Dealers, sour on Internet selling, look to Antiques USA Antiques dealers who were blinded by the Internet revolution and traded in their spaces at malls for online selling are slowly coming home. Many are choosing Antiques USA, a huge superstore in Maine.
an item for sale online, having to write flowery descriptive text, and then – if they're lucky enough to actually sell it – wrap, box and ship the merchandise – always with the fear it will be damaged along the way, or lost in shipment.
“With our dealers, the merchandise is displayed and sold, plain and simple,” Ron remarked. “We try to make the experience as painless as possible, for both buyer and seller. That's why so many of our dealers have been with us for ten, fifteen years or more. It's low-stress for them.”
Antiques USA has hundreds of dealers, packed into a huge, one-story facility on the main driving route in southern Maine. Long-distance dealers – from coast to coast and as far away as Canada, England and France – can ship their merchandise to the store, where experienced staff will unpack their items and then carefully display them in well-lit cabinet showcases. There is no charge for this service.
Jon and Martha Madden have been on-site dealers at Antiques USA for fifteen years. “We've really enjoyed the experience,” they said. “It's one of the largest antiques centers around, so customers can spend hours shopping. That's good, because with gas prices being what they are, who wants to drive around from shop to shop, when they can see so much in one place? It's a very nice place to do business.”
Escalating gas prices probably explain, in part, why some antiques shops have shut down in recent months. And that's another trend that has led to more dealer interest in Antiques USA. “There are quite a few dealers who were set up in shops that have closed or downsized and have since relocated to Antiques USA,” Ron said. “We put a great value on experienced dealers, particularly those with practical knowledge of antique co-ops.
Tony added, “We will always welcome these dealers with open arms. They turned to us because of our solid reputation and the store's high traffic generated by our extensive, high-profile advertising.”
A final reason for the shift away from online selling and back to the mall environment may be rooted in common sense. “Buying an antique is, or should be, an up-close and personal experience,” Tony said. “Some things you just want to see and feel for yourself before buying, and antiques are definitely in that category. Buying online does not afford that luxury.”
Antiques USA, known as 'Maine's largest antiques superstore,' is housed in a massive, 20,000-square-foot building, all on one level. And despite its size, it retains the ambiance of a quaint shop. It's a place to relax, browse and enjoy. Dealers and customers pour in literally from around the world. The mall is renowned for its quality merchandise – true antiques and older collectibles, not reproductions – at low prices.
Every winter season, Antiques USA holds its famous annual winter sale. Every item in the store is reduced by up to 50%, sometimes more. Antiques USA shoppers are delighted to find