Mastering the Antique Mall Business: A Dealer’s Perspective

As the sun rises, so does the anticipation of a day filled with the search for hidden treasures. The hustle and bustle of the Antique Mall begins, where hundreds of collectors, decorators, and everyday consumers flock in search of unique and valuable items. Mastering the Antique Mall Business: A Dealer’s Perspective, as a dealer at an antique mall with my husband, we’ve experienced the joys, challenges, and nuances that come with running a booth or showcase. This journey has taught me that success in this field is not just about having the most coveted antiques, but also about understanding the intricacies of location, mall rules, and customer engagement.

Geographical Location of the Antique Mall

Indeed, the geographical location of the antique mall itself plays a pivotal role in shaping the customer base and consequently, the success of your booth. The mall’s location can significantly influence the type of customers that frequent the place and their purchasing habits.

For instance, if your antique mall is located off the beaten path, more of a destination location, it may attract a different clientele. These customers are often serious collectors or antique enthusiasts who’ve made the trip specifically to peruse and purchase antiques. They are usually more inclined to make purchases, given they’ve invested time and effort to visit. For such locations, dealers should consider stocking rare, high-value items, antiques with historical or cultural significance, and unique collectibles that can’t be easily found elsewhere.

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Proven Strategies for Finding Antiques at Bargain Prices

For vintage buffs, antique malls, flea markets, and thrift stores are like Disneyland. It’s a place where dreams of finding hidden gems come true. While it may seem overwhelming at first, with a little know-how you can score some serious treasures without breaking the bank. So follow along and learn how to master the hunt with my expert tips for scoring antiques at bargain prices at antique malls, thrift stores, and vintage festivals. Happy hunting!

Buyers and sellers are all looking for the same thing in the end and that is a “bargain”. The buyer is looking for a bargain item to add to their collection and the seller is looking for a bargain item that they can re-sell for a profit. Many people today still ask “Are there any bargains out there left to be had”? My answer is YES, you just need to know how to spot the bargain and have patience.

Shopping Antique Malls

Treasure Hunting – as I like to call it requires lots of careful hunting, seeking, and searching to locate that bargain item.  Also, you have a lot of competition as you are not the only one out treasure hunting. With the popularity of online auction sites, antique & collectibles shops, more and more flea markets popping up regularly and shows like Antiques Roadshow, there are a lot of treasure hunters indeed. But, with that being said, all these venues for seeking treasure may actually make it easier to find a bargain…..that’s right, I said easier.

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Mid-Century Modern, Vintage and Turquoise at the Antique Mall


It’s been at least a couple weeks since I stopped into one of my ‘regular’ local antique malls. It really is ‘hit or miss’. Larger furniture items, paintings and lamps seem to be what sellers are putting in their booths these days. I am also seeing more and more Mid-Century Modern appearing mixed in with vintage and retro collectibles (pics below). This mall always has traffic and I have come early, late, and in the middle of the day on weekdays and weekends and always a steady flow of traffic and people buying. The weekend of March 14-16 is the mall’s 25 yr. anniversary sale so I hope the dealers will stock up their booths with lots of goodies!! I can’t wait for Spring to arrive (not just because of better weather) but for all the outdoor antique shows and sales!!  Hope you are all doing great and surviving the horrible weather that has bombarded much of the country!!






Not All Antique Sales are Created Equal

For the last couple weeks I have been super excited about the local multi-dealer antique mall here in Sebastopol, CA ‘Antique Society’ for their 24th anniversary sale where everything is 20% off. The sale started yesterday and goes through Sunday. We stopped by yesterday at practically the end of the day with only 45 mins till they closed. We walked inside, the display was awesome and welcomed you to ‘California in the Spring’ with lots of vintage metal and wicker patio furniture, plants and antique plant stands, lovely metal and intricate birdcages. The mall was ultra clean and the dealers really cleaned up their booths.

Once you got going and started walking through the booths it quickly became apparent that the dealers didn’t feel the need to fill their booths with new merchandise. A lot of booths have so much space and not much in them. I mean, this was the mall’s 24th anniversary sale and they had been advertising it for a while so people from all over San Francisco, Silicon Valley and wine country were going to drive up to shop. But, maybe that was the point……the sale would bring in ‘new shoppers’ that wouldn’t normally stop in so they wouldn’t know that the merchandise they were looking at had been sitting there for the past 2 years and that really nothing new had been added to the booths. But, us regulars know.

I am still so disappointed, I just so badly wanted to see some ‘new’ vintage and antique collectibles, not the same stuff I have been seeing for the past 2 years and go home with some new treasures after waiting and anticipating this sale for weeks.


Halloween at the Antique Mall


Went for a little stroll through the antique mall up the road. This mall usually has bigger items like large furniture, lighting, and paintings. Not many smaller type collectibles. It was nice to see that the mall is trying to incorporate some of the ‘seasonal’ type items and with Halloween just around the corner, I do think that adding a couple pumpkins and skulls here and there can make all the difference for a holiday effect.


Is It Spring Yet?

Spent a nice afternoon at a local antique mall. Seems lots of booths are ready for Spring as they have a colorful variety of garden furniture and decorations already out. Living in the South we don’t have the winters that lots of folks experience but it is a strange feeling when it is in the high 70 degrees here as it has been for the past few days and parts of the country are getting soooooo much snow!! I didn’t walk out with any finds today but it is always a treat to get to spend some time in one of my favorite antique malls. Here are a couple pics, you can click on the pics to enlarge.