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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Let’s Make a Deal


I was at the Antique Society antique mall yesterday afternoon down here in Sebastopol, CA, and this is a multi-dealer mall that I have been coming to since moving to Sonoma County about a year ago. It is not uncommon for shoppers to have dealer’s contacted with questions or to negotiate on pricing. Well today, there were a couple of items in a booth that I have had my eye for the last year and had some questions about the items as well as I wanted to make the dealer an offer on several of the items that I have seen for the last year. I talked to the dealer manning the floor, she took up front to talk to the manager and all I got was “NO”. They refused to contact the dealer. They told me the dealer was 80 years old and didn’t want to be bothered. I came back with the fact that I was interested in multiples of her items and had questions and wanted to make an offer on these items that have been in her booth for over a year now but they refused, refused to call the dealer. Mean while, a group of young ladies standing in the line next to me just got a terrific deal on some furniture as they were able to talk directly to the dealer of another booth. I was really bummed. I mean, if a dealer has items for over a year in their space, wouldn’t they be interested in hearing from a buyer that was interested in many of their items? How can the mall stand in the way of that?
Are you a dealer? Do you have a booth in a antique mall? I would love to hear your thoughts on this? If you have items for over a year in your space, would you want a call from a interested buyer??