I visit a lot of antique malls and indoor flea markets and it seems like the ONE item I want to see a little closer is always locked up in a glass cabinet. These places don’t have the shop owner in the booths so if you want to see something, or even just know the price of an item, you have to go all the way to the front of the store (because the case I am interested in opening, is of course, always at the furthest corner of the store) and ask the manager to crack the case.
This is the point when said manager, usually a pleasant 80-something, busts out a ring of no fewer than 38,000 keys and has to find the right one. The two of you trek back to the locked case and you ask to see the Homer Simpson Pez dispenser at the very back. Three bucks! Whoa. No thanks.
Seriously, it’s gotten to the point where I will pass on an item just because it’s in a case. This is especially true if an item is not a pricey one. It’s just not worth the trouble. So to all you vendors out there, ditch the Fort Knox approach. You are not in the business of selling gold bullion, and people who visit antique malls probably aren’t looking to steal you blind. If you do have items in a case, attach a price sheet or make sure the price tags for the items are clearly visible.
Terry White says
Well Brian, I have either owned or co-owned antique stores for nearly ten years and I appreciate your comment as I have felt the same as you myself. Now for the facts… I have personally subsidized roaming customers (thiefs) in my store and have nearly $10,000 in losses to apply to my tax return over the past 5 years. These items range from 50 cent items to items worth hundreds of dollars. I started my business with the trust everyone concept and have been shown that does not exist in our world today. I hope the next time you decide to cop an attitude you think of the amounts of dollars that the dealers who participate in the sale of items in the mall would like to operate their booth area as a business and not as a charity. One or two bad eggs can spoil the entire basket.
Terry, pardon my pithy attempt at humor. I just don’t see why it is so hard to have prices that are easily visible. This seems like a simple step a vendor could take to make more sales. Just an opinion from a paying customer.