Yep, less than a week to go and it will be Rosebowl Flea market again, and I am dreading it.

Normally I load on the Monday before and get ready, I got home and I just didn’t feel in the mood to load, too much to do and I guess I am not optimistic about doing well out there. To make it worse, they increased ticket prices by 10% for sellers so that increases the cost of selling from $190 to $210, well it is not literally 10% it is $10 for each ticket and since I have one that was $110 and another that is $80 it is more than 10% for the one ticket and slightly less than that for the other! Either way it is a big price increase. The reason given was that costs have gone up…

…but I believe it is more a case of an increase in the number of sellers that are quitting because it is not financially viable and it is difficult to get out of the flea market at the end of the day because of the ever changing layout that means that it can take 40 minutes to leave the flea market.

The show also has fewer customers coming through the turnstiles, they claim that it is more people but as sellers we have noticed far less people walking around the show ground and they come in later paying the cheapest price possible to enter. Rather than charging less to enter they increase fees to customers and they then arrive late and want everything cheaper and cheaper.

Less staff and now we don’t see trash cans, shoppers dump their trash in our selling spaces and we have to clean that mess up at the end of the day.

Last month I had a customer angry because I wanted his driving license or $30 deposit on a furniture dolly (that he would get back upon return of the dolly). He couldn’t understand that I have lost on average one dolly each month because people buy items and don’t return the dollies in fact I think they keep them to move their purchase when they get home, I can’t carry that loss. The cost of dollies especially the two wheel variety is high, the last two cost me $60 each. The items that were purchased cost that price or less so effectively I gave Away the purchase or lost money on the purchase.

Saying that I would rather sell at the shows than out of the stores, I could sell cheaper at the shows and make more money because of the commission and booth rent costs in the antique mall.

Ideally I would rather sell online and focus on that but who knows how long before eBay makes it no longer viable to sell on there.

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I had to chuckle, I was waiting outside an estate for it to open and talking to a few others when Ren and Gimpy, a father and daughter buying pair called Bill and Cathy came past, she Drove past and a few looked directly at them, I deliberately do not take notice of them, they are just strange people. They were mouthing abuse at everyone, or actually I think it might have been directed at me because I was not in my home town but a neighboring town. Strange as it seems though this town is closer to mine than to their home town which is about 30 mile drive while I live just over the hill.

I wasn’t really interested, it was cold and I was more interested in waiting for the sale to open, incidentally there was nothing that I wanted to buy there, so i was surprised when the other dealers all said, well there goes the crazies. I asked what they meant and the explanation was very similar to my thoughts about them.

I seems that they were at a sale with Ren and Gimpy and someone picked up something that they wanted and both of them started accusing the poor person of robbing them, in fact the verbal abuse continued with Cathy screaming at the little old lady until she handed the item to her and left in tears.

I had a similar situation though it was caused because I caught her steal out of the antique mall. they are dealers AT&T he same antique mall, While dad was still alive we were rearranging a large display case and i happened to look up and she was stealing from another dealer, putting items into a Christmas bag. I whispered to dad and we watcher her and then when she realized that we were watching her she put back the items and went back to her own booths. I am sure she returned and took the items after we had finished and left.

As to the name. Well I referred to her as Gimpy because for the longest time she had knee issues and was waiting for an operation, she wore denim jeans so tight that she couldn’t bend her legs at all and walked like an upturned catapult or Y shape. The name stuck. She finally did have the operation but went straight back to wearing denims that were way too tight and still walks in that same manner and you can’t miss her gimping along.

Her dad is just as hateful and had made two lady dealers move out of the antique store by screaming at them. One parking where he feels he, and only he, has a right to park. the other didn’t even get a reason, she never knew what she did but I suspect that she caught the daughter stealing, the lady implied as much when we spoke to her just before she moved everything out. She said that she made the mistake of telling the old man that he needs to tell his daughter that she could get into trouble if she keeps doing what she is doing.

As for his name, well there was Ren and Stimpy, now there is Ren and Gimpy. I suppose I could go with those other deals and just call them the crazies.

It did make me laugh inside when I heard that others had the same opinion since they always act like they are wonderful to people and that butter would never melt in their mouths.

I didn’t find any furniture which is what I was looking for, oh well, maybe tomorrow, I need to buy enough to cover the december and start of January period.

I just can’t help it,  I have to love those people that make claims and then you catch them in the act of doing something they always tell people that they don’t do!

 

I was driving to an address where they claimed that they were holding a sale tomorrow,  I wanted to make sure that I knew where it was because the street is split over three blocks and part of the street is inaccessible from the rest.

So I drive down from the end of the street thinking it was in that first section,  nope, numbers were still in their 600’s.

The next section is tiny,  there is only either one or two houses in this section.  It is actually offset from the longer portion I had just driven down so I turn into that little section and there is Jim,  remember him, the Gossip who will make up what he doesn’t know and fills in blanks and guesses.  Guess I could always call him National Inquirer Jim from now on, lol.  A good name for him since he has made names for everyone else LOL.

Now he always said that he doesn’t earlybird sales.  I had my suspicions from slips he made about where he had gotten things but I had never seen him.

This time I actually catch him in the act.  He was getting back into the car and just stared as I drove past.

As it turns out, it was a location that holds sales regularly and I have never bought anything from them.   They are as expensive as buying from a thrift store.

So I had to laugh.  Explains why he is never out early.

So, I never actually bought anything today and two of the sales tomorrow are ones that have sales all the time so it makes tomorrow quicker and easier to deal with.  Guess it will be visiting thrift shops to bulk up the furniture for sale.

 

Well Thanksgiving is here once more, sales for this week will plummet while everyone focuses on standing in line and buying gifts for their loved ones. Sadly for the most part those gifts do not include antiques and collectibles, it includes new fun toys.

The antique stores are quiet, no not quiet they are closed Thursday! The mall I have booths is having a sale, but as usual they will offer discounts to customers and we will sell the same number of items and get less. Usual routine each time they have a sale.

Oh well, how does the phrase go…

…Gotta roll with the punches!

Online business has improved at least for the first past of the month, it will help subsidize losses within the business this year which declined in May and sat in the quagmire since then with very little improvement.

I’ve started updating some of the tables I use. I don’t overload them so I thought I would purchase a couple of those folding tables that fold into a single unit instead of taking my heavy swap meet tables with their separate folding legs. Easier to pack into the Cargo van and take up less room. At the end of the day that is what really matters. I invested $80 including taxes in two five loot long ones and will make life easier, with those, and if necessary the two card tables, it is likely that I will have plenty of table space for what I need and I will invest in a couple more in a couple of weeks. Then I can store the big heavy show stuff. I have decided it is time to modernize and make things easier. I need an easy set up.

I will not sell my older show stuff. It belonged to mom and dad when they first started the business and if I need them they will be there and be ready for use.

While I, for one, do not believe that we are out of the woods by any means I certainly think that there is a tiny glimmer of light coming from the distance and while it is a speck the size of a mustard seed and things will pick up.

We are in the season of spending and people cannot help themselves. I am sure I am the only one that is too cheap to spend. I did my spending earlier this year giving people that I cared about loans that they had no intention to pay back but being a believer in only loaning what you are willing to lose I wrote that series of large loans off.

Enough said about that and back to the subject in hand!

Yep. I feel that people will start spending, credit cards may get maxed out but I am sure that things might improve.

In this light I am making a Stab at expecting business to improve and I am going to build up stock and make an early display of Christmas items and make a display case themed that way and put some high end items in the case.

I need to keep the momentum going that I have had this month after two terrible months in the antique store. I cannot afford to hemorrhage losses and that is what has happened too often. So a new era will dawn and I am going to focus on getting back to building the business and turning a profit across all the sales lines.

No more going to shows and selling my purchasing mistakes for the same price or less than I paid for them. I need to make a profit. Either make a profit or go back to working, just don’t want to go back to journalism, it ceased to be fun years ago, but realistically I have to make a choice and start looking for work. This is all a last stand if business doesn’t improve how I anticipate it to!

When you sell on eBay it is so frustrating, they take a simple process and make it less functionally that it should be. They could make life easier for sellers but they do not think of the obvious, they think of it from doing a specific function but in that process they forget that it should do exactly they imply.

A fine example if their bulk relist or relist as fixed price or edit.

When you add best offer it shows bulk options but these options only work if you already have best offer minimum values preset…

… Even though you are adding these in bulk and therefore it is obvious that these would not be set.

A simple corrective formula would be something simple like

If value=0 or value=blank then set value=buyitnowprice.

Then it can use the decrease setting. Of course it would lock out the increase setting because it would not be valid and then would give an error of best offer amount is higher than buy it now price etc.

So today I spent the time manually changing these settings because of a lack of functionality that should be in there.

Rain rain go away, come again another day. Looks like a cold wet winter in ‘less than sunny California’.

Without fail the rain is falling on the days that people advertise estate and garage sales and man can’t live on Estate sales alone, the margins are just far too small or non-existant, combined together with the mistake purchases they are almost always loss making unless you find their rare pricing mistakes.

Well enough said, just not enough normal garage sales or people selling that price cheap because they do not know the value.

It seems, according to one sale that we visited this weekend, that the State Board of Equalization have been harassing them for not paying sales tax into the system from their sales. I guess that they got reported by a rival seller and had a visit.

I had to laugh because they only had junk, though they advertising starting with the phrase “No Junk Here”. I didn’t buy from them, there was nothing that would sell for more than they were selling and then they wanted to charge sales tax at more than the sales tax rate, almost double!

Well back to weather. Even though they forecast the bad weather it didn’t arrive until later in the morning. I had to take a package to the mail drop off, and who would be driving n the opposite direct was Mike and Renay, that crazy pair in their bumper car, like a pair of clowns at the circus.

I noticed that they had an indicator light burnt out, I wanted to say that it only costs a couple of dollars and Jim always claimed they were millionaires…..

…. Somehow I doubt it, I think Jim has taken too many drugs and believed too many of Mikes idiot stories, they are fabled because he always one ups anyone, if they say they had one thing then he has found two of them. Probably another psychological trait that he has. Will tell you more about that later.

Talking of Jim, havent seen him around for a week, it may have been him I glimpsed in the distance, I went another direction, glad I did not have to suffer having him within a mile of me, lol, I am getting to the stage that I could quite happily not deal with any of them and their double talk and lies between each other, it gets kind of old listening them telling whoppers to each other and trying to sound like they are doing better.

Hopefully the rain will happen tonight, Monday I have to take items into the store, business is picking up slightly and I may even get a check, makes a change but still making a loss out of there.

Tonight will be a rest night, tomorrow is my busy day, writing listings and pricing for the store, I need to rearrange display cases and make a new display with a Christmas theme. Will be pulling out all the baby chenilles that have shown no interest in the past 18 months. Will try them online or at the shows and make the display more Christmas orientated.

I am going to pull my singer featherweight out, I am sure that parts have been stolen from a conversation that I had with one of the sales girls at the store, will have to see what is missing and buy replacement parts and then get it sold at a show.

Talk later