TV Tropes Org

Forums

Writer's Block:
Antique shops
search forum titles
google site search
Total posts: [12]
1

Antique shops:

 1 Tarsen, Sat, 18th Jun '11 8:44:06 PM from somewhere or another. Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Hmmm~
the main character of one of my stories works part time in an antique shop

but, it recently occured to me; i dont actually have any experience with antique shops at all.

what exactly do they sell? and they dont sound like the kind of shops that would sell a lot. do they get customers often, or are days working at an antique shop relatively uneventful, with high prices making up for lack of sales?
Pro Tip: Spiders are not technically insects, but actually skeletons made of congealed hate.
 2 snowfoxofdeath, Sat, 18th Jun '11 9:10:34 PM from San Francisco Suburb
Thou errant flap-dragon!
It depends on where the shop is. If it's located downtown in a small town with great scenery that's a tourist attraction, it gets a few a day. Otherwise, they're not very busy. That's my experience, anyway.

They sell old furniture, music boxes, the stuff you'd find in the room of a whimsical child. Old dolls, perhaps a vintage scrapbook, a chess set, clocks.
 3 Madrugada, Sat, 18th Jun '11 10:22:52 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Purely practical suggestion: why don't you stop in at one or two (or more) when you get the chance, look around, and talk to the owner? That'll give you a much better feel for what it's like than asking here.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 4 SKJAM, Mon, 20th Jun '11 4:43:20 AM from Minneapolis Relationship Status: Cast away
Great and Powerful
What precisely is sold in an antique shop will depend heavily on the owner's tastes and the available stuff in the area. I know that there's actually legal definitions of "antique" for some items such as furniture.

Antique shops tend to get a lot of window shoppers and "just browsing" customers. Part of learning the trade is to tell which customers are serious shoppers and which are just killing half an hour while waiting for someone. The real money comes from the regular customers who know exactly what they want before they come in, and make periodic visits to see what has newly come in stock.

Even as a part-timer, your character will be expected to learn enough about the store's stock to talk knowledgably about any given item a customer asks about. It's a sure loss of a sale if you don't know the provenance of any given vase, for example.

One fun thing your character might do is learn how to restore furniture, it's a skilled craft that they can carry to later jobs.

Antique shops are also, almost always, fronts for kleptomaniacal time travelers.
 
You can justify an antique shop that sells almost anything, and while high-volume business is relatively rare, it's not unknown during an auction.

They can range from thrift-type operations to ritzy pedigree types.
 
I work in an antiques mall. It has special software for the running of such a place. We have various dealers, and some have absolute crap-cookbooks with lousy recipes, old stained linen items, all the dealers old book club books. Some have cool useful stuff, some have supplies for repairing antique items (very popular) and some have odd stuff from estate sales. Frankly, most of the people have the booths to justify their own shopping addiction; more than one gets their monthly check and either pays the next month's rent with it or goes and blows in on stuff from the other dealers. It is in Austin TX and most of the stuff is under fifty years old. There are weird things no one knows anything about that could well have come from kleptomaniac time travelers, but most of it is stuff that was necessary fifty years ago (Lots of big crocks, for instance) and lots of tacky crapola (odious salt shakers that look like poodles, racist spoon rests, rotting rubber doll heads). The antique stores in New Orleans had older stuff and less garage sale junk, but the aura was the same. Our place, however, is clean and dust free, which is a nice change from most of the spots.
 
Maelstrom
The main antique shop I know of is really, really cool. They've got tons of vintage things there and get a high volume of customers. The store has records, old movie posters, arcade machines, and even a giant portrait of Hitler!
 9 Madrugada, Sun, 21st Aug '11 2:33:45 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
^^ One of the antique malls around here has a sign out front: "We buy junk and sell antiques."
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
Many shops also do lean eavily on selling old jewellery. Said jewellery more often than not is what you notice first when looking at their show window (after all most window shoppers are female. How do you catch a woman's attention? With sparkles. At least my favourite dealer told me so with a wink). Most people shopping for old jewellery found an eye catcher in the window and want to take a closer look at it - or are looking for more. Or they are the regular customers mentioned above, those who know what they are looking for and drop by on a regular basis. It varies wether the store owner cleans and polishes his goods himself or wether he knows someone to do so (he better does. It is quite a downer when you purchased a pretty pendant from the Art Deco time that is not on a chain anymore and then have to run through the whole city before finding a gold smith who sells the kind of chain you need, can clean and polish your pendant and fix it on said chain because the dealer did not know any gold smith he could recommend to you.

Some also sell old music instruments but well... old music instruments have a tendency to get off tuned with time and as soon as it gets more complex than a flute it is a bit of a pain test-playing them. (I once found twp accordions at a local store. Beautiful little babies, beautiful and... ok, I better put the star twinkle outta my eyes. Let's say you could hear very well the one had not seen a tuner (or a player for that matter) for at least 50 years. It was rather sad. The dealer could not tell me a tuner. I wound up finding one on my own and purchased one of the pretties (even including the costs for restaurating and tuning the accordion was way less expensive than a new one) - but I now keep away from this particular store.

And in my experience the stores I like the most (and offer the best service and networks) are run by chatty dealers who know what they sell and love talking about it.

 11 Mr AHR, Mon, 31st Oct '11 6:01:58 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I am helping.
 12 Madrugada, Mon, 31st Oct '11 7:51:03 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Mr AHR, those three pictures really do a great job encapsulating the incredible range of antiques stores.[awesome]
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 12
1


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy