We were out for a drive the other day and past one of the flea market areas that also has a few co-ops in it that are open all year round, the flea market runs from the spring until the fall, and everytime we have gone there it has been packed with people, and we have been going there for at least 10 years running now.
The co-ops I guess are all set up a bit differently and have different rules as far as being a vendor at them. The more I think about it, the more I figure it’s a good idea that they are different because it gives you as a seller a variety of options on which co-op you choose to use to display your wares.
Of course the ones we compared were at opposite ends of the location spectrum for us, who would have thought anything different. The one we currently use and by the way we now have two cases there, one on the right side of the building and one on the left side of the building. As I mentioned on the blog at an earlier date, the guy that has a spot near us on the left side of the building told us he gets a lot more traffic and sales on the right side of the building than he does on the left side. I’m not sure if it has to do with most people are right handed and go to the right when the come into the building. The day we were there, my husband watched for a while and every person he saw come into the building went to the right, interesting right ?
I was telling this to a friend of mine, and she pointed out another interesting aspect of the traffic difference. She said the building being as big as it is, if people go to the right, they might be browsing around the cases, realize they’ve been there for an hour and be getting tired, or they have a limited amount of time and never even get to the other side of the building where our first case is located. SO now that we have two cases one on each side, we can compare and see if there actually is a difference, because the collectibles we have in the cases are pretty much the same as far as type of collectibles, age range of the collectibles, and prices asked for the items, so time will time.
Anyways, now as far comparing, I say one co-op is in a county southeast of us about 40 minutes away, the other one is in another county to the west of us about 45 minutes driving distance away. So I will describe them as east co-op and west co-op for when I compare the two co-ops rates and rules.
The east co-op is way bigger first off, and has many many more cases than spaces than the west side one. The east side one is probably 80 percent glass cased areas and 20 percent open displays with furniture etc. The east side co-op charges 50.00 per case, and I think a few months had to be paid up front at the start up, and whatever you sell they charge for credit card purchases a percentage, and they have scheduled sales as well as whatever sale prices you put on your items. They also will take the money out for the next month whatever you owe them to cover your cases and give you the balance of your money from your sales out of that. This co-op does not require a tax number at this time for the vendors, maybe because they consider it more of a garage sale type place, I’m not sure why.
The west side co-op that we visited was more like 70 percent open displays with larger items that will not fit into a case, then they had probably 10 percent of the area used by very large glass enclosed cases, and the remaining cases are the same size as the other co-op but had one additional shelf in it, although I’m not sure if the additional shelf matters much, but thought I’d throw that information in. The west side charges 50.00 for the first case, and 30.00 for each additional case, they also require a tax number so you would have to file additionally either once a year or 4 times a year or quarterly with the receipts for tax purposes. They also take 3 percent for themselves and they say that is for paying for advertising. I’m not sure I agree with that, because if I sell more than the person next to me, then I’m paying more into advertising the business, although we don’t really have any high priced items, our stuff is all nickel and dime type garage sale stuff for the most part. They also will not take anything out to pay for the next month, they paid you in full, minus the 3 percent and the you had to pay for the cases in a separate transaction.
I’m not sure which way is better, I guess it all depends on the vendor, but I wanted to explain in the post what some of the differences could be encountered if you were planning on going the co-op route.