Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Vintage & Antique Business in Our Changing Times

An recent share from +Sharon Meredith to our Vintage & Antiques Community on G+ (the article was on how retail spending is down) got me going on a topic that's been shuffling around my brain for awhile now.
Is there a shift in the Vintage & Antiques business?

I think typically retail sales are always down prior to an election and with this election being somewhat volatile and more polarizing, people are even more fearful of spending.
The bright side, more people are buying online and less in retail outlets. 
Here's where the shift comes in...I do think that brick & mortar antique/vintage shops are on the rise again and this will in turn hurt the online seller. Since the online vintage/antiques business initially hurt the brick & mortar businesses, it could be said that turn around is fair play.  

Lambertville, NJ with photo credit to Hunterdon Happening

The popularity of vintage & antiques has made the actual shopping part of it, more of a social event that appeals to a larger audience than before the "craze" began. There were always those of us who went "antiquing" but now, with the popularity of all that is vintage and antique, the age range and diversity of those who visit small antique towns and flea markets, has grown...that in turn, will slow the online businesses down. Combine that with the flood new vintage/antique online dealers over the past 6 years or so and you get my point.

Could the wheel spin the other way again, maybe... but what can you do to improve your business during these shifts? My suggestion is to stay in trend with the trends and always keep a percentage of your shop geared to the trending items (can I use the word trend one more time?:)) 

Stay on top of social media changes and who is using what to shop.

Interesting, quality pieces at reasonable prices, always sell.

Keep your shop fresh.

Take bright, clean, detailed photos from many angles. ...and as always, exceptional customer service and communication always keep the customers coming back despite the economic and/or societal circumstances.

Thanks so much for reading!



  1. Thank you very much, dear Pam!

  2. I enjoyed reading this, Pam, and I have often wondered how long online vintage shopping will be strong compared to all the shops that seem to be popping up in every abandoned storefront in every town. I think it's a good thing that so many of us what things to come directly to us, ordered from home conveniently, without having to ask someone to unlock a case, etc. And while there are many lovely antique shops, some frankly aren't very customer friendly when it comes to examining pieces of interest. Good photos online take care of that issue:-)

    1. Thank you so much Ann!
      I do think it could swing the other way again when the next new "craze" comes through but honestly I love that vintage came back and I hope it stays that way for all us.
      I definitely agree that good product descriptions and photos are key to good online business.
      ...and I do find that many b&m shops have that less than welcoming attitude and offer more of a "Are you worth my time?" look when walking through the door:)