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AntiqueShowsCanada Upgrades Virtual Event

More than a year and a half ago AntiqueshowsCanada developed a virtual show platform open to booksellers and antique dealers.  They ran half a dozen shows in 2021 and in the process learned a great deal about what makes for an effective and successful virtual show. This past December and and January there was a complete overhaul of the show website to incorporate a number of improvements and efficiencies. What started as an event with more antiques dealer than booksellers has become quite the reverse.

Participating dealers have noticed the differences at the first two shows of 2022.  The general idea is that a dealer will book a 'booth' of a given size from four options.  Once the booth has been created, the dealer creates a secure account, giving him or her access to the booth.  At this point a dealer begins the process of uploading items for sale.  With the new website a dealer has the ability to make edits, add, delete and rearrange both photos and items for sale.  During the show the exhibitor can go into a booth and mark items sold or on hold.  Feedback from dealers has been positive - they report the uploading process is simple and easy to use.

Exhibitors also like the fact that they can add ‘new' items to replace those which have been sold.  Each booth size allows a certain number of replacement items to be added during the course of the event.  For example, a 15 item booth includes the addition of 3 replacement items.  So, while a dealer is uploading items, after the first 15, he or she can add an additional 3 items.  During the show, the additional items remain hidden.  Only when an item is marked 'sold' is the first replacement item revealed.  If three items are sold then all three replacements will be revealed.  For exmple, a 15 item booth can display 18 items.  A thirty item booth can display 35 items. At the February event, several exhibitors managed to display all their replacement items during the first few hours.  All sold items remain in the booth for the duration, their price replaced by a 'sold' notation.

Regarding potential border problems, most US dealers will ship to Canada via USPS.  The buyer pays GST when picking up the item at their local Canada Post office.  The rate on used books is 5%.  GST is not charged on books going out of Canada into the USA.  Canadian dealers report that shipping to the USA is straightforward, the only requirement being to fill out a simple customs form on-line, and there is no duty on used books.