Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let's Make a Deal! Plus KANE and ALLEGAN News

Asking for a deal at the flea market is kind of like asking for a date -- it helps to be confident, polite and possibly funny, but you still have to be prepared to take "no" for an answer.

But to increase your chances of hearing "yes," here's a few tips:

You can generally assume that dealers will allow a 10 percent discount on items that cost more than $10 unless the price is marked "firm."
Try asking, "Are you firm on this?" but don't suggest a price -- leave that to the seller. I'm often surprised when a buyer suggests a price higher than what I would have offered. You can always counter-offer.

Multiple items purchased from the same seller often equal a lower price, so don't forget to try,"If I take these three, would you be able to offer a discount?" or "What if I took all of these?"
Avoid playing games, such as feigning disinterest. That's just annoying. And don't point out flaws; our merch is like our kids -- we know what problems are there, but we love the stuff any way (and assume you do, too, or you wouldn't be asking in the first place!)
Good luck! Actually, I'll do you one better -- come and try out your skills in our booth THIS WEEKEND at the Kane County Flea Market. We have a terrific load, including vintage clothes, feedsacks, fall projects, graphics, industrial pieces, furniture, containers and smalls. Details are just a click away on the show sidebar. And you'll probably get a "yes" from me!
Allegan Update
We were a little alarmed by some lake-effect rain during set-up, but Sunday was clear and cool, as promised. There was a good crowd, but people were more laid-back -- you could tell it was the last show of the season. We were pleased by our sales at the end of the day and enjoyed chatting with customers and seeing some of our blogging buddies. Now we just have to wait 'til next year! Boo. xo


Abby Kerr Ink said...

Love these tips! Being an infrequent flea marketer myself, I've always wondered what savvy protocol would be. Don't want to offend the dealers, but also don't want to walk away paying full price if that's not par-for-the-course. I appreciate you sharing your experience!

very merry vintage style said...

Great advice on trying for a better price. You guys always have such a beautiful booth, I have picked up a lot of "great finds" at your booth! Good luck this weekend!

Anne Marie said...

Hi Sandy! I missed you at KC this weekend...i did get to talk to your husband though - and really hope to see you out here at the farm either Friday night or Saturday...
your booth looked great - you always have the the most unique items - i love all the furniture....

have a great night!
Anne Marie

True North Interior Design & Antiques said...

Love your advise column. Maybe there is some career opportunity for you there. You were really very good(:.
There are many antique dealers who there business as a hobby, part-time, etc. Often they are less concerned about making alot of money on their product. But for those of us that actually make our living doing this we need to make a certain amount of money just to survive. We work hard to find the item we bring to market. Finding product as only gotten more difficult. Most of the time we work many more hours aweek than the average person who has a 40 hour job. We deserve to make a living wage, which often we barely do. So while we all like to get deals including us dealers there needs to be some sensitivity to the fact that we need to make a living. So while bartering will alwys be a part of the antique business sensitivity needs to be a part of the equation. People that often offer me really low prices for an item often make me feel like they don't value the product all that much or don't value my time to bring the product to the market.
People that take the time to be friendly, purchase multiple items, and purchase on a regular basis usually get my attention and I feel Like I am willing to work with them on price.