent, you’re renting the air above your 10×13″ lot, so use it!).

IMG_2930All the mugs were grouped together. In some sort of fashion, all of the electronics and tools are together, the kitchen and cooking are kind of together. I relocated the mass market pocket books, and rearranged them so that the oldest books are less prominent. And the big pieces were moved to display differently: the Singer, the conversation table, the Schwinn (which a nice man dated for me–May 1972), and the military chest.

IMG_2932I think it looks fresh and I’m going to wait to bring up more goodies, assuming there will be some sections empty by the week’s end. Looks nicer, I think.

And yes, there will be more bottles for the 7-UP, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and beer lovers. Lots more bottles!


No Attached Feelings

When I first started selling my items that I had no use for, I noticed that I was pricing things higher based on how I felt about them.[1]Books of which I’d never read again, but loved the author, I couldn’t very well price those books lower than books I had no feelings for. But these books sometimes were just as low in competing prices, if not lower, than other books on Amazon.

Same went for CDs or movies I liked enough, but not enough to keep. Renting from the library is sufficient, but could I part with this item for $1.07 plus shipping when I paid $19.95 plus tax for it? Feelings and emotions have to be set aside when decluttering or flipping items.

Story: My wife and I went to an estate sale. The couple were losing their home and have to liquidate all of their possessions. I motioned to the books.

north-sea_hidden-passageway[1]“How much?” He started pointing to random books, paperbacks for this amount, hardbacks for that amount, but this one is twice the cover price. Why? Because he was mentioned in it.

“I’m on page 130!” he bragged.

So the %$#@ what?

I’m not on page 130, so why would I pay double the price of the book? Why would I even pay even half of the cover price? He was too attached to his possessions. He was emotional about his liquidation. Understandable, but still.

bigstock-bold-warning-stamped-on-tax-fo-41834719[1]When the estate sale ended, he was probably still sitting on a lot of possessions, and I would bet a C-note that he still has that book or the tax-man got it.

Just because something has sentimental value to you means little to the buyer who is interested in it. That gift, that heir, that name-drop might be worth only pennies on Amazon.

HSAM’s Anniversary Party, Friday at 6pm

The antique mall we have our booth at is having its anniversary party. This is not unlike the Customer Appreciation night that occurs in October.

13147717_1380954931933384_7435505708476190861_o[1]Vendors are encouraged to be there, and there will be a packed house. Awesome for people-watching–er, I mean, networking.

This will be a great opportunity to meet the vendors (each of us have SALES TAGS) and haggle with us. It’s also a great day for us to do a clearance, in order to bring in new items we’ve priced but haven’t had the booth space to put them.

So, come on out for a little bit:

Heritage Square Antique Mall
Booth C-62
1865 Brice Road
Columbus, Ohio 43232

And don’t forget to RSVP to the Facebook Event Page, which links HSAM and V+ URL’s.

See you there!

Spring to a Piece of History

It’s about that time of the year where things start warming up and people come out of hibernation.

IMG_1930We have been pleasantly surprised that not once has our antique booth lost money. Retail, while extremely fun, can be a scary place to dwell. You pick items that are low cost that you hope you can flip for a profit. You also pick items that you would break even on, but are just an awesome eye-catcher. And you pick items that you’re a little attached to. It’s the nature of the game: you can sell what you’re passionate about.

IMG_1931We’re passionate about history. We’re passionate about reused goods. We’re passionate about less manufacturing for new items. We’re passionate about items like clowns, 16mm cameras, comics, brass decor, kitchen goodies, and more. If you like something, you’re usually able to prop it, build it up, and move it.

IMG_1932We like old board games, antique tea cups with saucers, old cookbooks, out of date military course books, and non-electric tools. Many of these things we carry in the booth. We also put things on eBay.

Thinking of getting a display case, because I have SO many small items like coins, stamps, patches, jewelry, etc.

This is fun for us. And if you do what is fun, it’s kind of hard to call it work.

Still Winter – Indoor Shopping

Winter-snow-flakes-winter-22231260-1149-768[1]Well, it’s still February, and it’s still freakin’ cold outside. And snow-ish.

That means there are still no yard sales or flea markets for months. So how do you get your vintage shopping on?

EBTH_Email_Photo_Verticle[1]You can always do thrift stores, as I mentioned in a previous post, but I also love me some online auctions. I love two local websites (of which I won’t list or link here) for auction bidding, and I love (national, but has local auctions in Columbus).

233317_ts[1]I score pretty good on these, but I cannot stress enough that you have to know how to play the game. If you’re a common customer, you WANT the item, no matter how high the bidding goes. But as a retailer, you don’t NEED the item. Remember that you’re looking to flip the item for profit, whether you sell it on Amazon, eBay, Craigslist or your antique booth. So you bid intellectually, not emotionally.

The limits you place on yourself:

  • Bid Locally. On auction websites, the shipping can be pretty steep. If you bid local, you pick it up in person for no shipping cost.
  • Bid for the Day. That is, don’t bid on an auction where the pick-up day and time will NOT work for you. There are storage  and transfer fees, and you can get banned for not picking up your goods.
  • Bid for Price. Don’t keep watching the auctions to see if you’re outbid. Know what the item could sell for, put your max bid around 1/8 to 1/2 of that amount, and leave it alone. UNLESS, there is an item you just have to have. Still: Is it a NEED?

16mm-Projector-Rental-with-Film[1]I have a ball doing this. And I get some pretty cool stuff also. I’ve pulled away from old books, china plates and cups which aren’t selling very well, in order to focus more on 16mm cameras, vintage board games, and brass decor. In two months, the trend could go back to books or porcelain, or the new trend could be something I haven’t even considered.

With a little research, practice, spare time, and disposable cash, you can have fun AND profit at local auctions, as well.

January = No Yard Sales

It’s snowing outside, and we’re about to enter the “hump day” of the season of Winter. Needless to say, there are no garage or yard sales.

So, where does one get inventory to sell on eBay, Amazon or at an antique booth?

a4217f06a4b6c1d58b29239a252e2654[1]Well, thrift stores are a definite. You can get awesome goodies at a fair price. Note that you’ll have to do some cleanup, by washing this or dusting that. Some things even need to be repaired. Some things shouldn’t be touched at all.

candydish[1]But you have to budget. Don’t just grab anything. Some things you’re on the fence about, just leave it on the shelf. Or you can fill up your cart, and make a mental price that you won’t go over. In your head, count up what you have and put stuff back.

Color-discount-tag-label-vector-material-54378[1]Acknowledge when your thrift stores have discount days. Some have different tags on sale on different days. Some have a certain day of the month that everything is half off. These are the days or sales that you can buy more liberally, to take a risk on what might be profitable.

Bloodsuckers-Board-Game-Thrift-Store-Haul-July-5[1]While you are buying to make a profit, have fun, and don’t forget that you can reward yourself with something fun. Making profits on sold items should help not only pay the bills, but help you build your own collections, home decor or wardrobe.

Love is in the Air

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so loved ones are shopping for their significant others.

boxset-greenhornetWe have not only offbeat and weird things, but we pretty much have anything your loved one might be interested in, topic wise.

We have Captain America, Iron Man and Incredible Hulk comics for the Avengers fan in your household.

IMG_1054For the DC Comics fan in your life, we have several older Batman/Detective Comics and Superman/Action Comics. We also have an unhealthy selection of pre-1993 Spider-man and Punisher comics.

DSC01668For the gamer, we will soon be bringing up a complete Atari 2600 with about a dozen games. For the crafter, we have a beautiful Singer sewing machine in cabinet, with tons of goodies in the drawer.

book-DSC08795For the tool guy, we have lots of hand-cranked drills, drivers and what not. We also have some cool Freemasonry items: a beautiful plate, an apron of the departed, a couple of mugs, an ashtray, and an unblemished family Bible from the 40’s.

IMG_1190Recently I scored several 45 RPM records at a fair price, considering they don’t have sleeves. I have however found some plain sleeves on Amazon at about 25 cents each. I’m hoping that the David Bowie “Rebel Rebel” sells well, what with his sad death.

pez-DSC08432For the PEZ lover, we have all kinds: Sesame Street, TMNT, Disney, Star Wars, Muppets, Justice League of America, the Avengers, as well as heart-shaped ones with “Happy Valentine’s Day” on them.

We’re always open to keeping our eyes open for items for you! If there is something you want us to keep an eye out for, we will. Just have to let us know.

IMG_1178Don’t forget that we have things NOT at our antique booth (Heritage Square, #C-62, Columbus OH). They’re either at home waiting for booth space, OR they’re on one of our eBay accounts. Links are on the left of the VP site.

Replacing Christmas

No, not the holiday itself.

The other day, we pulled all of the holiday goods in the booth. This is to make room for more goodies.

10367165_10156473469950691_8453808517027250109_n[1]Today, we’re bringing up new shelving, which should work better than the black, plastic shelves. Those have grooves and seems to take up too much floor space.

With the new shelves, we can keep things closer to the wall perimeter, and make things on the shelves and walls easier to reach. If you’ve been in our booth, you’ll know what I mean.

8290_10156473456975691_1805173350379864590_n[1]There’s still lots of cool things, but some of which I’ll take back with me to the house and throw up on eBay. We have tons and tons of plates that aren’t moving. It’s either one of three things (or a combo):

  • Our newbie brice is too high
  • The stacks are too unmanageable
  • There just isn’t a brick-&-mortar demand

1919183_10156473482100691_653575319760103061_n[1]Same goes with many of my Batman glasses from fast food establishments. They’re just not moving, so we’ll leave a couple up but take the excess home.

10012462_10156473454770691_4164935349138396107_n[1]We’ll also be bringing up some fresh content. Some things we’re excited about is an ultrasound machine (already placed), a Raggedy & Ann high chair, a vintage sweeper, a beautiful cherry half-circle table, an early 1900’s Singer sewing machine (on Craigslist now), some awesomely old comics (12-cent & 20-cent covers), and some older badminton rackets.

10312579_10156473464190691_4147147365691845878_n[1]So, give us about 24 hours and the booth will look totally different, with fresh content. Anything you want us to keep an eye out for while we’re picking, let us know.

Christmas Decor

IMG_0928We have acquired a lot of Christmas decorations, platters, pie plates, and weird knick knacks and brought them up to the booth.

The irony is, we aren’t very holiday-celebrating as a couple, but acknowledge that celebrations and festivals are important to a lot of individuals and families.

Strangely, there are a lot of these winter goodies still in the booth. If you’re looking for tasteful and nostalgic or offbeat and strange, we probably have something for your tastes.

IMG_0929Basically, we’re planning on packing up these goods in a couple of weeks for next Christmas season, but wanted to let you all know that if you’re looking for a last minute gift, there are some $1.00 and $2.00 holiday items … not just Santa and deer. 😀

Personal Hits

Well, I had my first heartbreak. We had a theft in our antique booth. Nothing serious, but the personal attack feels real.

s-l1600[1]A $60 comic was swapped out with the bag of a $1 comic, and the cashier didn’t catch the title difference.

This is after a $30 item was broken, a few small dollar amount items were dropped and left shattered on the floor.

s-l225[1]And I noticed the same day, adding insult to injury, that someone put all of the accessories from a camera in with the camera they bought, both were labeled, “Polaroid Camera with Case and Accessories.” Essentially, they got twice the amount of film, adaptors, bulbs and whatnot, leaving the other Polaroid case empty but for the camera.

Stealing from rich big-box stores is almost understandable, but stealing from a family trying to make ends meet is quite another thing. I never understood the poor or working class stealing from each other.

But that is the business of retail. The loss comes out of my pocket, and makes me suspicious of everyone that enters the booth now. I’ll heal emotionally and will continue on, but wanted to write a little something, to vent and put into words the invasion and disrespect I felt.

I love vintage goods and antiques, and try to get others to appreciate the history and existence of dusty, old stuff. This appreciation and education is a lesson.