Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The good, the bad and the ugly of having a vendor space

In January, my friend Mckell and I found out that we had been accepted to be vendors at Merchant Square, a local antique shop.

It has been a great experience, but oh my goodness was I naive going into it.

I (naively) thought that everything would sell in a week, two weeks tops. 

But obviously that wasn't the case. 

So I wanted to share the good, the bad and the ugly of having a vendor space. 

(At least according to me. :))

The Good

1. Becoming a vendor has been a lot of fun. I love the people who work at Merchant Square, I love the other vendors I've met and the relationships I'm building. Being a stay at home mom, I really love getting out being a "business woman". I love having a hobby that is self sustaining and that can help supplement our income. 

2. I can sell a greater variety of items at the store. Being in a vendor space allows me to sell small items which honestly, brings in the largest part of what I earn. Buying a piece of furniture is a large purchase, but buying a small decorative item is less committal so they sell faster.  

3. I get a paycheck. I kind of covered this already, but it really has been a blessing to have a place to sell a large variety of items and the extra income it provides for us. 

4. I have a place to store my finished pieces. This might be the one of the greatest perks. Instead of having a garage full of pieces and limited work space, as soon as a piece is ready I can take it into the store.

5. People see your items everyday. Craigslist can be hit or miss with how many people see your items for sale, but with a vendor space, I know that my work will be getting traffic all day. 

The Bad

1. Opening/closing times. Occasionally I have people who contact me through my blog or through Craigslist who want to see a piece, but the store is closed for the day. There have been a handful of times where I probably lost a sale because they couldn't see the piece that day. 

2. Rent. Rent is kind of a necessarily evil. Since I share a booth with Mckell we split the rent which is great. When we were looking for a place to sell, we did a lot of research on cost and benefits. We found a few places that were a little cheaper to rent, but they didn't advertise or they were off the beaten path and didn't get a lot of traffic. Sometimes it is a little hard to see some of my profit go to rent, but over all the benefit of being in the space makes it worth it.   

3. Being busier. Again, this really isn't a bad thing. Sometimes it can be a little stressful knowing that I am paying for a space, and the pressure to keep it stocked keeps me awake sometimes. But again sharing a booth makes it a lot easier to keep it stocked.

The Ugly

Really, nothing! The whole experience has been great, but we did our research and new the conditions of our contract with the store. If you're thinking of doing it make sure you look into all the details so that you don't get surprised with anything. 

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  1. Julia I am so proud of what you have accomplished! I know it is a lot of work; I predict that you will do great!

    Please do come over to visit, I have a New Giveaway from Fresh Produce I think you will love!

    Art by Karena

  2. It's so good to hear about other people's experiences! Not too many people know that I just had a fantastic offer with a huge double window space, BUT...after crunching numbers I just had to say no. It was a bummer, because the thought of it all was SO exciting. I'm content with my decision in the end though, so no worries! :-) I'm so excited for you and hope it brings you a great balance between filling the space and items selling. Congrats!

  3. Great post, I always wondered if it was worth having a space like this.

  4. This was a great post, Julia. Very helpful. I have been selling my stuff on CraigsList and am pretty much over CraigsList at the moment. Not sure what is going on but it seems the last month I've had nothing but flakes...set a time and never show up or bother to email or call and also the rude emails. Then I have also met some really nice people on CL but lately....not so sure. I am considering a space in a shop so your post was great.

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