Being in the right place at the right time is what makes any shopper successful. This is especially true of an antiquer. Hitting the Goodwill just after the most awesome corner shelf or ironstone dish is placed out on the floor, visiting an estate sale on the 50% day and seeing the perfectly chippy pie safe waiting for you, getting up early to tour garage sales and finding great blue glass Ball jars for next to nothing, finding and displaying merchandise in the booth just before that shopper who falls in love with a pricey cabinet comes in....it really all is a game of 'just in the nick of time.'
Here are some timing stories of recent good fortune:
-searching Craigslist just minutes after a seller posts just the right piece; I found two great shabby kitchen cabinets, a red cart, and two green side tables on Craigslist.
-selling a piece on Craigslist - can you believe that I listed a rusty metal shelf and then communicated with the buyer to later find out that she too is a vendor at the antique mall?! The piece went from my booth to hers.
-running into two Craigslist sellers at the antique mall while I am in my booth, and the object I bought from them is there too! Is that not coincidental that they are there, while I am there, and that our paths cross?!
-the annual Austin Summer Camp Fair at the Palmer Event Center taking place at the same time as the Citywide Garage Sale on Saturday; Andrew had a YMCA booth there and with it came a parking pass - we actually rode together AND I got to park in the vendor lot! What a stroke of great timing! I put that $7 savings toward the early shopping pass.
-choosing to be an early shopper at Citywide yesterday and finding some great pieces that I would like to convince myself wouldn't have been there had I not gotten there to wear the coveted 'early shopper' nametag.
-meeting a talented vendor at Citywide and striking up a conversation about her great stuff; mentioned I was at the antique mall and she asked me to describe where my space is. I explain and she says, "Did you have a large turquoise cabinet?" Turns out she is the proud new owner of that and a few of my screens. As she said, we are kindred spirits! Check out Janet's work at blog.talksweettalk.com and her posts about the "blue hutch"!
-having good sales again this week and getting to my Leprechaun-attacked booth to clean up yesterday's aftermath just before the height of a high-traffic day
I thought my recent booth destruction was bad - this one took the cake. But, I did invite the Leprechauns back to do some shopping, and the invitation is still happily extended.
and back to good timing:
-rearranging and stocking new merchandise and getting OUT of the booth just before deterring shoppers. My recent trend on the weekend is to not get to the mall before the middle of the afternoon, which is the mall's busiest time (I hope I stop that trend...). I hate being there in my booth while shoppers are in full force, usually because I think my presence prevents them from shopping in it. Today I got there right about 2, and there weren't many shoppers there until just as I was leaving at 3.
-or, conversely, being at the booth when a shopper falls in love with your piece. This has happened to me a few times, and not only is it so nice to hear people say they like your style or merchandise, but it is also extra flattering when the shopper picks out a purchase while you are there.
-having a friend host a 31 party just when I realize I need a better organizing 'booth bag.' I lost my camera twice in the same messy bag today. I can't count how many times I've had to pick up the spilled contents from the floor of the car. I can't wait to get a new 'utility organizing bag' so I don't have to search for my tape measure, pencil, staple gun, price tags, scissors, etc.
Andrew visited the booth with me today and helped me carry in new pieces. He hasn't been to the booth in quite some time, so he had some interesting observations. After he reads that I shared a few of them on here, he probably won't be back for quite some time again.
-Andrew: "Did you take my old baseballs?" Sarah: "No, I bought those - they are vintage." Andrew (while customers are in the next booth): "You are charging $5 for them? They aren't even worth that new!" Sarah: "Well, here, they are worth more used than new. And they aren't $5, they are an additional 20% off, which makes them $4." (Side note: My baseballs may be overpriced, but I saw some in a great booth two weeks ago and they were marked $12 each!) I need to find those vintage baseballs he thought I took...
-Andrew, picking up a bag of candy hearts from my bag of items I brought it, "Why are these in here?" Sarah: "I thought I would use them for Valentine's Day decor in this bowl." Andrew, in condescending tone: "Are people actually going to eat them?!" Customers walking by.
Guess next weekend I will be unloading items without help. But I did appreciate it while it lasted - thank you, Andrew!
The current state of booth #309: