My Secondhand Booth: All Your Questions Answered!

Almost one year ago, I rented a space at a local antique/gift store. Our shop is unique in that it isn’t just antique and vintage, there are several vendors selling their products, like prints and florals, plus several vendors sell secondhand clothing. I have shared a bit of my journey on Instagram and now I am answering some of the questions my followers asked me. So, let’s start with the basics:

My booth is located at a store in Sacramento called Midtown Bliss Home and Gifts. I started with a small bookcase and in the summer, I upgraded to a booth. Just a few weeks ago, I downsized to a slightly smaller booth as I did not want to deal with lots of furniture. Most of my inventory comes from thrift stores and a little from my home as well from friends and family. My rent is $140 but I get a discount as I handle the store’s IG, so it comes out to $75 a month. The store also takes 10% of each sale and we are required to work one 4 hour shift a month.

How often do I source and how often do I visit the booth?

As an avid thrifted, I source a lot. At least 3 times a week normally. But this is truly a mix of business and pleasure as I love to go thrift shopping. I can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours in a store, so it truly varies each week. I go to the booth once a week normally. Even if I am not bringing in new inventory, I will go in to refresh my booth and make sure it is neat and tidy for the next week. And I try to rearrange or reset once a month. The shop owners recommend we come in once a week to tidy and bring in new items and do a major refresh at least once a month. This includes reorganizing and mixing up your displays. We are also not allowed to work in our booths when the store is open as it is distracting to the customers.

Do you keep an inventory with what you paid and what it sold for?

No, I do not. to be honest, I am a horrible bookkeeper and just keep track in my head. I have a separate bank account for my inventory, so I just make sure I don’t overspend that account. Also, my check gets deposited into our regular account and I transfer sourcing money into my sourcing account. But I am working on becoming a better bookkeeper this year. I won’t be tracking items individually, but I will track my overall expenses and monthly profit.

What if something doesn’t sell?

Once a year our store does a dollar day sale, so if something isn’t selling, I will hold onto it and list it for a dollar on that day. I also try to mark things down if they have been stagnant for a while. So far, I have only had to take a handful things out of the booth, and most were broken. However, if there was ever something that I just couldn’t sell and wanted it gone, I would first offer it free to the other vendors and then donate it to my local Goodwill.

Can you give us an example of pricing?

Pricing for me is trial and error, but my general rule of thumb is a minimum of 3 times what I paid for something minimum. Most the time is more than that but that is my minimum. For example, I have mugs I thrifted for $.69 and I am selling them for $4. Another example is an art piece that I got for $3.50 and I am selling for $19. It all depends on the item. I research prices online or in the store by checking out other vendors, but most the time I wing it!

What is your best selling item?

This is a great question and it seems to vary week by week. Trinkets do well for me as well as baskets and clothes. Unique paintings also do well! This month I will keep track of what sells and report back!

Coolest thing in the booth you wouldn’t mind keeping?

Most things I know I will be able to find it or something similar again, so I don’t get too attached. But right now, I have a cute pink vanity seat that I hope doesn’t sell! But I have no use for it at home 🙁

How do you know what to sell? How did you pick a theme? Target audience?

Honestly, I mostly go based on what speaks to me. Sometimes I make the mistake of buying what I think people want and it doesn’t typically go well. So, I picked based on my personal preferences. Or I try to imagine a space it would work in. It doesn’t necessarily mean it would work in my current home but if I had a different home/lifestyle I could see it working. One example is barware. I am not a huge drinker but I see a lot of cool glasses so I will pick them up if I could imagine a life where Morgan would use/style them. A fellow vendor called my booth Pretty in Pink and I think that’s the perfect description, girly and pink but practical. My target audience is the same people who follow me on IG, someone who likes color, is more of a maximalist, a little whimsical, loves a cozy space, and values a beautiful home.

How do you stand out from other booths?

In my opinion, the best booths are the ones that create a strong vibe. It doesn’t need to be themed but is a space that keeps you wanting to look around. So, I don’t want to stand out because it is over the top but because it is like a good book that you keep coming back to.

How can I find something like this near me?

I found my store through Facebook Marketplace when I vendor was advertising her booth. So, I would start there. Next, I would head down to your local antique shops and start asking. They will know where the good spots are. And if you can’t find one, start your own!

That’s all for now! If you have more questions, please leave me a comment!

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