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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Stores without pricetags?

Learned about a new shop in the town where the park is, and asked Mike to drop me off to browse a few minutes while he rolled to the store for steaks for supper. The ladies had done a fairly good job of dressing up what was last a hardware store, and stocked it with a handful of antiques and other vintage things, plus some local craftsmen's pottery and such.

The few prices I did see marked were fairly good...baskets starting at $8 and pottery pieces were in line with typical ones for the area. I understood that they sell things on consignment, taking 25% of the final price.

Now that I think on it, the only things I saw with marked prices were the craftsmen's items...where the skilled maker had to basically set a reserve price. Nothing else seemed to be marked, which peeves the tar out of me. I hate to pick up an item and have to start a negotiation.

I know someone on here sells antiques, and I know there can be a lot of wiggle in buying them, even with a price-tag attached, but this is the first place I have seen a whole unmarked shop. Is there something going on here that I am unaware of, on terms of gouging or gauging what you think a customer will pay?
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4 Replies
turkey feather
Senior Contributor

Re: Stores without pricetags?

I don't understand that idea. If it is a consignment shop there would have to be a base price and that would be a headache to look up every time someone asked about the price. Of course sometimes the seller could get a better price than they expected but I would doubt it would pay off in the end. No one wants to lose money but the value of most antiques has dropped dramatically or at least what I collected. I cannot see that catching on.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Stores without pricetags?

Exactly. Most of what I would call " consignment" was the arts/crafts pieces. Typical of shops I have visited with more than one seller, the initials are on the price-tag, so the sale is properly credited to that seller, with the shop taking its share.

The majority of their stuff I would call " vintage", not " antique". I picked up one hammered pewter-looking pitcher, and asked the price. She looked at me and said, " I dunno, maybe sixteen?"

That sort of tentative answer says to me they weigh your appearance, and try to hit a price they think you will pay. She tried to call it silver, but I said " feels more like pewter"...the marks didn't get me to a point of certainty.

I said, " Sounds fair enough", but set it back, because my friend with the vintage shop I buy so much in had just sold me her whole pewter shelf for $10, which included three true pewter pitchers, which I like for cut-flowers, as well as serving pieces. Some dings in them, so I am using these to water houseplants for now.

The funny thing is, if that pitcher, which wasn't dinged at all, had been carrying a $16 pruce-tag, I would have probably bought it without thinking...because I had a sneaking suspicion I was being played.
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Husker-J
Senior Contributor

Re: Stores without pricetags?

I read somewhere, it is a 'trend' that is starting to pop up here and there.   I don't know anything about your individual store, but some places use it for what I consider deceptive purposes.


For example, they will have 'some' prices listed, usually smaller items, at very good prices.   Then, they will have other things unmarked.   People see the bargain prices on some things, and will assume the store has good prices on everything.   Some areas have requirements that shoppers be able to see the prices before purchasing, so the stores have these little scanner tables set up here and there, so anyone can scan the tag, and see the price.   However, by then, you have the item in your cart, and unless the price is ridiculous, most people will keep it there, instead of walking back to the aisle they got it, to put it back.   The stores I have seen with the little scanner areas are notorious for putting them in high-traffic areas, with little extra space, which in my opinion is to discourage you from putting things back.

Personally, I will not buy something that does not have the price listed right there (in a retail store) because of past experience in finding out the unlisted items are usually higher priced than elsewhere.  Unless you look at the reciept, or pay close attention when they are ringing it up, you might never realize that the only bargains you got, were the few items that had the prices listed.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Stores without pricetags?

I know some higher end stores don!0't supposedly post prices, because to their clientele, money is no object. not that I have ever been in one of those!

Also, I know the old saying, "If you have to ask what it costs, you can't afford it." That wasn't what I had in my mind, I just thought they might now have hade time to tag everything...but she was sitting doing nothing when I walked in.

I know my friend with the little vintage shop doesn't get tags on some things before she starts setting them out, a lot because her Mom comes with loads from her storage, or her husband and sons drag a pile of things in from an auction and plop it down wherever. In those cases, I hear her say, " Let me look that one up, and see what I have in it, so I know what I need the price to be." That, to me, is legitimate.

I just got a wrong vibe off this chick the other day...like, it's $16 for you, maybe $12 for someone else. Maybe if I hadn't just cleaned out my friend's stock of pewter, I may have bitten, but I wasn't that hungry for it, I guess.

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