Mad Maine Vintage Shop

This little blog will chronicle my ventures into selling vintage items in a local antique market.
My booth is called Mad Maine Vintage Shop - it features items inspired by a certain popular TV show,
and I am located in lovely Maine. Viva Vintage!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Antique Booth versus ebay or Both

As much as I like my antique booth, there are some times where certain items just don't seem to belong there, even though they are old, vintage, retro or whatever else you want to call it.  In my space, it seems like some merchandise will sit and attract dust even though I know from online blogs that they are popular items - anywhere outside of Maine, that is.  Lately I have put some of them on ebay instead (mostly unbreakable stuff since I hate shipping delicates), and they sell!  For a lot more than I priced them in my booth. Case in point, a very small Jens Quistgaard iron candle holder sat untouched in my booth for $15 for a month, then sold for twice the amount on ebay in a week. But why does it feel like I am cheating?

I used to sell a lot of stuff on ebay during my college years, mostly books since I lived in a college town and also close to an amazing thriftshop that had a ton of books for low prices.  I often picked up books for 50 cents and resold them on ebay (and amazon) for $40 or more, especially textbooks and reference books.  Those were the days!  And there were so few people who did what I did, and there were no phone apps to help you out.  You had to go with your guts and knowledge, and I thrived.  Of course, I read way too many books myself and have almost 3,000 in my house (I counted once while moving).  They are nicely arranged on bookcases everywhere, but people with libraries such as mine are really just incurable book hoarders.  But I digress.

My point is that I am now trying to combine selling stuff in my antique booth with selling on ebay without getting distracted or overextended (I do still have my regular day job, so this is not my full-time endeavour).  I should of course be selling on etsy and keep my bonafide vintage label intact, but ebay and I go ways back, and I love the ease and exposure.  My new rule seem to be that if it is Scandinavian teak, collectable, small stuff, easy to ship and not breakable, it will go on ebay.  Breakables, large items, kitschy items, wall art, furniture, etc. will go to my booth.

Do you sell both online and in an antique booth?  Do you spend a lot of time deciding what goes where? Can a happy medium be reached?


  1. Yes, I sell through my booth, Ebay, and Etsy. We are blessed to have such venues available to us today.

    I know when I buy something where it will go. Certain things sell faster on Ebay than Etsy and vise versa. Then there is the local market. Local markets are different everywhere and you are limited on customers.

    Toledo is a wholesale market. Sounds like your area is too. I can still make money in my booth, but when I land a hot item that I know I can really profit on by offering it on the global market, Damn straight, I'm listing it on the internet.

    Sure there is a happy medium. I also rotate stale stock between the booth and internet.

    Don't be afraid to ship breakables. That't why God made bubble wrap. I've only had one item break during shipment. That was a telephone and my own fault.

  2. Thanks for the input! I always enjoy reading about people who juggle all venues, and then the extra packing and shipping. Part of what I love so much about my booth, is that I bring it there, and I am done :-) However, I do feel that I am missing out on some potentially big sales by being stubborn about selling online. I have put several items on ebay this week, and I already have bids. I forgot how thrilling it is to get bids :-)

  3. I've done both and I really prefer selling out of a space. Maybe I'm just lazy (or would prefer to spend my free time sewing!), but I get tired of all the work that goes into selling online! The taking pictures, figuring out shipping, wrapping, answering questions can be so tedious. I've also had a couple of things break in shipping which then becomes another hassle. I've slowly downsized my Etsy shop to only lightweight and non-breakable items and I don't sell on Ebay at all any more (though my boyfriend does and he does really well with it). I love how all I do with the antique space it show up once a week to restock and they deal with all of the customers. But I definitely see your point about things selling better online and I'm sure I'm missing out on profits. Maybe one of these days I'll get back into it!

    1. I agree with you on so many points! The reason I more or less gave up on ebay was exactly for those same reasons - the picture taking, listing, wrapping, shipping - ugh! However, since last time I have found out about the super-easy ebay phone app, and at least the listing now goes super fast and the pictures taken with my phone rival my normal pictures (in daylight).

      That said, I really enjoy just finding my stuff (favorite part by far), pricing it and then bringing it to the booth, staging it and then DONE! Besides, it also is nice to meet and chat with fellow resellers in an antique market. Selling online can get a bit lonely too!