Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Three Easy Ways to Get Holiday Traffic Through Your Doors

We got an email the other day from a new shop owner. She just bought a small antique business earlier this year. She said sales have been slow and she wanted to know what she could do to get holiday traffic through the door. So we figured there might be other shop owners out there wondering the same thing. Here are several ways. 

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Most shops big and small host a holiday open house. For those that don't, we highly recommend it. Get with your dealers and create a sign-up sheet for volunteers. Usually, a dealer will volunteer for 2-4 hours at a time. They can help with things like wrapping purchases, walking the aisles, assisting customers or replenishing snacks.  rYou can also create a snack list and ask dealers to bring in cookies, drinks etc. If everyone pitches in it will make things run more smoothly. Be sure to share your event on all your social media platforms too. 

PHOTOS WITH SANTA We all know parents love taking photos of their children. So hire a Santa this year and give them another great reason to visit. Most shops hire a Santa for the day which is usually a Saturday and they will offer refreshments too. 

HOLIDAY PHOTO BOOTH I have seen some stores set up a holiday booth or small area for customers to stop and take photos. This is usually left up for the entire month of December. If you are on Instagram this is a great opportunity to drive some business your way. Create a unique hashtag for your customers to use. Ask customers to share their photos by tagging the store in this unique hashtag. Then share some of those customer photos on your Instagram or Facebook page. Customers will be delighted to see their face on your social media and they will share it on their social media pages too. Their friends will see and so on. Hey, it's free advertising and nothing is sweeter than word of mouth. Don't forget to place a sign in the booth asking customers to tag the store in their photo. Your sign could be a handwritten chalkboard message something like this: 
(I'm using Queen of Hearts Antiques as an example #QOHHoliday17) 



Here are some fun photography setups. These were found on Pinterest. Your backdrop could be an outdoor scene too. 




Most of us love photo ops. Well, not me because I would rather be the one behind the camera. But you know what I 'm saying. You could also offer a Fall photo booth like the one below. If you think about it could also apply for Easter or any holiday that you wanted to offer a photo op for.

You could also partner with a charity that has programs that collect toys for kids for Christmas. Offer to be a drop off center. When customers stop by to drop off toys, they will be tempted to do a little shopping while they are there. So it's a win-win. 

These are just a few of the ways to get some traffic. We hope this helps. If you have a unique way please be sure to share with us. We would love to do a part II blog post and mention your ideas with credit of course. Thanks again for stopping by. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

6 Tips For Better Price Tags


1. Make sure all of your items have price tags.  I know we are all busy and there are times when we are in a hurry and forget to price something. Tags may also get torn off during the shuffle of moving things around. When you stop by your booth plan to spend a few extra minutes scanning over inventory. 

2. Make sure your price tags are legible. You always want to make sure your tags are legible. If the staff is busy they may not have time to call you. It's unfair to them as well as customers that are waiting in line. I think hand written tags are very personal and I love seeing pretty cursive handwriting. If you are like me and have chicken scratch you could always print your tags. If printing is not an option for you, use rubber stamps for the price. I've seen tags where dealers write in the description info but use rubber stamps for the price. Rubber stamps are so inexpensive and you can them at any hobby store. 

3. Be very specific with your item descriptions. The more descriptive your item is the less chance for tag switching. For instance, if you have a yellow, McCoy planter, don't just put "yellow ceramic planter" Be sure to put the maker, the color and the shape etc. 


4. Give some item history on your price tag. Most people love to know the history. I'm not saying you have to do this for every item. But for those special pieces try to include the history. If that cute fence gate came off a 100-year-old cottage, be sure to include info on your tag. The next time you are picking be sure to ask questions when applicable. Let your price tag tell a story. 

5. Place a layaway tag next to your price tag. This next idea is great and I have only seen it done at  The Queen of Hearts Antiques and Interiors  If your store/Mall allows layaway then place a reminder tag on items that are applicable. A lot of customers may not know or maybe they forget this is an option. Seeing a tag might just be the nudge they need to purchase one of your items. 


6. Have a cute price tag. I'm hanging my head in shame on this tip. I'm guilty of having plain, boring tags and every time I see a cute price tag -- I always say I'm going to step up my game. I need to practice what I preach because I'm a sucker for cute packaging. I have bought things in the past because it had a cute tag or ribbon or a little something extra. 

How cute are these next tags? I once had a dealer tell me (not this dealer) that she only uses large tags. I asked her  why and she said she had found over the course of her thirty plus years of selling it gets the customer's attention. Her logic was if they see a nice piece they may assume it's too pricey and not look at the tag. But if it is a large tag in their face, then they see that it is an affordable item and I just made a sale. The other reason she uses large tags is to discourage theft on smaller items. 


We have done posts on tags before so we won't go into depth here. If you are new or if you happened to miss those posts you can read them here. You will also find links to where we have shared free tag templates that you can download and print from home. 

The Skinny on Price Tags       
Creating Your Own Price Tags



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tips for Cleaning Furniture

I recently purchased a dresser from an antique store. When I got it home I discovered they threw in a little something extra for me...a rat's nest. Yes, you read that correctly. Now let me tell ya, I've picked in some pretty dirty places where you might expect this sort of thing. However, purchasing it from a nice antique store was unexpected and definitely a first for me. Let me state for the record this dresser was not painted. 

A few days later, I was at another antique mall and spotted a really cute painted dresser. As I was inspecting it, I opened up one of the drawers to discover dirt, cob webs as well as a spider. Now, who knows...Charlotte may have just crawled in there, but it was evident the other mess had been there a while. I was a little grossed out and reminded of my previous incident so I didn't bother to look through the rest of the drawers. I just moved on to the next booth.

On my drive home I started thinking about dealers that take short cuts. I know most dealers don't, but it's unfortunate that some certainly do. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because they are new at this or the flea market type malls are not as strict. It always sends up a red flag for me. It makes me wonder if a dealer doesn't take the time to clean then have other steps been skipped in the process. Whether a piece of furniture is painted or left in the original condition it should be clean and ready to place in a customer's home. 

Yesterday, we thought it would be a good idea to post a booth tip regarding this topic. We shared it on our Facebook page. It definitely generated a lot of buzz, so we asked our readers to share some of the ways they clean their furniture and we thought we would share them here. 

I know we all have our own way of doing things. It was interesting to read through the comments for dealer techniques and tips. I will certainly be putting some of these tips to good use on future projects. 

The first step I take when getting furniture ready for my booth is to give it a good cleaning. Well, most items anyway. You never know where something has been. It may have been stored in a musty basement or dusty attic or rescued from a heavy smoker. Some items I clean with vinegar and water. For other items, I like to use a product called: Krud Kutter. Just about all the chalk paints are no prep, but you still want to wipe your furniture down to remove any traces of grease, dirt, and grime. If you skip this step, the paint will not adhere properly. Mineral Spirits is also a good one. 

If it is a dresser, I remove all the drawers to get in the back of the dresser. I turn it upside down so any items that may have been lost will fall out. You will be surprised at some of the things you find. I have found loose change, love letters, old photos, jewelry and even a $20 bill once. 

I make sure to clean under pieces for those stubborn egg sacks and cob webs. I also check under tables and ledges as I seem to always find dried gum or stickers. The better an item looks, the more professional you look. Treat your furniture pieces as if they were going in your home. 

Here are some of our favorite comments, tips, and advice! These were all left by our Facebook readers. 

~Stephanie Thomas: I will give my furniture drawers a peroxide wash to kill the old smells. Nothing more offsetting than that old musty odor.

~Linda Wartick Jernigan:  I wash down with Murphys Oil Soap and follow up with lemon oil if the piece isn't going to be painted. Any nicks are touched up with a furniture marker, water rings are treated. My booth items build my reputation. I want clients to be able to carry it home and immediately put it in their home and be proud. And I want them to come back!

~Rebekah Bronico:  We use the air hose to get all the dirt and cob webs out after we are done sanding then give it a good wipe down.

~Terry Lea: We ask all our dealers and consignors to make sure their pieces are clean, free of odors, dirt, grease, etc. And we pretty much dismantle our pieces (remove all drawers, doors, etc.) and clean them before painting. I've turned pieces over on their backs and hosed off/sponged off bottoms that were full of webs, egg sacks, and dirt. 
Now, in fairness, I will say we have some elusive spiders in our shop that rival Charlotte (of Charlott's Web) in their nocturnal spinning abilities, and if we don't stay on top of them, they can quickly get quite a fantastic array of webs built in a few spots around the shop. But a rat's nest? That's a totally different story. Ewww.

~Barbara Loeb McMahon: Just open every drawer and wash with soap and water. If it is really stained and looks bad, paint them!

~Gay Cordes: I use my high powered leaf blower to clean all my furniture before I do anything. Love Howard orange oil cleaner, Murphy's oil soap. Love to line drawers with paper that I use a couple drops of essential oils.

~Julianne Blanford: I use an old paint brush to clean drawers etc. (I don't have an air hose) I am in love with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers!

~Tracey Martin: Oh my stars!!!! I would never!!! However, this has brought to my mind to open drawers and check out my furniture if it's been sitting in the booth awhile. I always dust them off, but have never taken that extra step, but will now!

~Barbara Condon Nesmith: I dust with a big paint brush-gets into those little corners on pictures and statues. I smell wooden pieces-if it smells like Mildew I won't buy it! I cannot stand that odor.

~Emily Kerley:  I use TSP inside and out.




I personally have not used TSP. But I have friends that use it. It's very affordable and does the trick! 









Friday, August 11, 2017

Junkin 101

Hi Friends and fellow junkers. We are so glad it's Friday and time for some weekend picking. Do you have fun junkin trips planned? Speaking of picking, we have a special guest on the blog today. Her name is Kathy Goodson. She taught school for 32 years. Now that she is retired she has two antique booths and a blog to keep her busy. You can check out her blog here. Her booths are located at Just Around the Corner in Lincolnton, NC. She was kind enough to do a blog for us on how to find, study and attend and shop estate sales. We are excited to share it with all of you. So if you are ready let's get started. Enjoy! 


JUNKIN 101

Where do you find your treasures? I have two antique and collectible booths that I am always on the hunt to fill. I find most of my items at estate sales. If you are new to treasure hunting at estate sales here are some of my best Junkin 101 hints for you. Look at these treasures I found at a recent sale!


In my area estate sales are the goods from a person’s property who has passed away or is no longer able to live in the home. These sales have the largest potential for great finds as they will contain a lifetime of collections. I like estate sales better than auctions as the items already priced.

Rule 1 - Research the estate sale before you go. I use EstateSales.net to find sales in a close range to my home. You can find it and similar sites online, or you can download the mobile app for your iphone or android. Once you find a sale, study the photos they have posted carefully. Most items will be pictured but many times box lots can still hold hidden treasures. The site will also have a handy GPS link to the address which is usually not given out until Thursday before the sale in my area as sales are usually on Fridays and Saturdays.


I like to take screenshots of things I'm interested in and try to determine where they are located on the property so I can get to them first. In the screenshots below I spotted Shiny Brite Christmas ornaments (love them), and I determined they were in a bedroom area. In the second photo, I spotted galvanized buckets. Those seemed to be in a basement or block outbuilding.

Luckily my husband goes with me so I can go for the Shiny Brites and he can go for the buckets. As you study the photos think about what you would be willing to pay for the items you like. I sell a box of Shiny Brites for $10-$15 depending on their style and condition. If they are priced $4 or $5 dollars I will get them. I also want that little red flocked reindeer but I won’t pay more than $2 for it. There seems to be a table there so maybe there are more items on the floor I will want to check out. I also saw some interesting things in the kitchen.  There’s jadeite bowl that was reproduced recently so I am not sure of its age but I would pay $10 for it. A fair price on the buckets would be $5 or $6 dollars each. Some other items I saw in the photos I may want to include a blow mold Santa (hot item right now), a red speckled enamel bowl, harvest enamel bowls and a great farm table.

Rule 2 - Prepare for the sale the night before by finding some large bags to put your stash in as you shop. Wear flat shoes and comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather. I also carry a small tape measure and a magnifying glass. I keep a small flashlight in the car to use if needed because basements and storage sheds can be dark. If you like to buy glassware, grab some newspapers to wrap your purchases in too. Carry your money and cards in your pocket and leave your purse behind. Most dealers take a debit/credit card, but be aware there may be up to a 3% charge to use plastic.



Rule 3- Get to your chosen site early. Most estate sale companies give out entry numbers at 7:30 or 8:00 if the sale begins at 9 am. But the line starts earlier than that. We usually pick up some breakfast to eat as we wait after the numbers are given out.

Rule 4- When the sale begins be sure to look around as you head to your favorite items. Remember, there are always items that are not pictured that you may want. Check the prices quickly on the items you were hoping to get. If they are in the range of price You decided was fair put them in your bag and head on to the next items. Other shoppers will take what you want if you do not move fast.

Rule 5 - Most estate dealers have a holding area with boxes for you to put your intended purchases. Be aware that sometimes people will “shop” these boxes while dealers are distracted helping others. That’s why I carry a really big bags which I will put in the holding area when full.


Rule 6 - After you have chosen your favorite items, and you are sure your picks are secure in the holding area go through the property again. You never know what you might discover. Items priced under $200 will usually be half price on day two. Even the higher priced items will be at a reduced price on day two. At an hour before the end of the sale on the last day, items that are left will be greatly reduced. So think about what you want, and start the process over the next day. If you are lucky item you want will still be there and be half price.


Rule 7 - Think out of the box while researching the photos and while on the site shopping. We bought a washboard at one sale and an old soda crate at another. My talented husband put them together and made a wonderful cabinet.


So remember those Shiny Brite ornaments, the blow mold, and the buckets?  Well, we were numbers 3 and 4 to this sale, and we got all of that and more. I did not get the table or the jadeite bowl, but I found lots of great junk that will look fantastic in my booth. I do so love vintage Christmas. So that brings us to


Rule 8-The most important rule to remember is …..  Always buy what you love and have fun JUNKIN.
Thank you, Kathy for sharing your junkin pearls of wisdom with all of us. We really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to be a guest blogger.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Update



Hi, Friends. Dawn and I have been MIA both here on the blog and on FB. Lots of things going on...keeping us both very busy. I had posted a very popular blog called: What sold for June and it was accidentally deleted by little fingers. I had planned to repost it, but because I'm a ding bat, I didn't save my photos after I had cropped and watermarked them. So not only does the blog post have to be rewritten, all the photos have to edited AGAIN. Now, here we are in August. So I'm wondering if I should just skip over June and do a post for July. Honestly finding the time is the problem. We need clones. We haven't even been able to find the time to post the other vendor contributions. Does anyone want to come blog for us? Haha. No seriously. 

Some of you have been asking if there really is going to be a conference for booth owners and the answer is yes. Click here to read that post. 


Also, we are looking for dealers to do a guest post for us. If you have ideas for a good blog post and would like to be our guest shoot us an email at boothcrush@gmail.com 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Booth Conference

We have had some comments and or emails asking us about the upcoming Booth Conference. Yes, there really is going to be an event for this industry. The two ladies, Trish and Cindy that own University Pickers, in Huntsville, AL decided to spearhead this wonderful campaign. Trish said in a recent video that she felt God had put this on their hearts to help everyone grow because the industry is changing so much. 

So what is Booth Conference? It is for small business owners who are selling antiques, vintage, repurposed, upcycled and handcrafted items in malls, markets or online. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned booth pro, the industry is changing! The business is changing, due to increased online and social media presence. Learn insider secrets and tips from those who are leaders in the industry. Learn what’s hot and what works and what doesn’t from those who are in it. ~ University Pickers

WHEN: November 10 & 11th 2017
WHERE. Von Braun Center - Huntsville, AL
TOPICS COVERED: 

There's going to be some amazing speakers during this two-day event. Dawn and I are honored to be included in this amazing lineup. Jennifer Allgood of The Magic Brush is the keynote speaker. She has grown her FB page to over 283,000 and coaches over 300 creative business owners. She will share tips and secrets for growing your Social Media, and your booth business! 


So what do you plan to do to make more sales or take your booth to the next level? I highly recommend you and your junkin friends attend this event. Look at it as an investment in your business. If you would like to go, but don't have a ride or would like to split costs by sharing a room the Booth Conference Facebook page. There is a thread for folks looking to share. Also if you have five people or more you can get a group discount. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Patriotic Antique Booths & Vignettes

We are a little late in posting Patriotic booth spaces. I haven't even decorated my own booth yet. Hopefully this is just the inspo you need or just enjoy the pretty photos. Some are from Pinterest and others were shared with us from dealers. 

The Found Cottage


GypsyFarmGirl
Via: Pinterest

Shared by Vicki Norman
Woodstock Market

La Belle Vintage 
La Belle Vintage Mall


Rust and Lace
Falkner Antique Mall 


Somewhere in Time Antique Mall

Via: Pinterest



Heather Gibbs Photography for Sweet Salvage
Via: Pinterest

Monday, May 15, 2017

Decorating with Old Books

Several years ago, Restoration Hardware started the fad of taking old books and ripping hardcovers off. Then they would tie them up in a bundle with jute string. I love the idea for it's texture as well as simplicity. Since then lots of other ideas have been born. I thought I would share some other those ideas on the blog today. I'm pretty sure, Dawn (the other half of Booth Crush) cringes when she sees what they are doing to these old books. Her full time job is a Librarian. Sorry, Dawn. :-) 

Books are a great way to decorate not only in your home, but in your booth. You can find old books at thrift stores, auctions, yard and estate sales. The best thing about them is they are usually super cheap.Dawn and I were in Savannah on business last week and I discovered a thrift store that had just received a truck load of old books. I mean really old ones like from the 20's - 40's. They had them priced a quarter each. It was a one day sale only and unfortunately, by the time I stopped by, most of them were gone. But I still managed to get some good ones. 

There are a number of ways you can use them in your decor. The most popular way is bundling them up together. You can either paint them or remove the jacket and use them that way. I love the look of both ways. So here is just a sampling of photos and ideas for your creative inspiration. Most pics are from Pinterest, but the first few are from Restoration Hardware. 



Here is my version. I don't know what those round,  numbered washer looking things are but I thought they looked very Restoration Hardware- ish. 


Here is one I found at my local antique store. The hardcover had been removed then the pages were lightly washed with a pale pink on all the sides. I bought it and used it for a while and then sold it on Etsy. 


I love this next idea by Jen Rizzo. She has a tutorial on her blog. Be sure to visit. Link below. 



 What a great idea as a bowl filler. I could see putting these in a large dough bowl or even in a vase. 
 Of course there are a million ideas for just using the pages. I have seen everything from the pages on a wall as wall paper to paper table runners, wreaths you name it. 

I saw this cute idea on Pinterest. But you can purchase it on Etsy by clicking here
Love this pretty bouquet. Available at Pages Garden on Etsy. 
Love the simplicity of rolled up pages in a mason glass jar. Pic via: The Cottage Market


Gorgeous wreath available at Rose Flower 48 on Etsy

We hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to share your old book projects with us. Submit your photos to BoothCrush@gmail.com