Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vintage Dealer Interview No. 6 We Hart Junk

Hi friends. We're back! Did you miss us? We missed you and we sure hated to miss the dealer interview last week. But sometimes you just need to get away and recharge your batteries. But we hope we can make it up to us today, as we have added seven new questions to the end of the interview. And as always we are open for suggestions. So if you have a certain topic you would like addressed please shoot us an e-mail to: and we will do our best to get an answer. 

Today, we would like to welcome, Dawn from We Hart Junk. Thanks so much for taking some time to talk to us about your booth. 

1. How long have you been a vintage dealer? I have only been a vintage dealer for about 10 months.  I have always loved vintage and chippy rusty stuff, but an old friend gave me an opportunity to start as a dealer.  She believed in me and I am so thankful for her!  Never underestimate the power of an old friend being your cheerleader!

2. What type of setting are you in? I have sold in occasional sales, once in a flea market setting, and have two "booths" -  The two "booths" I have are shared with another person - we mix our things together.  Its fun and interesting for customers!

3. How many booths do you have? I have 2 booths - one in a gift shop and one in a vintage shop.

4. What size booth/s do you have? My booths are unique in that I share a room that is 8-10 feet with another dealer/friend of mine.  In the second shop, I have "shelves" and some floor space.  Its a unique set up, but it works!

5. What do you sell? I love vintage linens, vintage paper, ladders and crates, vintage kitchen, books, ball jars, any kind of vintage farm stuff, galvinized tubs, pails, drawers and cubbies and toolboxes!!!  And also many repurposed items from farm, kitchen, windows, doors.

6. What do you find sells the most in your booth? In the gift shop, I would say more "shabby chic" and "feminine things" like linens.  In the vintage shop, our repurposed items do the best - magnet boards out of old windows, rusty junk signs, etc.

7. What do find sells the least in your booth? Dishes!!!!

8. Why do you think your booth has been successful? First, because we love what we do and get excited for others when they find the one thing they love, and second, because we are careful how much we spend on our inventory.

9. How often do you refresh your booth? In the gift shop, I have only been averaging once a month, but when I do it more often, my sales are much higher.  In the vintage store, I refresh my shelves and floor space several times a month.

10.  What mistakes have you made and learned from as dealer? I am refreshing more often now - I learned that once a month is no where near enough.  I have also bought things that I LOVE, but that don't sell. (ex: vintage glass insulators), and then they sit and I have learned to buy things I BOTH love AND that sell!!!

11. What advice do you have for someone just starting out? Start small and buy smart.  If something is going higher than you want to pay, don't be tempted to raise your hand and bid because you are desperate for inventory.  If you starts small, and work on building up inventory by being a smart buyer, you won't overpay for inventory!

12. What do you think the number one mistake is that unsuccessful dealers make? 
I am too new to this business to have seen unsuccessful dealers.  I do know, however, from years of being a customer at stores, that if I walked into a booth and the first few things I see are priced over my budget, I walked out. So perhaps the price range of inventory has something to do with whether you are successful or not.

13. Do you do this full time? I work 4 days a week during the school year and 2 days a week during the summer.  We have a young family, and for now, this is a "side business". Long term, I would love to do it full time.

14. Do you stick to a specific color scheme with your booth? No I don't, but I love white and turquoise so you see a lot of blues and whites in my spaces.

15. Do you utilize social media, and if so, which ones work best? I use facebook as my main social media.  I know that is where most people are looking now so I need to do even more.  I also post on pinterest a little bit,  under We Hart Junk.

16. What is an average month in sales for your booth? Anywhere between 100-500 dollars, after commission.  I share my spaces, so I also share my sales since only half or less of the inventory is mine!  I also have some luck selling on craigslist or right from our We Hart Junk facebook page, so that income is in addition to my booth sales.

17. How do you break down and come up with your prices? I use ebay and etsy a lot to do price checks, and then I usually go with my gut.  I think, "if I were a customer, what would I pay for this"  I am a thrifty shopper, so I price accordingly.  I want my customers to be able to find something they love AND afford it!

18. Where do you find your vintage goods? My husband and I spend a lot of our free time at auctions.  Each auction is a new adventure!!!  We also do garage sales and estate sales.

19. Do you change your booth out to reflect the season and or holidays? Yes! Mainly just spring, fall, and Christmas.  Christmas is my favorite - lots of repurposed Christmas inventory!

20. Do you swap out stale merchandise or do you reduce it for a fast sale? I typically swap it out - although occasionally will mark it down.  I feel that my prices are very reasonable and I have usually done research to know to price fair so swapping out is typically the way I go.

21. Do you think booth location is important? Absolutely! As a long time customer, I was always in a hurry (babies at home or had to go to work), so I usually shopped the outside walls and biggest booths. And if I found something I loved at a booth, I would always go back, especially when in a hurry.  First impressions are so important!

22. Do you use any kind of inventory software for your personal use? We do not.  We started small and by many peoples' standards, We are still small.  We move inventory fast so as of now, its all handwritten, the old fashioned way.

23. Do you market your booth/s outside social media? I always have business cards and talk to people about what we are doing in hopes to spread the word.  Being passionate about your work is the best marketing tool! So does having a fun business name - Our last name is "Hart", so the name "We Hart Junk" usually intrigues people!!!!


arleen simpson mcalister said...

Dishes don't sell, thats funny, I just had a conversation with another dealer, she wanted me to buy some dishes, I said "I love dishes, but they don't sell", SO i AGREE with I Hart Junk, nice interview, I have been in the business 20+ years and agree with alot you said, good luck in your business Arleen

arleen simpson mcalister said...
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