Friday, March 28, 2014

Selling in a Facebook Group

Leslie read my post  - Can A Yard Sale Be More Profitable Than a Show?     She wrote in a reply that was soooo good, I felt it deserved to be a post.  I agree wholeheartedly with everything she said -

Interesting idea. I do a sale twice a year that started out small (similar to what you are describing), but has turned into a large show with lots of followers and booths.

I also wanted to mention selling in Facebook Groups. I have found HUGE success with this. In our area we have large Facebook consignment groups. They are full of people who wouldn't dare stop at a garage sale and who would never think to step foot in an antique mall, but have desires to do all of those cool Pinterest projects. 

My goal is to sell "Junque with a Dream". For example... I have a vintage window that has had the glass broken out of it (or maybe I picked it up on the side of the road that way)- I would post a picture of the item and say something like "Vintage window frame. This would be adorable as a message board with chicken wire and clothes pins- $18". No joke, people will beat my door down... And you better believe that when they show up to pick it up there is a piece of chicken wire sitting not far away that they will usually ask about... "oh that old thing, you can have it for $5". I didn't have to deal with doing the project or taking it to my booth and I made the sale quick and easy. I can't tell you how many BROKEN things I have sold... Not saying that it is BROKEN, but saying something like "Not in working order". I sold a vintage pedal car that didn't work, with the dream of turning it into a planter box.

I still have my booth and love it, but I have found that during the summer months I make WAY more selling on Facebook than I do in my booth.

I love it!   I belong to a similar group.  I also belong to a group for dealers to sell back and forth to each other.  Both groups are great.  I highly recommend looking for similar groups in your area.

PS - Leslie, THANKS SO MUCH for taking the time to offer this great advice.  This is just the kind of thing I hoped would happen with this site.  I am one person with one set of experiences.  As more dealers chip in, this site will really become such a great resource for us all!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Promoting a Mall on Facebook

Robin saw my post about being busy promoting for a second mall.  She left a comment asking for advice about doing social media for a mall with 40 dealers .

Here's what she said -

Hi, Denise. I found your blog and Facebook a couple nights ago and read just about everything you've written! I work in a vendor mall and am trying to build a social media presence for them. I also recently started my own shop space there as well so your vendor posts have been very helpful to me. 

There are some unique challenges to doing social media with about 40 vendors. I hope you will expand your posts to address those challenges for vendor mall type businesses. There really isn't much on the internet that I have found to help with this. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!

I promote online for two stores -

I have done online promotions for Rockin' B Antiques for about 3 years. 

I have been promoting for The Boneyard for almost a month.

The two stores are similar in size and have about the same number of dealers.  Their style and price points are very different.

My main marketing for both stores is on Facebook, so that's what I'll tell about here.  This is not rocket science, but I am amazed at how many stores don't do it well.

When a customer looks at a store's Facebook page, they want to see what the store has to offer. I could almost stop my post there.  That's it.  That's what they want.

Customers want good photos and lots of them.  They want to see posts on a regular basis.  A post without a photo is almost useless.

When customers see something they are interested in, they generally have two questions about it - How much?  and   What are the measurements?   You might as well answer all the questions you can when you post.

Some malls show plenty of photos but give no prices.  Regardless of whether the prices are high or low, my advice is to put them out there PROUDLY.  If you don't, you'll end up fielding a million questions, but that's not the main reason for including them.  Sales are better when you put all the info out there. Trust me.  One more tip regarding prices - It's wise to show items at many different price points.

I highly recommend including measurements when possible.  It's often hard to tell the size of an item in a photo.  Again, when measurements are not included, there will be questions - either on Facebook or a call to the store.  I do not include measurements for everything I list.  I only give them if the dealer took the time to measure the item and include it on their tag.  Promoting a store well takes a lot of time.  If I had to measure everything I featured, I'd have to up my fee!

The mall Facebook page should not be treated like a personal page.  You can include just a tiny bit about the owner and dealers, but don't overdo.  There's a fine line between letting customers get to know you and turning them off with TMI - political views, photos of your children, sweet quotes, jokes and other odd info. You can share great decor ideas now and then, especially when it includes a piece similar to something you have in the mall.  That's optional.

If you are promoting a mall, you are not only showing customers what they want to see, you are also doing a service for the dealers.  You need to please them, too.  Whatever system you come up with, try to be fair about it.

This challenge of featuring fairly was harder to overcome than figuring out how to post to increase sales.  The store gets more customers in the door when you feature something pretty at a decent price.  Getting customers in the door is the main objective.  BUT, in order to be fair to dealers, you'll sometimes have to feature things that you know are WRONG - ugly, overpriced, and/or poorly displayed.  No matter how hard you try to be fair, there will ALWAYS be dealers who feel their lack of sales is because you haven't featured their items enough.   They'll see other dealers selling like crazy  Instead of examining the real reasons why their item may not have sold, it's easier for some to think their lack of sales is because you haven't featured their things enough.  Be prepared for that.  I have to say that 99.9% of the dealers I feature for are a delight and they are very, very grateful for all I do.  But there have been a couple of exceptions over the past few years.  If you plan to do the mall Facebook page, be prepared for that to happen one day.

If you are promoting for a mall and you are a dealer there, too, do not... I repeat, DO NOT feature your items more than other dealers.

I have learned plenty more tricks over the years for featuring, but I'm not giving everything away about that.  I'll happily share everything I know about having a booth, but I'm holding onto my promoting tricks. :-D  After all, a girl's gotta have some secrets!   You are welcome to follow the two sites I promote and see if you can figure out the method to my madness.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Displays from Plumbing and PVC Pipe - Jewelry

In yesterday's post, I showed examples of some clever displays you can create with plumbing and PVC pipe.  I focused on sme larger displays for things like clothing and vintage tablecloths.  Today, I'll show some examples of smaller ones for things like jewelry.


Source Unknown - dead Pinterest link



Source Unknown - dead Pinterest link


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Displays from Plumbing and PVC Pipe

There are many clever displays you create with plumbing and PVC pipe.  If you ever played with Tinker Toys, you will probably be able to come up with all sorts of unique designs.  The displays can be made in sizes to suit what you need to display - jewelry, scarves, vintage tablecloths, clothing, teacups, and more.

Plumbing pipe is not cheap, but it looks great.  Bonus - the display itself is marketable.  Put a price on it and if it sells be ready to make another.

PVC pipe is cheaper, but not as pretty.  It can be spray painted if you want another color.  PVC pipe displays are lighter weight so you might prefer it for shows.

Here are some examples of larger ones.

Also see this post.



Couldn't locate source for this lightweight portable display/



I'll show you examples of smaller ones (for jewelry) in tomorrow's post!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The BoneYard - Inspiring Photos

Oh-Em-Gee!!!!!    I am still here and promise I'll be back SOON with a new post.   Are you wondering what I've been up to?    I am now promoting a second mall.   It's exciting, but the start-up process has been overwhelming. They lost their Facebook page, so we had to start back up from scratch.  Check it out, if you like.  The decor is really well done, so you're bound to be inspired. 

Here's the link to their new Facebook page - 

Here are a few photos from there - 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Instant Spring Look in Your Booth - Just Add Plants!

The last 3 posts were all about transitioning your booth into spring.  Another simple way to add a touch of spring to your booth is to add a few plants.  What a difference a bit of greenery can make.

Plants add something special to all booths, no matter what the style. Even if you have a booth that is mostly white and neutrals and burlaps, you will be amazed at how having a few plants around can improve the look.

Low maintenance plants are best, especially if you only stop in once a week.  It would be better to have no plants at all than a dying, withering plant.  There are certain plants that are fairly easy to keep, even if you are nowhere near a window.  There are many houseplants that are great for a booth.  You can find lists for them all over the internet.  Here's a list of 10 plants you may like.  Some of them need sun, About half of them are fine in low light.

One of my favorites is the golden pothos.  They are very hardy!  As they grow, they cascade down and are great for softening a corner.  When the runner grows too long, simply cut it off, stick it in dirt to root / propagate and before long, you'll have another plant.  Cheap and easy, right?

Speaking of cheap and easy, you probably have a few pretty things growing in your yard.  You can bring in cuttings from bushes and flowers and put them in vases in your booth.  Of course, those don't last long, but while they do....   :-D


I love real plants best, but you can certainly get away with using good fakes in your booth.  You might use a mix of real plants and fake plants.  Put the real ones in key locations down low.  Situate the fake ones so they are seen at a distance.  Placed correctly, no one will know the difference.

Don't go overboard on the fakes!  For that matter, don't go overboard on the real ones, either.  Unless you are selling plants, having just a few in your booth will suffice.  As always, the focus should be on what you are trying to sell.

Geraniums (and other flowering plants) in bloom can make so many pieces of furniture look great, but they are not good in low light.  You could put them under a lamp to help them look nice longer.  OR - you could find a GREAT fake and just go for it.

I've shown this photo before, but it's just too perfect not to use again in this post.

Plants can also be used to show repurposing possibilities for things you are trying to sell. Like this -

Here are more inspiration photos of booths with greenery.  Are they using mostly real plants or fake ones?  You tell me.  As you look at these photos,  try to imagine what the booth would look like without the greenery.  They just wouldn't be as inviting, would they?




Stay tuned for more plant inspiration photos!