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Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

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villanova
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Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby villanova » Sun, 06 Mar 2016 2:11 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm thinking of starting a small business importing stuff like cabinets, tables, and home accessories from India and selling them at a price as reasonable as I can to keep the business going (I strongly believe if you satisfy a customer they would come back/ recommend you to others). But anyhow, pardon me for getting side tracked, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in patronizing a shop like that to beauty your home.

This is how it started - I am a navigation officer and I was posted to Cochin, South India for 5 months. In my time there I found that if you looked hard enough you could find gorgeous items (Gramophones etc) for reasonable prices. As I am sick of my boss and my current job I'm thinking of starting this business. I could start off at flea markets and what not till I'm slightly more established before getting a brick and motar shop space.

understand there are one or two shops selling Colonial furniture purchased from India at really expensive prices. Do give me feedback and criticism! It would be most welcome, so I know whether this idea is feasable. Thank you everyone and have a nice day! :D

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 06 Mar 2016 7:08 pm

The major issue will be rental costs. Even a basic shop is now $8000/mth. There were a few decent antique places on Serangoon and Lavender that have recently closed - most likely due to rental costs - of course the ubiquitous spas (which have to be Money Laundering shops - there just isn't the business level any other rational explanation) have taken their place. I seriously sometimes wonder if our local MP Heng Chee How is taking bribes from these guys or perhaps simply not even watching his local electorate business profile.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

villanova
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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby villanova » Mon, 07 Mar 2016 11:29 pm

Hey PNGMK, I appreciate your feedback. Now that is news to me that some antique places have given way to 'spas'.
To be honest, I have never did pay much attention to that!

Anyhow, would be nice to receive further feedback from the community members on whether they would patronize a shop selling curios and home decor accessories from South India and Vietnam, and if so what would they be looking for in particular (vases? vintage lamps? side tables? display shelves? :???:

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 08 Mar 2016 12:19 am

PNGMK's comments about rents are spot on. So are his monthly rental costs. So, ask yourself a question. How many pieces do you plan on selling in any given day? A hundred a month? Can you add $50 to $100 per piece just to cover the rent and still be "reasonably priced"?

There used to be a great shop on Greenwood Avenue, run by a family for dozens of years... my wife bought quite a few pieces from them... now run off because the rents are too high... these folks who have been in the business as long as they have concluded they couldn't sell enough pieces at a higher price to stay in business.

My sense is that you might consider wholesaling into other specialty shops, like the ones in Holland Village. Because, if I'm actually considering a major furniture or art purchase, it makes more sense to fly to Bangkok, or Saigon, purchase there and have it shipped.

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby JR8 » Tue, 08 Mar 2016 12:25 am

I think such has a time and a place, and being a fashion, styles/origins come and go, so to sustain such a business you'd need to be on top of trends, plus sourcing of the next thing to come.
Plus SGns are not much at all into antiques, so you'd have to define your market.
This might interest, a shop which is in my mind as you roughly suggest, but this used to be on Portobello Road in London... [note: there is a good market for bohemian-chic in West London]
-> http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 65051.html
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x9200
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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby x9200 » Tue, 08 Mar 2016 3:10 am

villanova wrote:Hey PNGMK, I appreciate your feedback. Now that is news to me that some antique places have given way to 'spas'.

Only 6-7 years ago there was a huge antique industry cluster occupying almost entire Dempsey Hill and many of shops over there were of the type you seem to have in mind. Now practically all are gone.

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 08 Mar 2016 3:58 am

x9200 wrote:
villanova wrote:Hey PNGMK, I appreciate your feedback. Now that is news to me that some antique places have given way to 'spas'.

Only 6-7 years ago there was a huge antique industry cluster occupying almost entire Dempsey Hill and many of shops over there were of the type you seem to have in mind. Now practically all are gone.


As soon as the place became "fashionable" and restaurants started moving in, rent prices shot through the roof, no pun intended.

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby x9200 » Tue, 08 Mar 2016 8:37 am

These were often large sell floor area shops so the problem got multiplied, plus I always had the impression that their profit margin was rather narrow.
High rental cost is something normal in Singapore, but this specific industry is particularly dependant on the expats so the store just can not be located in some ulu ulu areas.

Maybe, just maybe, if the OP would have his warehouse/showroom in an industrial cluster like Sundei Kadut and have a good online sell... maybe it would fly, but I am not very convinced.

Another negative trend to consider is the political situation. Many exapats are leaving Singapore and not so many new are replacing them. A small politically driven exodus.

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby bgd » Tue, 08 Mar 2016 2:26 pm

And you really need to know your market. Antiques seem to be less fashionable these days.

http://www.economist.com/news/christmas ... et-out-old

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Tue, 08 Mar 2016 5:02 pm

I've seen one such shop on serangood road, arts and something it was called can't remember, anyway products were overpriced or not really antique, I wouldn't pay500$ for a stone elephant with some glitter. People like decorating homes but they all have to be reasonably priced.
If I wanted antiques id go and source them in the country they are found in instead of buying them from a shop in Singapore selling it with a markup
To get there early is on time and showing up on time is late

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 10 Mar 2016 12:13 am

Might you be talking about Just Anthony's? That's actually on Upper Paya Lebar road I think (or just off of it). Most of the stuff is imported from China so you don't know if it's a real antique or wood soaked in horse piss for a year to 'age' it.

Having said that, it's been here a lot longer than I have and occupies a sizeable chunk of land so it must be doing something right.

http://www.justanthony.com/

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby villanova » Thu, 10 Mar 2016 3:41 pm

hello everyone, thank you for your kind replies. i have ruled out valuable antiques after doing some research - also thanks to bgd for the pertinent link. the article does make a lot of sense.

strong eagle - specialty shops? i'm sorry but i'm traveling at the moment in search of the above mentioned, i hope you do not mind elaborating on what these shops sell.

JR8 - thank you so much for the link you are a star. i find it extremely useful.

x9200 - in doing my research i actually visited a place that was selling refurbished and antique furniture from the south east asia region in an industrial area - and it had lots of people there! there is virtually no public transport to get there and yet business was great!

rajagainstthemachine - first of, bloody fantastic user name mate. i know what you mean about ridiculously priced items, which is what i found out when i was doing my research, which is why i was hoping i could provide a reasonable alternative to those ridiculously priced shops. there was this one shop at clark quay that sells little rice bowls for 45 dollars.. and their business seems to be doing actually pretty good. the best part is their motto or what not was making such designs and products available for the masses. not sure if majority of singaporeans are eating out of 45 dollar rice bowls...

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby villanova » Thu, 10 Mar 2016 3:44 pm

sundaymorningstaple - alo mate yeah i know what you are talking about i've been there before and you are right it's pretty damn exorbitant. same thoughts, huge chunk of land and been there for a long time from what i understand - so they must be doing something right... could be the horse piss

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby x9200 » Thu, 10 Mar 2016 4:00 pm

villanova wrote:x9200 - in doing my research i actually visited a place that was selling refurbished and antique furniture from the south east asia region in an industrial area - and it had lots of people there! there is virtually no public transport to get there and yet business was great!

In Singapore?

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Re: Question - Would any of you patronize a shop selling vintage/antique items and furniture?

Postby villanova » Thu, 10 Mar 2016 4:04 pm

x9200 - that's right. http://www.secondcharm.net/ there ya go


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