Sunday, May 25, 2008

Shop Owner FAQs: Part Three

The #1 most frequently asked question by customers is: "Where do you get all your stuff?" They're not asking about the image new stuff, oh no. They want to know where I got all of the old stuff, the good stuff.

Imagine my most sultry James Bond-girl voice: "I could tell you, dah-ling, but then I'd have to keeeel you!"

Seriously, every business has its confidential, proprietary information that they guard with their lives, because to give up that information is akin to handing over the keys to the store. It's like the Coke formula; that puppy is kept in a vault, for goodness sake!

So am I likely to spill the beans whenever someone's curious? Nope. Not a chance.

But since you're my very best friends, I'll level with you. Because I know it's just between us.

Like other dealers, I go to tag sales, estate sales, and auctions. I've bought items on eBay for resale. I troll through other antique shops and thrift shops looking for bargains. Whenever Hubby and I go on vacation, I scout out the antique shops in the area ahead of time, and if there aren't any...well, we need to find another vacation spot! I've even been known to handle an item or two for family and close friends.

To the folks who have posed the question and walked away disappointed when I tell them sweetly, "Oh, from LOTS of places...", please understand.

I'm just not ready to hand over the keys yet.

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