Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Done: Looking Back at the Weekend Sale

Hot. Humid. Happy.

That about sums up our four days selling at the annual antique and flea market in Fairplain, WV. This was our second year as vendors at this market, and it was quite a bit different from our first year.

the rustic corner
The most obvious difference was our space. This sale is held in the county livestock market barn, so when we arrive to set up the place smells, ummm, earthy. And it's dusty. After last year's initiation, we learned a few things. First, we asked for a better spot that had a concrete floor, and we ended up with a bigger (and more expensive) area that had 2 great advantages and one not-so-great that we didn't know about at first.
The old flag looked so good I decided we'll keep it to use at other sales. We sold most of the
windows we brought, and that lamp in the photo

The two good things: good lighting and a big industrial fan overhead. We added more lighting with fluorescent shoplights overhead and a few lamps that I wanted to sell. We also brought our own vintage fan that is an incredible air-mover.

The not-so-good thing: because this was a cross aisle, we missed a good bit of the traffic as people seemed to opt to go around the outer circle and not to go across where we were set up.

We also learned last year that we needed something to cover the rails, as they are not very clean (and being a cow barn, you can imagine what's on them). I bought a roll of white plastic table covering and that worked pretty well, although I think white sheets would be easier, given the fans blowing in almost every booth. The concrete floor was nice too, except for being hard on feet and legs. At least it was a level surface, though.

We brought better stuff this year. Last year I brought lower-end things and old doors, windows, tools, etc. Our sales were pretty good but I had lots of the glassware left over at the end. This year I brought more furniture and better quality furniture and glassware/smalls, and some unique items like the walking wheel (large spinning wheel), wagon wheels, etc. I also brought windows, sleds, some old tools, and other more rustic items.

The number of people who came to the sale seemed lower than last year, probably because with the 4th being on Tuesday many people had to work Monday and could not take a long weekend that extended to Tuesday. The hot, humid weather might have kept people away as well, and the ramped up 4th of July activities in town also competed for crowds.
Sold! To a sweet young couple.

So how did we do? Well, we sold about the same dollar amount as last year. I brought home far fewer smalls, and we sold several larger pieces, like the dresser, a treadle sewing machine table we'd made, two old wheelbarrows, and a few small tables. I got smart and put glassware I wanted to get rid of into boxes--$1 a piece, or the whole box for $5! We sold many dollar pieces, and then a lady came and bought it all. Awesome!
Lamp, shelf and wheelbarrow all sold 👍

Buyers loved the $1 hankies and doilies, and pulled through the trunk of quilts happily. Men looked at the tools but we sold almost none of them, and the wagon wheels got lots of lookers but no buyers. Everyone loved the antique bentwood rocker but not enough to buy it. They also loved our old fan and we could have sold it over and over if we'd wanted to.
Love this bike! 1950's Western Flyer with front basket. Attracted attention but didn't sell.

As I learned last year, this market draws bargain hunters. Everyone wants to haggle prices, everyone is looking for a steal. I learned last year to set my bottom price and stick with it and not be deterred by the many wiles of the flea market shopper. It was fun, and sometimes funny.
The quilt trunk was a hot spot in the booth. We sold several.

I gave away some china to a lady who makes crafts with it, and 4 boxes of miscellaneous stuff went to the thrift store today. We'd brought in about 7 loads in our vehicles and came home with 4 loads, so we sold or got rid of about half of what we brought.
The swing sold the first day, as did the little wire candleholders I painted that are hanging above it.

Will we do it again next year? Maybe. Probably. It's a good way to unload stuff from our booths that has not moved in a reasonable time, and to reduce inventory. It's also a good way to promote our booths--I had our card there to hand out and was able to tell many people where we were located. I also had my storytelling brochure, cards and merchandise there and had several enquiries about that.

It's also hard, hard work. As we get older that becomes a consideration with so much lifting needed to set up and then take it all down. So some of our decision will rest on how well we are when the time comes to reserve our space. We also need to decide if we want to go back to the same booth or try to get one more in the main traffic flow. Signage might help if we take this one again, and return shoppers will look for us there. Decisions, decisions, We were among the few vendors who did as well as last year; many said their sales were down this year, so I am satisfied that we at least did all right.

We still have to finish unloading the vehicles and get everything sorted for storage or the booths. But that can wait. The rest of today is for rest, right? So why is Larry out there unloading the truck?

Sigh. Back to work!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

2 comments:

Boud said...

So good to read your narrative and your thinking ahead for next year. You lead an interesting life, always something up!

Granny Sue said...

Thank you, Boud! It will help me next year to plan and prepare if we do it again. We probably will--it's a good way to make some $$$ in a short time.

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