Life in Vintage # 7 – Selling at a Vintage Fair for the First Time


You might have some beautiful things you have inherited from a relative or a house clearance.  You might have a personal collection to get rid of to give you more room or some money.  But you’ve got some things that you want to sell and you fancy selling at a vintage fair but are a bit nervous…..

Well, here are some tips on how to go about it!

  • Do your research!  Find out what events are being held nearby and what kind of things they sell.  It’s no good going to a craft fair and expecting to sell a lot of “second hand stuff”.  Some Fairs advertised as an Antique & Collectors Fair don’t really want vintage and you won’t find vintage buyers there, some are a mixture.  Try and visit your chosen one first so you know what they sell and who they attract
  • Don’t go for a big fair first time – try a smaller one in a village or community hall where the organiser has got time to help and advise you .
  • Work out how to get there and where to park before the day itself.  Don’t forget that if you are paying for parking, this comes off your profit
  • Pack everything neatly with your table covering at the top.  Pack the car the night before because you will have an early start.
  • Dress in layers – you never know what the weather will be like and how near the open front door you will be placed!
  • Bring your own lunch and drinks – you might not get the chance to leave your stall to get something to eat.
  • Although you should price up your items, leave some room for flexibility – people love a bargain and like to haggle
  • If you are not sure about pricing, look on Ebay for similar items, check out other fairs and don’t be afraid to ask other stallholders or the organiser for advice
  • Get some display items – tablecloths or coverings, display busts or anything that will make your stall look attractive.  Keep it all tidy and don’t put too much out so that it encroaches on another stall or blocks the passage of visitors
  • Make sure you have plenty of change, extra labels, pens, scissors, wrapping material etc and a small notebook to write down what you have sold,
  • A lot of buying and selling goes on between stallholders before the Fair opens – enjoy it!
  • It’s the height of bad manners to buy something from a fellow trader and then immediately put it on your stall at a higher price.  Some stallholders will do this however, try not to be upset and learn from it about pricing
  • Try to read potential customer body language – some visitors like to chat and ask questions.  Others like just to look.  Be alert to a customer, don’t ignore them and continue looking at your mobile phone or chatting to a friend
  • There is nearly always a lunchtime lull.  You can use this time for a comfort break or a little shopping expedition.  A fellow stallholder will usually keep an eye on your table
  • If the number of visitors thins out towards the very end of the fair, it is usually permissible to discreetly pack up a bit early.  But not if the organiser specifically asks you not to
  • Enjoy playing at shops!

Hopefully you will have a great day, meet some lovely people and make some money!  You never know, you may just get the bug…..