1. We spend a lot of our "free" time hunting down items to resell. We drive, walk, carry, lug, haul, tug and stuff pieces of furniture in our car/truck or trunk (sometimes we even tie it to the roof). We fix, clean, wash, paint, sand, or stain these items to make them salable. When we finally bring them to the store, we price them without adding in our time, sweat and tears. To offer us 50% of the items price is not only frustrating, it is just kind of rude.
2. We know our market. We are here every single day, we know what sells, what sells fast and what doesn't sell. We do research and look things up online to come to a fair local market value. Please don't tell us our items are overpriced. That solid wood dresser you don't want to buy for $195 would be $675 at any new furniture store.(A woman told me once that she "could get that same dresser at Target for less than that". Well since this is a solid wood maple dresser made in the 1960's, I'm pretty sure you're wrong)
3.Vendors in antiques stores pay rent, a commission to the store (usually 10%) and the credit card fees ( avg 3%). Keep that in mind when you ask for discounts. If you do ask for a discount from a vendor and I tell you we can't do it, do no ask me to call the vendor and see if it's ok. It's not. The reason vendors rent space from antique stores is because they want us to handle that, we sign contracts with them and there are usually rules set in place about when it is ok to call them and interrupt their day so you can get $5 off.
4. Please don't point out every scratch or ding. We know they are there, we keep those things in mind when pricing and item. Don't use them to negotiate a lower price, it really just frustrates us....(one vendor had a Universal Pottery refrigerator dish, the lid had a small crack underneath so the vendor priced the dish at $4.00. A customer wanted to know if she would come down from that price since there was a crack in it. Um...no)
5. Do not ask us to call a vendor to get a lower price unless you actually intend to make the purchase. Also when the vendor does accept your offer, do not ask us to call back and offer an even lower amount. (one woman had me call a vendor to offer $50 on a $79 item, the vendor accepted. The woman left without buying it, then came back in and asked if I would call back and "see if he would take $25"...um...no that is 65% off. She actually said to me "I don't want to insult him but....")
6. Never offer a lower amount on an item under $20. Most antique stores have policies set in place about when they are allowed to discount. (and if an item is already marked 50% off, don't ask if they will take any less. Um..no. It's 50% off)
7. Although we do know a lot about antiques, we can not give you an appraisal on your item. Because I have so little of it to spare, my time is valuable. I don't want to research your item for you. I am happy to tell you what it is, if I know what it is, and to tell you what price I might put on it in my store. That's as much as I can do.
8. When you come in to sell an item, have a price in mind that you would hope to get for it. A few tips though: a:if you saw it on ebay for $10, I can't give you $10 for it..or $9 or $8 or $7. In order to stay in business, we must make a profit --b:When you look it up on ebay, make sure you look at the prices it actually sold for, not what they are listed for. I can list what I want for as much money as I want, doesn't mean I'll get it. - c: Don't bring me things that are broken or dirty, I am not going to pay you for glasses that I have to wash the dirt out of. - d: I know you loved your grandmother and these are her antique china dishes you are selling but we can not attach a sentimental value to them. They are only worth what someone will pay me for them.
9. If you think a price (or prices) are too high, it's ok to not say it out loud so that everyone hears you. Also if you are visiting another area, keep in mind that although the prices may be higher than what you pay at home, they may be quite reasonable in this area. I don't go to Atlanta and talk about the high prices in their antiques stores because I realize it is a different market than we have in Panama City.
All that being said, we really do love when you come to shop with us. We really do appreciate your business, we just want you to appreciate ours also. We usually don't mind a bit of negotiation and are happy when you love a piece so much that you would want to buy it. So happy shopping!