About a month ago I was wandering through a local antique mall with my husband (the kids were with grandparents so we were taking the opportunity to visit everywhere *breakable*). As I looked over all the pretty finds, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a booth like this? Wait a minute – could I have a booth like this? I COULD have a booth like this!”
I mean, how hard could it be, right?
One month later, I’m at the helm, about to open my booth! I’ve discovered that it isn’t quite as easy as it sounds – but it’s still not hard and if you have any inkling to do it, I totally recommend it.
When I’m a little bit more experienced, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned about what makes for a successful booth. In the meantime, here is my list of reasons why I think opening a vendor booth is a great side hustle.
- Anyone can do it. I mean, if I can go from “hey I like stuff” to “I’m a vintage and antiques vendor” in less than a month, then, seriously, anyone. So the process is basically this: find a booth to rent, rent the booth, collect inventory, tag inventory, set up the booth, wait for sales, replenish collection, rinse and repeat. Easy, right? Ok, there’s a little more to it than that, but that’s the basic model and it’s one that anyone can replicate.
- (Relatively) low start-up cost. The start-up costs are low – you’ll need to have money for to rent the booth – in my small town of Denver, NC, and surrounding area, booth rental costs anywhere from $65-200/month. It’s a good idea to have 3 months saved up before you get started because it can take some time for revenue to add up. On top of that you’ll need money to collect inventory (unless you already have a decent sized collection to begin with). All told, I spent about $1000 in total at garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores building up a solid collection of antiques, vintage items, and gently used products before I pulled the trigger. Note that the purchase of goods can be spread out over several months if you are working with a limited monthly budget. I had quite a few items to begin with just sitting around as well. Items like this will only appreciate in value, after all, so there’s no real harm in holding on to a collection until you’re ready to make a move.
- It is such a satisfying creative outlet. I really didn’t go into this side biz consciously deciding I needed a creative outlet, but it’s really become a surprisingly fulfilling activity for me. Handling these beautiful and interesting objects – from hunting them, to cleaning them, to arranging them together in a pleasing presentation – is so enjoyable and truly recharges me. Even though I wind up physically exhausted some days, the project is having the opposite effect on my brain – I feel more energized and more creative everyday.
- This gig is fairly passive income after the initial set up. What’s better than passive income? We all want to have a few streams of income that don’t require much work (note I said “much”, not “any” – there’s no such thing as getting something for nothing) once you put in the initial time and money investment. There is certainly a bit of work in the beginning as you’re hunting down, cleaning and tagging an entire collection of goods. And depending on your plans for furniture – are you flipping pieces of furniture or are you just scouting for good deals that you can turn around and sell as is at a profit? – there may be some manual labor required there. But after the beginning stage, you’re only going to need to replenish items as they sell, which naturally happens at a much slower pace. And you can batch by taking a day to go shopping, a different day to paint, etc. All in all, it’s a couple hours a week to keep your booth going. Even if it’s not a huge moneymaker, it’s passive enough to be worth it, for me anyways, as long as my profit is in the double digits (where profit = revenue – expenses).
- I saved the best reason for last because it’s a good one. Did you know that shopping releases dopamine? Retail therapy is REAL y’all! Dopamine is one of the body’s “feel good” chemicals. It is released during any activity your brain finds highly pleasurable, like watching a hilarious movie, exercise, sex, drugs, or wine. Sadly, many of these activities are not socially acceptable on a frequent basis. Shopping isn’t frowned upon like daytime drinking and recreational drugs are, but it still has the downside of being expensive. Enter the vendor side gig. I can get the same fantastic surges when I’m shopping for my booth but now it’s a business expense, not another blemish on the credit card statement that makes my husband’s vein pop out of his forehead, so it all works out. That’s a win win, right?
All in all, I am so excited about this new venture. What do you think? Did I convince anyone to start a new side hustle?