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How To Be A Successful Vintage Booth Vendor #1: Determine Your Style

Variety of sushi with wording on top

You go to get your oil changed at a new place in town. When you walk in the front door, you see the waiting area, the cashier and what is that?? You see they also sell sushi at this new oil change joint. Would you eat it?? It’s eclectic! I would wager you would pass on the oil change sushi. It’s too strange, too far out of the box.

Our brain likes to put things in little, organized boxes. It gets overwhelmed when things don’t go together. This is why when you confuse customers, you lose.

If you want to be a successful vintage booth vendor, this is the exact reason you should avoid being “eclectic” in your booth business. It is confusing! We all to easily use this word as a catch all to define our booth style. Eclectic is not a style. It’s a mish-mash of everything that shoppers can’t picture in their homes. It’s you purchasing this, that and the other thing and hoping it will all sell, even if none of it goes together.

When you take the time to fine tune your style, you will build a cult-like following of customers who RUSH to your booth to see what new merchandise you put out and how you styled it. They can envision your items in their homes. They can picture your vignettes on their mantles and dressers.

Determining your style and sticking to it allows you to create more meaningful displays. It better enables you to tell stories to your customers. They are looking at you, the expert, to help them tell stories in their own homes.

Even the big box stores do this. You won’t find vacuums with the toys at any store. At Target, you won’t find the Magnolia brand mixed in with McGee and Co because they are two distinct styles with two separate narratives that they convey to their customers. They know that these things will sell better when organized a certain way- like with like.

Here are a few examples to get the juices flowing.

So how do you determine your style?

-          Look at your booth. Is there a pattern already there that you just need to focus on? What merchandise do you really like and resonate with?

-          Check your payout history. What items are selling really well for you? Do they fall within a certain style category? What could you add to enhance those items?

-          Check Pinterest. There are so many styles out there. Here is a link to a board with style ideas for you to explore: It’s just a starting point and doesn’t include the latest style trends such as dark academia. Pinterest is a great place to explore because you can delve into emerging trends so you can stay current on what is popular. You may need to adapt your style over time as trends change. It’s a good idea to come back and check pinterest a few times a year to see what is popular.

-          Home Décor magazines- Pick up a few home décor magazines to see what styles are getting circulated to the public. Do any of them resonate with you?

Your booth style should reflect your personality. It should be something that comes easily and that you enjoy and find aesthetically pleasing.

Once you determine your style, only buy inventory that fits within that style. It doesn’t matter how good of a deal something is. If it doesn’t fit your style, leave it behind!! You will find that it becomes easier to source new merchandise when you know EXACTLY what you are looking for.

Make sure you keep your booth fully stocked with merchandise fitting your style. Remember, only about 10% of your inventory will sell every month. Your booth sales are really just a numbers game. If you have $5000 of merchandise in your booth, your payout will only be about $500. If you only have $1000 of merchandise in your space, that means your payout will only be about $100. Restock and refresh your booth weekly to increase your sales!

Is it easy to take the time to figure out your style? No, not exactly. Some folks will take the “easy” road and skip this step. They are the ones that will lose out on sales month after month. If you take the time to determine your style and stick with it, it will pay off because the riches are in the niches!

Here are some more examples of a few of the strongest style I have seen out in the wild.

If you already have a solid style, tell us what it is in the comments!


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