We've had a brick-and-mortar presence in some form or another since August 2006 in Valdese, N. C.
First, we paid a huge amount of rent for this town and leased a store on our own for four months. We never came close to making the rent. It was our first business venture together, and we tested the waters. The waters were cold and chilly, and we got out ASAP.
Next we rented 1/2 booth at Myra's General Store for $35.00 a month. We always made that rent and then some. We leased a full booth in addition for $60.00 more and always made the $95.00 until sometime in spring 2008. We closed the full booth and kept the half for a while. Then, one month we only made $16.00 total and bye, bye Myra's.
In addition to the 1/2 booth at Myra's, we had a full booth at Valdese Antiques for $55.00 month. It was spotty - for four full months in 2007 we didn't make the rent, so we closed it down.
She lost the business and it became Cornerstone Antiques. In February 2008 we took a booth there for $85.00. When we closed down Myra's, we had 1 1/2 at Cornerstone for a month or two. We went back to only 1 booth in August. We've always made the rent and then some, until this month. So far, we've made $4.99 the last time I checked. And what's so bad about that is, we only paid $45.00 rent because I worked off $40.00 running the store now and then.
Now, I know all this is very small potatoes, but they're my potatoes so I keep a count of them. And when I face the thought that from now through May or so this little town has very few tourists, I am standing to lose $85 per month.
Now, I have about $1,500 in inventory in that one small booth, incredible as it sounds. And if I can't sell enough to pay $85.00 rent and then make something for myself over and above that, that means my inventory is not salable.
So, I've got to continue scouring garages sales, auctions, yard sales, flea markets, eBay, Etsy, etc. - continually on the look out for good, cheap, decent looking collectibles and antiques. Things I can buy low and sell high.
And, you know what? I don't like it anymore. The thrill is just plain gone after two years of scrabbling and bargaining and always feeling like to the old wolf is at the brick-and-mortar door.
So, me and the man have decided to pack it in at the end of December. If I can, I'll do some kind of 50% off sale in December to get the business in to sell what I can.
The rest will come home to be slowing given away, donated, Craiglist, Iwanna, eBay, Etsy - however else we can sell without being obligated to pay someone else rent again.
I guess the reaction will set in after it's all done and moved to our attic.
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