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Tips on renting and merchandising an antique mall booth
Photo: Lokman Sevim/Pexels

Tips on renting and merchandising an antique mall booth


Breanna Battista, owner of Blue Buttercup Vintage, shares her advice on managing antique mall booths in our free guide

Antique mall booths have long been used as a way to generate income from selling vintage products.

Sellers set up at an antique mall or vintage collective for a number of reasons. Listing online sales can be too time-consuming.

They may want to complement their existing vintage e-commerce or market-based business. Or they may have limited onsite storage to house their inventory. Or they benefit from a built-in customer base without the stress of opening their own store.

For Breanna Battista, owner of Blue Buttercup Vintage and renter of seven antique mall and arts market booths, boothing is a lifestyle choice that affords her a solution for all of the above as she maintains a part-time job in retail and cares for her five children.

Blue Buttercup Vintage's booth at the Arts Market Danforth location in Toronto
A booth at an antique mall or arts collective, like Blue Buttercup Vintage’s booth at Toronto’s Arts Market Danforth, is a good way to make sales without having to be physically present. Photo: The Vintage Seeker

While Breanna lists some products on Instagram and participates in vintage markets in the Toronto-Hamilton area, her consistent month-over-month sales come from her antique mall booths.

Breanna opened her first booth in 2016 after hosting a vintage tea party–themed bridal shower for a friend.

She’d originally considered a rental business as a way to make income on the vintage teacups and decor she’d sourced for the occasion, but her friend Laura, proprietor of sayaLOVEvintage, encouraged her to try a booth at one of the Arts Market locations in Toronto.

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She was hooked after her first booth, and opened up six more in recent years.

“I was looking back on photos the other day and [my first booth] was so empty,” says Breanna. “That's not my style anymore. It's so crazy how things change so quickly.”

Catering to different customers

Breanna sells a mix of vintage decor and vintage clothing in most of her booths. With each booth generating a different type of customer depending on its location, Breanna is mastering the art of inventory management.

She finds her Instagram customer and her customer at in-person markets to be similar, whereas customers who shop at the Freelton Antique Mall in Hamilton, Ont. favour more antiques, so that’s what she brings in.

At the Hamilton Antique Mall, she operates booths on three different floors, because customers don’t always shop the whole mall.

“It’s interesting to see how people gravitate to a certain floor and then fix their style based on shopping that level,” she says. “Some people just do the first floor and then leave. But then you have a lot of boho and ’80s, especially on floor three, and then in the basement there is a lot of clothes.”

Cover of Booth Rentals tip sheet
Download the tip sheet.

Antique booth rental tips

After setting up and merchandising seven booths, Breanna has a lot of advice to share. She gives us some of her best booth design, merchandising and maintenance advice in a FREE downloadable seven-page tip sheet called Booth Rentals: A Guide for Sellers. Download it now!

Looking for antique malls, vintage collectives and permanent flea markets in Canada? Check our antique mall directory.

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