Friday, July 31, 2015

Ask Eddie Anythng: Booth Business (Part 2)


Moving down Aisle 6 from the Endcap Booth and passing two not very well-tended spaces on the right will bring you to my final double spot, which I refer to as the "Aisle Booth" because, well, it's on the aisle. 

This is the view coming down the aisle.  This booth starts with those pink bears and runs to the brown bookcase in the distance.  I hate having that pole right there, but there's nothing I can do about it.  I have almost knocked that fire extinguisher off that pole more than once.

Here is a more head on view into the booth.

This is kind of my catchall booth for stuff that doesn't work in the other spots.  It's also my spot for the oddball and eclectic.  It's also my problem child.  I'm just not happy with this space right now. You'll see why in a minute.

This is the home for my religious section, which includes religious books and media.  I would love to work one more shelf in here for religious stuff, but I can't think of a way to do it without violating the laws of time and space and causing the universe to implode.  I'd hate to end up floating in the timeless, spaceless quantum void and have one of you drift by and say:  "Way to go.  You just had to try and put one more shelf in there, didn't you?"

I promise there is a chair under all that crap.

I have a few pieces of small furniture in this booth, mainly overflow from the Endcap Booth.  I am toying with the idea of grabbing a bunch of chairs and such out of storage and going whole hog with them in here.  Can you really have too much small furniture?  Maybe I could put more religious items on the small furniture, thus eliminating the need for another shelf!  Huzzah!  The universe is saved!  I am a hero once again!

This is also my spot for kid-sized furniture and large toys.  And non-vintage, non-nerd toys in general.  Toys are fun, but, man, are they a lot of work.  Kids are messy.

And I have a nice selection of barware.  I must have a regular crew of drinkers and smokers that shop from me, because I sell a lot of this stuff.

I am talking about that rack in the background here

I hate this shelf.  It has out lived its usefulness and, frankly, was never that useful to begin with.  I bought it from another vendor in a panic when I was moving in this store, because all of my other shelves were in use in Dixie.  It's too deep and awkward to display stuff, plus it's clunky and ugly and just gets on my nerves!  I need to come up with a plan to get rid of and replace it.  Sigh.

Now we come to the problem in this space.  These shelves.  Well not the shelves, per se, but what's on them.  I need for it to be other stuff, but I have a hard and fast rule that nothing comes home from the booth.  The only things I will pull are either broken or seasonal holiday stuff.  Everything else stays until it sells or rots away.  I just move it from booth to booth and spot to spot until that happens.  I refer to all my bottom shelves as "purgatory" as that's where stuff ends up sitting after I give up on

I know this is bad retail strategy, but I sell enough on a daily basis that my booth is constantly changing, purgatory shelves notwithstanding.  I'm just honestly too lazy to want to schlep stuff home.  Every couple of years, I will pull a bunch of the shelf sitters and either donate them or do a bulk sale to another vendor, but nothing's coming back with me.

Where did all this stuff on these shelves come from?  Remember a while back when I mentioned that I had bought out a vendor who was leaving?  This is part of that stuff.  Some of it is the lower quality end of the lot.  When you buy a whole booth, you get it all, even the warts and turnip rinds.  (Do turnips have rinds?)

I wasn't really intending to buy this woman out.  We were negotiating a deal for her shelves, which I liked because of their size.  I was moving a bunch of shelves to the Endcap Booth, and these would make good replacements.  All of a sudden, she makes this ridiculously low offer for the shelves plus all her stuff.  And the rest is history.

There was a lot of good stuff in her space:  Fenton, Louisville Stoneware, Hadley, ByBee, Boyd's Bears, a couple of Longabergers, plus a ton of Asian decor.  The good stuff went into the Endcap Booth and is selling pretty well for me.  I've made my money back on the deal in just a few weeks.

It's just that there's now a lot of this stuff to deal with. Combs. Bibs. Shoes. Hair accessories. Vegetable peelers.  There's nothing wrong with any of that stuff or with the people who sell it.  It's just not me, and it's taking up space that I want to use for other stuff.

The toys and glass on the white shelves I kind of like, except for the fact that the toys keep falling off the shelves if you look at them sideways.  And there's way too much of the glass.  We're talking like a metric shit ton of glassware.  I'm not kidding.

There are DOZENS of these divided relish dishes!  Who serves that much relish, besides maybe the Queen of England.  Oh wait, she doesn't serve relish because it makes her gassy.  Don't ask me how I know this.

It's that way with every glass piece.  Instead of one or two, there are many multiples.  The glass was one of the reasons I got the booth, but I seriously underestimated how much of it there was.  Some of this stuff has got to go.

Since I've made my money back, I'm starting to mark this stuff down.  Way down.  There is enough of it that I'll still make a killer profit on the sheer bulk of the stuff.  Hopefully, that will move this stuff out fast!

Whatever is left at the end of the month will go in my yard sale.  I will be doing a one time only violation of the "no pulling items" rule and yanking any of this that is left and selling it even cheaper.  Anything left after that will be donated.  Hopefully, there will be very little for the yard sale.

The good stuff will stay full price and stay in the Endcap Booth.

I use every inch of space in this booth too.  Everything builds up!

I guess that wraps up the whole booth tour thing, and also our first Ask Eddie Anything. I hope you enjoyed it.  Feel free to swing through these parts any time.  I'll be glad to help you fill up a cart.

Let us pray!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Button, Button. Who's got the Button? (Part V)

Hearken ye...

to the conclusion of the tale from the Button Pile!

(You can review the beginning and the middle if need be.)

After the play, everyone went outside to look at the sky.

This is turning into a fairy tale!

 A carriage...

pulled by a ram...

Insert moose noise here.

and a moose came up the driveway.

A cowboy...


and an Indian chief got out.

They sang...

Fa la la

King Tut!

Egyptian folk songs....

Twinkle twinkle little star...
told horoscopes...


and did rodeo tricks for everyone.

Afterwards, they all went bowling....



and played tennis...

Here comes Suzy Snowflake!

until it started to snow.


Then they went skiing!

Everyone had so much fun that they decided to stay on the moon.  If you look really closely on a clear night you can see them all, laughing and having fun.

And everyone lived happily ever after!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ask Eddie Anything: More Booth Stuff (Part 1)

I'm taking care of a bunch of tasks at once here.  This is the more in depth look at the booth I promised earlier, but it also ties in with the first two questions from Ask Eddie Anything that I want to answer.

Joy said:

"Darn, can't think of a question. Love pictures of your booths so, more pictures???"

And Donna asked:

"And how much selling space do you have now?"

To start with Donna, I now have five booths, each 8x10.  Four of them are set up as a pair of doubles, which is just two booths side by side.

Let's take a look.  Before we do, let me give a few caveats.  First, the lighting in this place is horrid for pictures.  Bright overhead fluorescents bounce off the white tile floor.  The glare is hideous.  I don't even try to counter that when I take pics.  It's just too much work.

Next, I am not a stylist or a decorator.  I have no talent at this booth arranging thing.  My aesthetic is more "cram it in" rather than "create cute vignettes."  I'm there to sell stuff, not make pretties.  Probably, if I could do the latter, I would do more of the former


There's an aisle that runs across the front of the store, and all the other aisles branch of it to run the length of the store.  Between that aisle and the front wall are a few booths.  This is where the book booth is.  It's a single space, only 8x10.

I'm standing in the aisle, looking into the booth in this shot.

I call it the "Book Booth" for short, but that's more of a theme than a literal definition.  Most everything in the booth relates to that theme, at least in my little mind.  The exception is that vintage curio mirror on the right.  It should be in the Furniture Booth, but there is just no room for it right now.

Things that "relate" to the theme (to me), include the note cards in the black basket and the media items on the shelf below.  Those baskets are in the booth next to me.  I would never put baskets in a book booth!  Except for the black one that I put note cards in....

CD's, DVD's, VHS, card sets and card games on the left.  I don't categorize my books, with two exceptions.  One is the manga shelf under the orange tag on the right.  The digest size of most manga trades means they would get lost in a box of comics and graphic novels.

I have previously admitted to my thing for school desks.  The chair was one of my bulk purchases from another dealer when the Dixie store closed.  I got three of those chairs, a bakers rack and a microwave cupboard from her.  That one chair is all that's left.  I've got school binders in the chair because I don't have any other place to put them.  That's kind of a recurrent decor motif for me.

Children's books (tub on top), vintage texts, baskets of ephemera (bottom two shelves), plus a yellow step stool so that people can look in the tub on top without taking it off the shelf.  The stool sold this weekend, so I need to find another one.  The flower basket stands to the lower right hold small books and more note card sets.

I need to find a better arrangement for the ephemera items.  Those baskets just aren't working and the whole effect is just too messy.

The wonderful thing about using tables for display is that you can stash more stuff under them.  I am all for filling every. single. inch. with things to sell.  After all, I am paying rent on those inches.  If I could get away without leaving space for people to walk, I would.  Even the shelving and displays are for sale.  As a wise woman once said "NFS doesn't pay the rent."  (NFS = Not for Sale)

Of course, there are comics.  Would not be my space without them!  I need to bring in a new box of them.  One of the long boxes completely emptied out the other day.  I have some magazines and other odd items mixed in with the comics.

Well, what do you know?  Books in a book booth!  Whodathunk?  Books are very common in flea market booths, so I try really hard not to have the stuff everyone else does.  You won't find the usual suspects here.  No Danielle Steel or Stephen King or John Grisham.  Who's going to buy them from me when they can get them from just about anyone else?  You can see the empty spaces here.  I need to bring some more books in.  They're just in a hard to get to spot in my storage and I haven't felt like hauling all that crap out to get to them.  Plus, books are heavy!

On the left under the blue tag is my other specialized area for books.  You can find cookbooks, craft books, and gardening books there.  Lots of people come looking for them, so I thought it was a good idea to make a section for them.  It's not really a section I ever planned to have, but my mother had a lot of gardening books and someone left a huge box of cookbooks behind at Dixie, which got passed on to me.

I actually do have a third specialized area for books, but it's actually in another booth.

Text books.  One of the continuing education programs gave me a bunch of surplus text books.  I keep them all on this shelf, which I guess is a special book area, meaning that I don't really know what I'm talking about, even in my own booths.

Finally, my annoyance.  Those big, blank, empty shelves are not in my booth.  The booth next to mine put in a bunch of shelves with pegboard backing in their booth, but turned them around backwards.  I'd really not have them there.  If they put merch in there, I'm going to complain.  I do not pay rent for people to stand in my booth and shop someone else's space.

The wrestling figure on the right is the only toy that made it into those pics, but I do keep action figures, collectible card games, and other nerd toys in this space, since the comics are also here.


Turning around from the Book Booth, you find the Furniture Booth, which I also call the Endcap Booth, because it's a double booth stretching across the end of Aisles 6 and 7.

This is the Aisle 7 side.  Lots of smalls for something called the "Furniture Booth."  I try to limit smalls in this booth to vintage, retro, rustic, classic, and general decor items.

This is my Asian decor section, which is on the Aisle 7 side.

Coming into the booth from the Aisle 7 side.  That loveseat sold right after I took this pic, saving me from having to bitch about the fact that it's still there!  It was a freebie from the Dixie move out, one of the last large items I was given.  I was sooooo sick of it.  Now, I get to bitch about having to fill that space.  Junkers!  We're never happy.

Head on view in the booth.  That unfinished wood shelf is interesting.  It's handmade and held together by wooden pegs, not nails or glue.  I think it was some kind of history project, because there are three names written on it, along with a grade.  They got a B.

You're probably noticing empty spots here and there.  I took these pics after a few days of my "ain't gonna restock smalls for a while" pledge.  I'm letting a lot of these bits and bobs sell down to make lots of room for more.  I have bunches of smalls.  I sell bunches of smalls.  

Vintage toy shelf.  I'm selling a lot of Fisher-Price right now.

I like to use small shelves to extend the capacity of larger shelves.  Some of my pricier stuff is on this shelf.

These two shelves are sitting on a work table on wheels.  I am debating wheeling that whole kaboodle over into the space where the love seat was, just to shake things up a bit.  I need to ponder that some more, as I'll need to figure out what to put in this spot after the move.

That afghan seems to be photo-bombing every pic in this post!

Old metal cabinets are great for displaying magnets!  I never met a small table that I could not stack.

The view down Aisle 6.  More magnets on that metal cabinet.  I try to catch people's eye from every possible angle.

You've gotta use ever nook and cranny! And cubby!  People will look wherever there is stuff.  Not all of them will, but enough do to make it worth stocking every spare inch.  Letting these bits and bobs sell down allow me to shuffle stuff around to fill spots, which moves things into places where they might catch the right eye.  I have been really surprised at how many of my Dixie leftovers sell as soon as I put them out.  Sometimes, all it takes is a new location.

This post is running long, so I'm gonna stop here.  I'll be back with the last spaces on Friday.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Button, Button. Who's got the Button? (Part IV)

Hearken ye... 

to the middle of the tale from the Button Pile!

(You can find the first bit here, if you need to catch up.)



 The Romans languished!

So, everyone stopped fighting and decided to have a luau!

All aboard!
They jumped on a boat....

Splish! Splash!

and sailed....

Land Ho!

to an island.

They had great fun!


They rode on sea horses....


played horseshoes...


and played golf!

Everybody Hula!

Everyone thought it was Paradise!

Just then,


a wise owl flew up.... 


in a space ship!

Everyone went...


to visit the Man on the Moon.

He showed them all the sights!

They went to a lunar casino...

and played Poker...

Round and round she goes!





Did someone cheat?

and Tic Tac Toe.


Everyone won!


Balboa came by...

with his atomic Scottie dog...

Add horrendous sound effect here.
to play a bagpipe solo for the group. 

Tick Tock!

He announced that it was time....

There's no business...
to go to the theater....

for his favorite play...

To be or not to be!

Madame Bovary.


 For the record, my favorite buttons of the whole lot are in this part of the story--the roulette wheel, the clock, the space ship and the atomic symbol.