Vintage Film Posters Dealer – Film Fairs
Sometimes it can be tough dealing in vintage film posters, especially if you are serious about it, but not many people know what it consists of, so I have decide to put together a timeframe of what I do on the weekend of a film fair.
It’s Saturday morning, the day before the film fair and the hours put in during the past week has enabled me to feel a little less panicky about getting everything ready. All the stock has been prepared for with prices for each individual item. A further bundle of vintage movie posters will be taken and offered for £10 each and all the tubs and folders of film posters and stills have been prepared as well.
I make a phone call to the organiser of the film fair to see where my pitch will be and see if any better place pitches have become available. As the film fair is over two hours away we have decided to book an overnight Travelodge just fifteen minutes away from our destination so we don’t have to have such an early start. A phone call to the Travelodge has also been made to make sure we are on the correct floor as we don’t want to be carrying all our stock to higher floors!
I check my emails and respond to them, I’m currently in negotiation with a couple of people who are selling parts of their collection and this can go back and forth until both parties are happy with the outcome. Sometimes this can be really quick and the seller is happy, other times it can be a long drawn out process where a deal cannot be made which is suitable for both.
I then go through a final checklist of what I need.
- Spare sleeves as a potential buyer will want to look at the poster, if they decide not to buy it I’ll package it back up. For use on folded vintage film posters.
- Money bags and lots of change
- Travelodge email
- Ticket for the Film Fair
- Food! (Important if you don’t want to buy things there)
- Price list folders
- Business cards
We stock up the van and leave home to drive up to the Travelodge at 4pm. Once we have arrived we park up, check in and bring all the stock into the room. This takes around thirty minutes to unload of all the stock. Once done we grab some dinner and get to bed around 10pm as the next day is an early start!
The Day of the Film Fair
As the film fair is open to the early bird punters at 8am an early rise is required. We get up at 5:45, get ready and have breakfast. We then load all the stock back into the van and once that is done head off to the destination by 6:45. It’s a short 15 minute drive so we arrive at the venue at 7am and speak to the organiser. After unloading and setting up the table ready for the day ahead we have a quick cup of coffee before the doors open.
Then the exciting bit, everything is ready to go and we hope there are lots of people attending and are ready to spend their hard earned money. The standard time for entry is 10am but as always at the fairs, there are a lot of dealer to dealer trades and sales going on early. We make a few sales by 8:30am, some to dealers who have clients wanting particular items and a few to the early bird punters who are mainly collectors looking to add to their collections.
These Fairs are a great way of networking and speaking to prospective customers (we usually make more money in the few weeks after the fairs than we do at the fairs) and we hand out a card to everyone that walks past our table. Once the dust settles and the standard punters have arrived I usually take a little walk around to see if there is anything for sale that my client base will like.
You hope that a big ticket item sells to really boost the day’s takings but the steady sales of the smaller valued items, especially the £10 a vintage poster bunch keeps things ticking over. The Film Fair is open from 8am-4pm and we usually find that by 3pm you generally don’t see many new faces through the doors and we slowly start to pack a few things away.
By 4 pm we are packing up and ready for the two hour drive home, once we get home we’ll put the stock back into our storage area and by that time it’s around 7:30pm. We’ll count the takings and on a good day we find we have taken around 1.5x of our expenditure. Bear in mind we have the potential after sales as well which can make the Film Fair a very profitable day if you gain a half dozen sales that way as well.
- Cost of table – usually around £100-£150
- Cost of Travelodge – £30-£40
- Petrol – £20
- Food/Drinks -£15
See you at the next Film Fair.