The Return from Junk Bonanza: Amazing People, Exceptional Treasures
I’m back from Junk Bonanza! I had a wonderful time. I met some amazing new friends, connected with some old friends, and found some really cool treasures.
I had a great time at Junk Bonanza. The selling was good but not great. I attribute that to the pandemic and people being hesitant to return. At least I made a profit!
How Did Junk Bonanza Begin?
The 1st Junk Bonanza event took place in Long Lake, MN. It was Ki Nassauer’s garage sale. I never made it to one of these sales but I’m sure that Ki Nassauer’s garage sale would have been the highlight of my garage sale year. I’ve heard stories from friends who went to those sales, and they all say it was amazing. I’m sure I would have been broke and junk drunk by the time I left.
As the monthly sale grew she decided to put her time into one large annual sale instead and that became Junk Bonanaza.
Kai has retired now, but Junk Bonanaza is still going strong with hundreds of vendors at each spring and fall event. People from all over the world come to attend this twice-yearly shopping extravaganza!
This Year’s Junk Bonanza
If you’ve spent any time watching my YouTube channel then you know I had been storing treasures for the past two years in preparation for Junk Bonanza. Well it was more like eighteen months but it was close enough to two years. Because of the pandemic the show was cancelled three times making me wonder if it would ever come back.
My garage was packed full of all the pieces that I wanted to keep to make a good impression on buyers at Junk Bonanaza. We call it the “WOW” factor. Once I got there and saw what all the other vendors had brought my “WOW” was more of a “wow”. I felt under dressed for the occasion, which was probably just my own insecurity and not really what others thought.
Customers still came into my booth so the displays couldn’t have been all that bad.
I certainly wasn’t on the level of some vendors though. Two of the booths surrounding mine build walls that made their space look like a shop inside the convention hall. Impressive but holy cow! It took them hours and a team of builders to put everything together.
Personally I’m curious if they made enough to make it worth the effort?
(Above my neighbors built a room!)
I Met Some Amazing New Friends
So I always make a point of talking to the people around me at any vintage event I attend. I’m interested in other business owners. Chalk it up to me being curious, or nosey.
Most of the time I’m so glad I did. At this Junk Bonanza I was so glad I did!
I met so many great people! Like TJ who worked at the Groveland Confections across from my booth. Their confections were so amazing. I think I gain 20 pounds in three days! TJ and I share an interest in the strange and quirky so we got along famously!
There was also Katie from Hausle Shop a Minneapolis vintage shop. She was so much fun to talk to and get the low down on some other vintage markets that she’s part of. I think I’ll be seeing her at the Minneapolis Vintage Market for sure!
I also met Jessica from Front Porch 605 who celebrated her anniversary with her hubby by setting up her space at Junk Bonanza. She makes incredibly cute pieces from vintage flour sacks. I couldn’t resist buying one of her scarecrow hats for one of my pumpkins this Halloween.
Because of all my gabbing I learned about so many new markets coming up. Including one in March in St. Cloud that I think I just have to go to!
There were even local celebrity encounters for me. I met Kendall Marks (below) from out local morning News stations. It was surreal to see her browsing my booth. Yes, of course I asked for a photo. I would have been kicking myself if I hadn’t.
How Were the Sales?
The good news is, I had a lot of fun. Like I mentioned earlier the sales for me were good. Not great.
There was always a question mark over what this Junk Bonanza would be like. There was no way to predict how a global pandemic and three cancellations was going to play out for vendors. There was some risk involved.
The crowds were down according to vendors who have be displaying for years at Junk Bonanza. And customers were not buying furniture or large pieces. This hurt a lot of vendors this time around.
Customers were buy small pieces. From what I was Mid Century is king right now. I brought in 1970’s Orange and Yellow Tupperware pieces and they sold right away. I was asked if I had any pieces from the 1980’s which made me a little nauseous. I’m not prepared for my childhood be vintage yet.
I had a few vintage clothing pieces that drew a lot of interest from the younger crowd. My display of vintage wedding gowns brought special requests for a gown with more lace if I had one in my store front. I do but of course I forgot to bring it. She took my card and we’ve connect since.
Most my business cards are gone now. Hopefully that will translate into future online sales.
My expenses with hotel cost’s, booth rent, and other ancillary charges (gas, meals, etc.) was over $800. Sadly I didn’t make much more than double that amount. That’s why I felt so disappointed.
The numbers made me question if I should sign up for the spring Junk Bonanza. The April show is the same weekend as Picket Fence Gals and in order to go I will have to give up one of my booth spaces there to have someone work for me. Which mean less money from that sale. I’m struggling with if it would be worth the amount of work it will take and the built in diminished income.
Choices will have to made.
I Met Some Followers!
In the middle of all the hustle and bustle suddenly smiling faces would appear. People who have seen the YouTube channel!
They were excited to see me but not as excited as I was to see them! Sometimes when I’m talking to myself in the car or in my office I wonder if there really are people out there. I see the numbers in my analytics but now there are real faces to put with those numbers.
For what it’s worth, seeing some of my followers makes up for the sales not being where I wanted them to be. Thank you for coming out to see me and supporting the YouTube channel!
Junk Bonanza A Good Time Was Had by All!
(The Bloody Mary’s Were Strong!)
The Junk Bonanza was a lot of fun! I enjoyed meeting all the different vendors and seeing their unique wares. It’s great to see so many people coming together to buy, and sell amazing vintage treasures! Comment below if you’ve been to any markets like this before and let me know what your experience is like – it would be awesome to chat about vintage selling and buying!
If you want to know more about vintage selling you can always check out the business section of my blog posts! There’s a lot of really great information in those posts!