An antique mall is a co-op similar to a flea market but with a specific focus on older items. If you want to find quality antiques in good condition, a local antique mall will give you the most chances of finding a treasure.
I was in the antique business for over a decade, so I know a lot about running a booth, but I also know a lot about antiquing. There are several things you should consider when you’re shopping in an antique mall. These antique mall shopping tips will save you money and help you navigate a sometimes confusing setup.
1. Bring cash if you want a better deal.
There are two reasons you should bring cash with you to an antique mall. The first reason is that some antique malls only accept cash or personal check. Another reason is that some establishments might offer an additional discount for paying with cash.
2. Don’t move items outside of their designated booth.
This tip might seem like an obvious one, but it may not be evident to a first-timer. Antique malls are split into booths that antique dealers rent. Each booth is designated to a specific vendor, so their inventory should always stay inside their booth.
If you want to ask a question, bring the item to the front check-out and make a note of the booth number and be sure to return it where you found it.
3. Wait for special sale days for a larger discount.
The front desk can haggle to a certain extent on antiques on behalf of the dealer. Most dealers will leave instructions with the antique mall with how much they are willing to discount items. However, sometimes the best deals are made with the dealer in question.
Some antique malls will run exclusive sales where most of the dealers will be present in their booths. Ask the antique mall if they plan on running any upcoming clearance sales and revisit the mall at that time.
4. Go on days when dealers are likely to restock their booths.
Some items can sit in an antique mall for years, but others can sell within a day or two of their arrival. It’s essential to see fresh inventory if you’re in the market for a specific item.
You can leave your name and number with the front desk with a list of items you’re willing to buy. If it’s worth their while, they can pass your information on to a dealer when they see a dealer bring that item in the front door.
Other antique malls have specific days of the week that dealers can restock their booths. Shoot for Sunday or Monday or ask the mall which day they recommend.
We hope these antique mall tips helped and offered a little insight from an antique dealer’s perspective. Good luck and happy hunting!