High-end antique shows are in trouble, especially the smaller-sized charity shows. Yet vintage urban markets, like vintage markets in Chicago, are booming, and breathing new life into the business. Here’s why.
1. High booth rent isn’t necessary today, dealers don’t want or need to pay it.
2. The focus has turned to wearable and decorative items. Collectors looking for that specific cookie jar or flow blue are in the minority.
3. Urban markets are social and fun, no stuffy chamber music is playing here.
4. Urban Markets are focused on upscaling, recycling and green and so are a lot of their customers.
5. $100.00 and under items are hot right now and as a dealer, if that’s what you are selling the most of, you can’t afford the booth rent in many high-end antiques shows.
6. The new breed of customer, in my opinion, starts in their late 20s, the urban market not only has music and social opportunities but beer and wine as well!
7. Small church and charity shows can be intimidating to new and up and coming collectors.
8. Decorators and designers are now looking at shows to find decorative household items their customers can use to show their personal style. This new breed of customer isn’t afraid to alter or restyle a piece.
9. Antique is a dirty word in this business right now, vintage is hot. It’s what everyone is after and what they think is cool, and hey it is!
10. The collector who frequents the high-end church and charity show has seen the value of the items they have purchased over the past 20 years bottom out just like many other segments of our economy. They are being cautious and are hesitant to spend what they spent in the early to mid 1990’s.
The new vintage market provides an non-intimidating way for the beginning collector but still has all the depth needed for an experienced and seasoned vintage/antique shopper.