Believe it or not there is a caste system among antique dealers. Now this is strictly old school thinking so don’t get mad at me. The list goes starting at the bottom; yard sales, flea markets, co-ops, antique stores. It’s a food chain of sorts and it omits all the online stuff or artisan or pop-up markets. Each level of the hierarchy has its positives and negatives. I’ve been involved in all levels but lets talk about the one I know best…co-ops.
The pros of being in a co-op:
You don’t have to give up your weekends.
Your items are out in front of the public. There’s more of a chance for shoppers to see and buy.
Less damage to merchandise.
Most co-ops will take credit cards.
You can make attractive displays.
They will collect your sales tax.
Use your booth for storage and make money at the same time
The cons of being in a co-op:
Shoppers feel less urgency to buy.
Shoppers will mess up your merchandise. Damage to items from shoppers can happen.
Theft is a possibility.
A pro and a con depending on your personality is the interaction with the public. Not everyone is cut out for in-person sales. The flip side is you may miss out on sales because the customers like dealing with you personally.
If you’re interested or thinking of getting into the business, try them all out and see which is the right fit for you. As for the caste system I don’t believe it at all. I know flea marketers that make a lot of money and some antique dealers that don’t make any.