Monday, April 17, 2017

Dear Antique Mall Shoppers: A Tired Rant

Dear shoppers,

We love you visiting our booths. We love hearing you talk about how you mother/grandmother/you had one of those bowls/mixers/churns/etc once, and how you used it. We love talking to you about your memories and the things you enjoy. We work hard to stock our booths with exactly the kind of things that will stir memories, make you think creatively, or perhaps even think of someone you love who might like x, y, or z.

Today, though, was not a lot of fun. There were many of you passing through my booths as I worked cleaning shelves and adding new stock. Perhaps you didn't see me there, unwrapping items and putting them on the shelves? Perhaps you thought I was just a paid flunkie, working for minimum wage? Believe me, when all is said and done, I probably make less than that at what I do.

I don't know what you were thinking, but I sure could hear your comments:

"Oh my God! Really, $150 for that??" (Yes. And you will not find another like it any where for less than $200, because I try hard to keep my prices within reason so people can afford this stuff.)

"Why would this yardstick be $10? It's not worth $2.00." (Because it's from the 1930's, has a store name on it AND is from this very town. That's why.")

"I don't think this is actually Depression glass." (Yes it is, and glows beautifully under black light, thank you.)

"I LOVE this. Oh, it's $4.00. Well, hmmmm...." (Okay, a Fire-King mug from the 50's should be worth a little more than a Wal-Mart made-in-China mug, but whatever.)

And so it went all day. In the end, you bought one $2.00 yardstick. I heard your comments, and even had pleasant discussions with some of you about items and memories and what things are worth to whom. Meanwhile, I'm paying rent, driving miles to buy items and stock my booths, researching, cleaning, pricing and packing all this stuff and hauling it up here, working hard to keep a clean and attractive place for you to browse, and putting my money on the line while I wait for you to buy my stuff.

I am really glad you came to browse. I hope you enjoyed your time picking things up and putting them down and talking loudly about prices and what you think of them. Meanwhile, I am glad to be home with my glass of wine, letting your snarky comments roll off of my back.


One tired vendor.

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


Bbj said...

On the most important day in the history of the world-Easter_the resurrection-and people are so rude! Maybe they should reflect on the meaning of the day! Ignore those comments-they have no clue!

Quinn said...

How rude!

Gwyn Calvetti said...

So sorry to read this. Some people want it all for nothing.

Granny Sue said...

Well you know how we are :) We see the price sticker and think wow! They're trying to get rich here! I think often of the craftspeople and artists I see at fairs and festivals, sitting for hours after creating, packing, pricing, hauling and setting up their wares. It has to be frustrating for them too, to hear such thoughtless comments.

Mac n' Janet said...

Dealing with the public is always hard, even when they're kind and thoughtful.

Boud said...

This happens all the time! I used to deal in antiques and would hear oh I threw one of those away! And in my life as an exhibiting artist, similar. Among the worthwhile comments I hear well look what they're getting away with! She must be wealthy! Not realizing how rarely​ people biy original art...and asking if the show is just up for one day.. It's a year's work!

But I bet you do get appreciative customers too? And I bet the other vendors get it. Incidentally I need you to drop me a line with your mail address when you get a minute. Tx!

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