Buying Low, Selling Low
by Charles McGuigan
Richmond Antiques had just opened in time for this past year’s Christmas on MacArthur, which is always held the second Saturday in December. Pedestrian traffic was tremendous and the owners, Susan and Larry Salomon, were extremely pleased with the turnout and developed an instant customer base.
“That was obviously a very wise move,” says Susan. “We did very well that day and we’ve done consistently well every week since. We’re very happy.”
Their space is bright and open with stamped-tin ceilings and a broad storefront window, a perfect backdrop for antiques and collectibles and so much more.
“We have what I think is a nice eclectic mix of stuff,” Susan says. “We have antiques, we have collectibles, we have fifties vintage stuff, we have ephemera, we have used books, we have vintage jewelry, vintage toys, railroad stuff, tobacco stuff, military stuff.”
And just about everything else in-between.
Larry, who as a boy growing up on Long Island used to accompany his mother when she was antique hunting, has a good sense of value.
“We buy low, so we can sell low,” he says. And the prices at Richmond Antiques reflect this philosophy.
“We like going out and finding stuff and giving customers something they wouldn’t have found otherwise,” says Susan. “We buy from auctions and estate sales, and people come in and we buy stuff from them. We buy stuff that we like because we figure if we like it someone else is going to like it.”
Anticipating a soon-to-be empty nest (their daughter is graduating from JMU, their son is graduating high school) the Salomons began in the antique business a couple years ago with a stall at an antique mall off Staples Mill Road, and later a storefront, that proved to be too small, in Ashland.
Ultimately the couple chose MacArthur Avenue because it suited their needs. “We liked the storefront here,” says Susan. “It’s in an older neighborhood with a mix of people—couples, singles, young families and seniors. It was a perfect fit for us and everyone’s been really nice to us, including the merchants’ association. We’re more of a neighborhood shop than a high end antique store.”
Larry nods. “We even sell CDs,” he says. “Just a buck a piece and people come in from the neighborhood and buy them. We comparison shop, price stuff very fairly, which we’ve heard from many people.”
“Buy low, sell low,” says Susan and Larry nods again.
4034 MacArthur Avenue