This is the second article in a series that I will be writing on insider tips for shopping at antique malls. I had a booth at an antique mall for four years. During that time I learned a lot about antiques and how to find the best deals.
Last month’s Insider Tips article focused on shopping in booths that were going out of business. These booths typically offer significant discounts because the booth owners need to clear out as much inventory as possible by the end of that month.
In today’s post, I will focus on another way for getting discounts in antique malls. Did you know that most antique malls will give you a discount on a wide variety of merchandise? All you have to do is ask. How does it work specifically? It varies with each store.
When I had my booth at Ben’s Antique Market in Douglasville, there was a clause in my contract that stated that the store was authorized to give a ten percent discount on any item in my booth (unless marked firm) that was priced at more than fifty dollars. It wasn’t automatic though. It was just available if the customer asked for it. This saved the store from having to call the dealers every time a customer asked for a discount.
Each store has their own policy (and they are probably not going to share the specifics of their policies). If you ask for a discount though, most antique malls will call the dealers to see what their best price would be on an item. Sometimes you will have to leave your name and number if they aren’t able to reach the dealer on the phone, which means you could risk losing the item if someone else came along and offered to buy it at full price. That is the trade off.
Sometimes the dealers will say no. However, you won’t know if you don’t ask. In my own experience as a shopper, I have found that most dealers have built in some negotiating room so they can come down a little bit on the price if asked.
Another way to possibly get a discount is to talk to dealers in their booths. Sometimes you will see dealers working in their booths. If you take the time to stop and have a conversation with them, they will often offer you a better deal than what is listed on their price tags.
I also recommend going to special store sales. By signing up for a store’s email list, you will get notifications for when a store will be having special sales. Oftentimes, stores will have sales where everything in the entire store is 20 percent off. I have known of some dealers who would mark their prices up before these kind of sales, but a lot of dealers have enough of a profit margin built in so that they are simply glad sell the merchandise at the store-wide discounted price.
Sometimes in addition to store-wide discounts, the malls will have giveaways with donated prizes from the dealers. Now that is the best deal of all….FREE!
Be sure and try these tips the next time you are at an antique store. Happy shopping!