I'm thinking of renting an antiques cabinet in my local antiques centre.
Can anyone give me any advice on this?
Just curious, what type of items do you wish to sell? These cabinets usually require an employee of the center to open the cabinet to examine or purchase an item. At least that is the way it is done where we spell centre, center.
We're thinking of Royal Worcester Porcelain, and oriental items.
I'm not too sure what items do well in cabinets though.
I presume you are referring to what we call an anitque mall where you rent space or a cabinet and an employee of the mall takes care of selling your items for a cut of the sale. Have you checked on what is selling in other cabinets? Perhaps check another center. I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and there are many antique malls.
My advice would be to make sure every item in your cabinet is well displayed and that the price tag is visible as well, and if necessary have a small card with additional info printed on it as well. I find it a major inconvenience to have to go get an employee to open the cabinet for something I am interested in only to find it had a chip in the back or is priced way too high.
I have seen some cabinets that have mirror on the lack wall....so the viewer can see the back of an item.
Good luck if you decide to do this.
Make sure that your inventory suits the demographic. High quality merchandise doesn't sell at a price-buyer's mall, and price buyers are not educable. They want bang for the buck, so authenticity and quality mean little. You CAN display merchandise that's a cut above the rest of the mall, but putting the upper end stuff in doesn't work unless the entire mall is upper end (don't laugh, they do exist).
The more a display is changed, the more fresh and exciting it looks. Spend some time developing your display often. Remove stuff that's sat for several weeks. I took stuff out the moment I noticed fading on the price tags. That took about 5 weeks. I could have made fresh tags but didn't see the point in that. If you can spend at least a few hours weekly working your display you're way ahead of the pack. You're also there to answer questions when someone stops to have a look.
Like Linda stated-it doesn't hurt to have a mirror in back so people can look at the backside of items. Add it yourself if it's not already in the case. This may cut down on how often the cabinet is opened, thus reducing damages and theft.
Museum putty helps to keep objects from slipping on the glass shelves. Staff and lookers aren't necessarily going to take the best care of your inventory so help yourself as much as possible. A neatly arranged display makes it easier to see gaps where something once stood. I took pictures of my display every time I changed it. That made it easy to know what had been mis-placed.
I rented a case at a huge mall, that supposedly had the best security. Damages and theft were terrible. But sales were sometimes good. I ended up in the red because of the problems. Be aware that the contract might release the mall from any responsibility whatsoever. It's your responsibility to insure your inventory.
Now that all the negative stuff is out of the way, that mall will attract people looking for the rare gems in the lot. You'll get a lot of 'face time' and can count on some of that as being serious dealers and collectors who can distinguish the treasures from the average stuff. It's a fun way to market your stuff and I wish you good luck!