Sunday, September 8, 2013

Things I’d be okay with seeing a lot less of in ‘antique’ malls




On several occasions recently, I’ve had the same conversation with a variety of vintage-loving friends regarding the influx of non-antique, non-vintage items being sold in some antique malls.

That’s right. Here comes a rant. Yippee!




Lately I seem to be finding myself in antique malls that are a combination of a small percentage of vintage vendors mixed in with a large percentage of new gifts, toys, collectibles, hardware, crafts, food, and dollar store merchandise. 




 While I’m not opposed to any of those items, I am opposed to them being sold in a shop that calls itself an antique mall.




It would be like going to grocery store for milk and finding the refrigerator section filled with vintage linens.




Or something terrible like that.



My antique mall criteria is pretty flexible -- I’m usually willing to overlook dirt, digging, poor lighting and piles if the price is right. ( And the stuff is old. )




And I also get it when things are beautifully displayed and perhaps a little higher in price because a vendor has taken the time to present their unique finds in an inspiring way. ( And the stuff is old. )




But this? Not so much.




I will now climb down from my (vintage) soapbox and thank you for letting me get that off my chest.

PS Everything you see here I came across in one ‘antique mall’ earlier this week. 

40 comments:

  1. I think Antique and craft mall somewhere along the way combined efforts. Once the collectors ran out of finding vintage/antique goods this dollar store stuff came in as filler...and it stayed.
    My question is who is buying it and how are the sellers making any money?
    Just about all our "antique malls" here are swap meet junk. Not an antique as far as the eye can see.
    Amy

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  2. I hear you! We have an "Antiques" mall near us that is the same, granted there is some good vintage bits and bobs but I feel like I have to dig through the "novelty" items to get to them. We only visited once and that was enough, all the modern things really put me off returning.

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  3. I'm standing next to you on the soapbox; I hear ya! I'm seeing waaaaay too much of this also, even at some of the antique shows. Love your analogy of the linens in the milk section. I'd be shopping at that grocery store every day. Darn, I actually like those numbers.

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  4. OMG..I'm so with you on this one! 7 months past since I visited a well loved 'Antique Mall'...and as I was driving to it I was in my little bliss bubble...until I walked in the door! In 7 months most of the antiques were replaced with new crap..stuff!! I almost cried...were..I begged the store owner..was all the good stuff. She told me with a smile, that with the slow economy they had to take on new 'leaser's'....ya, it's all about the money. I sadly red inked that mall off my 'fav places to junk'list. (deep sigh)
    Thanks for getting on that soap box for all of us!!
    Paula

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  5. I hope it's a big soap box you are standing on because I think you are going to have quite a bit of company, me included!

    There are so many antique malls around here that let the vendors put whatever they want in their booth, even canned food! Lets just say I don't visit those "malls" very often.

    Have a great week!

    ~Erica

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  6. Can you please go back and grab that pink fish for me?
    Pretty please?
    I need it.

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    1. Please don't make me go back there. Fortunately you can probably find it in any dollar store ... ;-)

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  7. I totally agree with you. Thanks for venting,

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  8. Preaching to the choir girl, preaching to the choir!

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  9. I so enjoy a good rant! Especially when I agree. I r-e-a-l-l-y hate things that look sort of old and it's not exactly clear (to the untrained eye, not us, of course) that it is not old. Bad, bad, bad.

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  10. I couldn't agree more with you. One of the big antique stores in my town (which used to be AMAZING) used to have a rule that no more than 20% of the items in your booth could be new (non-antique or not vintage) and the rest of it had to be OLD! But over the past couple of years they have tossed that rule out the window. I suppose because it's become harder to find old things. I rarely shop there anymore. Very sad because I loved it so much!
    Erica :)

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  11. Gaaaah!!! This is me lifting you back up on the soap-box. You go, girl!

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  12. Oh, don't get me started on my "Made in China" rant....

    You have some mighty stealthy skills there to snap all those pictures. ;)

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  13. Well I can clearly see that I am glad, very glad that I was not along on a trip with you when you visited this doozy of a antique mall. You and I have seen it all..I have seen you on the soapbox...I have applauded you...and rolled my eyes at what we have seen! Ditto on this post - YOU GO GIRL!

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  14. I hear you and couldn't agree more! Hopefully the antique mall owners of the world are reading this!

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  15. My mall is very strict about non-vintage items. They have "walkers" that go around the store all day to help the customers and if a walker sees a non-vintage item in a booth, they pull it, and put it away for th dealer to come pick up and take home.

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  16. Preach is sista! I'm so sick of the cheesy 99 cent store crap in antique stores. My booth neighbors sell that. It's annoying and doesn't do anything for those of us with real vintage and antique items.

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  17. i concur! i see those kinds of things at flea markets, too. as far as i'm concerned, they are in my way and make it harder to get around!

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  18. Add me to the list of those who agree 200%. It has made me cross places off my list. I think it is time to tell the people who run these places what an insult it is to be looking for vintage and find garbage from a garage sale!!

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  19. Yes, most of them around here are like flea markets. My own pet peeves are Breyer horse models (plastic toy horses - I'm a collector for many years) priced crazily high just because they are old. Old in that market doesn't necessarily mean a heft price tag.

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  20. LOL!! I just read your post after spending the morning scrubbing and disinfecting 2 bat-poo and manure covered salvaged barn doors i scored yesterday. I'll put the elbow grease into rescuing legit vintage items anytime whether they be depression glass, linens, or even barn doors!! I HATE the made in China stuff--even more when a dealer tries to pass it off as vintage.

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  21. I enjoyed your post. You are totally correct! Seems that here in Pittsburgh some of our antique malls are going this way too as well as some of the flea markets where you see a lot of dollar store goods.

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  22. You're not the only one! I really hate it when I'm 'tiqing and come across crap like this! I want the real goods ~ like your finds!

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  23. I totally agree and also think that if we all voice our displeasure to those mall owners that we won't be coming back because of all the non-antique/vintage items that they are trying to sell that hopefully they'll listen!
    They may think that the cheap stuff brings in more buyers but it's not helping their profit margins at all......true vintage/antiques command a heftier price tag.
    If I owned an antique mall I'd rather sell fewer but more expensive goods than watching those $10 items go out the door.....but that's just me!

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  24. I know what you are saying . . . if that is what you are selling call it a gift shop. I was in LaGrande Oregon and there is a little shop that I have been wanting to stop at forever. Then when I did, I was so disappointed when I walked in and it was all new stuff. Not even local craftsmen, just new gift shop stuff.
    I am your newest follower. I enjoy blogging and sharing ideas and things of interest, but most of all I enjoy making new blogging friends. I would be honored to have you follow me back. Come visit and see if your like my little corner of cyber space.
    Have a great day.
    Your new blogging sister, Connie :)

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  25. I recently purchased what I was led to believe was an antique Shirley Temple pitcher. As I was walking away the seller reached under the table and pulled out another "antique" pitcher! Oh no he didn't!! I did get my $$ back but, not without a fight! :(

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  26. I must admit that I rarely stop at antique malls, preferring to shop thrift store and estate sales. I would be disappointed if I did stop seeking out antiques and found the items you have photographed displayed. I enjoy your post.

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  27. Eesh, some of these stories are horrible :( I guess it's folks jumping on the "vintage" bandwagon with the old bait and switch happening.

    We're actually running a vintage directory that's attempting to keep things pure vintage and pure antique.

    VintageShopper.com

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  28. Agree!!!!
    As luck would have it, the owner of our antique mall also agrees, which is why we've stayed there so long!

    Happy you were able to point it out and give a rant or two....needed to be said!

    Jillian

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  29. All of you.... let me just say this as nice as I can... Antique Malls are dead. Antique stores are dead.

    What killed them? Ebay & Etsy.
    (mostly ebay) Anything worth anything, unusual, interesting, beautiful- has been listed, packed up and shipped away-- California, Texas, Japan.... I was in an antique mall for years- trust me--they have all be picked clean of anything of value or interest. The mall owners own the buildings- they now let anyone in- for the rent check ---thats it- pure and simple. Deb from Illinois

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  30. YES to this! Our antique malls are such an eclectic mix and a common complaint is that they should up the standards for what can be included, but many shops don't seem to care as long as stuff gets sold, and the stalls full of junky newer stuff do tend to do well since the items can be cheaper. I suppose one can make their booth look nicer by comparison by curating it with purely vintage finds? :P We have found used chap stick and half-filled lotions in booths at my mall before. Ew...

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  31. Hi Amy, I am so with you on your rant...you are spot on! I've stopped going to many of the antique malls and group shops here in Maine due to the influx of "junk" they now carry. I know that the market for antiques is "soft" right now and I often hear dealers complaining...not sure if that is why some have decided to sell more repros. Either way, it's not the same. I've decided to go to the source and hunt more at garage sales and estate sales. I do feel bad for the dealers in these group shops who still make an effort to sell real vintage items and make their booths look clean and inviting. Thanks for bringing up this topic.
    Happy Thanksgiving! ~Cheryl

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  32. I agree! I'll add to that - non-vintage clothing like you'd see at a yard sale. I linked to this post from my facebook page for booth vendors - Vintage Show Off.

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  33. i hear you, amy!

    wishing you a bright and healthy new year!

    xo
    elyse

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  34. Although this is an old post, I would have to agree. And I have a hard time with things from the '70s and '80s being considered "vintage". I want OLD STUFF!

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  35. Are you going to be coming back?

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  36. Ok so this is a seriously old post I know, but I only just found your blog last night and I already feel compelled to chime in! And I'm sad to report that here in Australia it is no different- you walk into an 'antique' shop only to be confronted with a jumbled mix of mostly new crap and some legit vintage/antiques. They haven't even had the decency to separate them! Our friends in the East are getting very good at replicating the antique look now and it frustrates me that untrained shoppers might be taking home things they think are old. I have to politely disagree with Anon though- eBay and Etsy haven't killed antique stores, antique stores have. The moment they start filling gaps with new stuff, they turn off people who are there to spend real money on real antiques. Online selling has it's hurdles - people have to pay shipping, they can't touch/try on things, they worry it's a scam, it might break in the post... at a 'real' shop you can browse a thousand things so much easier, you can find things you would never think to look for. But that customer wants legit old stuff, and the moment they see new crap, they won't come back.

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  37. I mostly agree, However a newer antique/vintage collectible mall in my area has most booths that are vintage antique and on the other side has booths with some pure antiques (unpainted furniture) with a mix of painted furniture and upcycled old stuff. I personally like the mix but don't put in dollar store crap and stuff made in china. I like the idea of upcycling with old corbels and barnwood to make a shelf or restyling vintage lamps to look more modern and funky.

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