Question for Linda........

patty_cakesJuly 25, 2012

Linda, I would like to know why some antique malls charge such high commission fees~mine is 8%, which I feel in tough economic times is a bit steep. Is it a possibility the manager is actually getting the commission from all sales as an incentive in keeping sales from falling below whatever the realized goal is for the year? I'm asking because over the last 4 yearsi i've asked the manager to please ask the owner if it could be brought down slightly, since sales are definitely not what they used to be during the "good old days". Just wondering if the manager could somehow figure into the scenario as this is common practice in most areas of retail sales.

Thanks a bunch!

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The fees are to pay for lights heat, cleaning etc.....and of course to pay the manager.
I trust you also pay a fee for booth rental.
Some malls charge the fees they need up front to the dealers....others also charge a % of sales. An outfit here in the midwest that puts on antiques shows, charges a space fee....depending on the size of your space and also a % of sales.
I think 8% sounds fairly low.....I don't think the manager gets any % of sales ( unless, of course, that's his only pay) he just keeps things clean, your merchandise safe, takes the money, and hires people to be there when he can't be.
I know 2 malls that charge an "admissions fee"....needless to say I have never been in those shops!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:45AM
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I could live with an admission fee. I readily admit I browse for entertainment. I think many shops have resented the number of times I come in and look (although I do buy, I sometimes wonder if they remember that). Since I usually have a parking meter running when I am in an independent store, if parking is free, a dollar or two to wander around a mall is not that bad. Should be refundable upon purchase, perhaps.

Kind of like the dollar coin we have to put into the grocery cart to use it :-)

Karin L

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:28PM
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The coin for the grocery cart is returned when you return the cart.
I will never pay for the privilege of looking at things for sale.
I also browse for entertainment.....and have bought lots of stuff I didn't mean to buy.
Any antiques dealer worth his or her salt will realize that the more who look, learn and drool....the better their market will be. Dealers should be very willing to inform about stuff in their shop, and to learn from their customers.
I have bought amazing things for amazing prices.....while just browsing. An 18 K gold 3 Caret amathyst ring...for $2.50, a pair of Swedish sterling tongs, marked 800 for $12.50, a cheese scoop marked 925 for $10, an asparagus server for about $12 with British hallmarks, an early Roseville pitcher for $3.50....ect etc.....and you can be sure I didn't go into any shop- looking especially for those things!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:48PM
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OT, but I've never heard of the coin-in-the-grocery-cart thing. And I would never pay for admission to a shopping mall, antiques or otherwise.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Antique.. Coin in the grocery cart has been quite popular here in Canada for years. It makes you want to put the cart away properly just to get that 25 cents or the loonie (1.00 coin) back.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Fori is not pleased

I've only seen the coin-for-a-cart thing at the airport!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:30PM
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The Aldi's here do that....insures there are never carts left in the parking lot and they don't have to provide cart corrals nor pay someone to return them. I first ran across that in Spain. It's a good thing....but charging to view your wares is not.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Hi Pattycakes, I assume you mean that 8% of your sales go to ownership? That sounds reasonable to me. Where I am, I pay 14%, plus the rent which is $3/square foot. I am in a city, but still, it is hard to cover expenses some months. Sales have really been off this year, too. I may have to reassess if things don't improve, and soon!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input on what is a touchy subject to me. I thought the monthly rent I paid took care of all those overhead charges. When you figure 90+ vendors paying 8% per mo PLUS rent, it would seem a good amount of what goes out per month would be covered.

I feel it would be a bit more fair to the vendors if the commission structure changed along w/the economy of the previous year, at least dropped by 2% in the tough times.

Shea, that's totally absurd! Is your rent somewhat negotiable if you've been there a few years? I would definitely have a heart-to-heart with the manager. ;o)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 8:49PM
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You have a choice....leave the mall.....if your fellow tenants feel the same, get them to join you.
If you have a legit gripe, hit them where the money is.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:59PM
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Patti, there is currently a long waiting list of people wanting to get space, so that empowers the owner to keep raising rent and commissions. I don't think it would faze her in the least if I left, or if 6-8 of us left at the same time. This mall does get the most foot traffic of any in our area, so moving elsewhere doesn't make a lot of sense. I just think it's a tough busines to make a go of. I've had to raise my prices to try to cover my increasing costs of doing business, yet when I do that, my sales fall off. It's starting to look like a no-win situation. As I said, I'm in a big city, so the owner's rent is high, too.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:46PM
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do other vendors in that mall feel as you do? perhaps you need to re think the kind of merchandise you are carrying and/or try to shop better for your wares....if your whole sale costs are less then your profit could be higher and still allow you to pay the rent and commission.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Linda, thanks for the advice. I can use all that I can get! I have two booths, with a different strategy for each. One booth is primarily fine antiques, upper end. It was doing fairly well, so I rented a second booth. My thinking was, I was making a little money, so why not 2 x a little? LOL. In the second booth my idea was to try different things to see what sells best - shabby chic, mid-century, etc. One thing I'm doing that I am going to rethink. I am putting in groupings one at a time. For instance, I've got a lot of mid-century stuff that I plan to put in at the same time. I also have an oak step-back cabinet and a baker's cupboard (similar to a hoosier) along with primitive kitchen items. Maybe I should just be putting some of everything in instead of separate groupings going in one at a time.

And you are right, I need to keep a close eye on what I pay for items. That's about the only variable of expenses I can control.

An example of a recent month's expenses:
Rent for 2 booths (each appr. 10x12')= $745
Sales: $2025
Commission on sales: $284
Price paid for items sold: $665
Gasoline: $150
Misc. expenses (supplies such as paint, sandpaper and other fix-up items, plus business tax): $50
Total expenses: $1894
Total sold: $2025
Total profit: $131

As you can see, if I don't sell $2000, I'm sunk. Also the amount for items sold was 3 times what I paid. I'd not come close if I was only getting twice what I paid. I am planning to down-size to one booth as soon as I sell a few more large items.

Patti, I apologize for butting in on your thread. I know our circumstances are different, but it looks like the end result is the same!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:02PM
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