So you want to have a Mobile Boutique? This is much more involved so not every answer will be available and there are many different situations between location in the US and whether you will be using a motorhome, stepvan, box truck, SUV, 5th wheel trailer, travel trailer, enclosed trailer, etc.
What Type of Mobile Boutique do I need?
Your choices include school buses, motor home, step van, box truck, travel trailer, toy hauler, fifth wheel, and enclosed trailer. Click for specifics on each type.
Where do I buy my Mobile Boutique?
Craigslist.org and Ebay are very popular. We recommend you do a visual inspection before paying any money. There are a lot of scammers out there that may take your money and never have had a vehicle for sale or they don’t point out any major flaws that may not be obvious in the photos.
Facebook has a lot of garage sale sites, find ones local to you and watch them regularly. There might be fully completed boutiques available too, but expect them to be at a higher price or to be missing a function that the person is making sure they include when building their next boutique.
Word of mouth is very helpful. Let your customers know you’re looking to make a Mobile Boutique and someone probably has a friend trying to sell a trailer, but hasn’t taken the effort of listing it for sale yet.
Buy new. There are many manufacturers for whatever type of mobile boutique you are trying to build. Final touches such as clothing racks might need the work done by yourself or a local contractor. If you’re searching for an enclosed trailer, Diamond Cargo Trailers will have the cheapest price you can find. Along with the cheap price, is cheaper quality. They show hundreds of features you can add though, so they are a good researching tool if you plan on using an enclosed trailer.
What kind of Insurance do I need?
Typical types include normal car insurance (liability, comprehensive, collision). You may also need business liability and personal property. Find an insurance broker in your area. They will help you with finding the correct type of insurance. The one special item about most mobile boutiques is that customers step into the boutique. Many insurance companies do not cover customers walking into your boutique, so make sure this is specified.
What kind of permits do I need to sell?
This is a grey area as mobile boutiques are few and relatively new. The most common permit is a peddlers permit. You get these from each individual town and they have to be renewed yearly. Some towns do not have a requirement, so nothing is needed. Talk to the town clerk to determine what is needed. If you are on private property, no special permit is required.
I don’t have a cell phone or wifi signal in my trailer when I close the door.
When you shut the door to your enclosed trailer or motorhome, your cell signal goes immediately to zero. By closing the door you have created a Faraday cage. How do you resolve this? Create non-conductive surfaces in the trailer that will allow electromagnetic systems to pass through. A non-conductive surface could be a window, a vent, or just a hole. If you are using a vent, you might have to remove the screen if it is metal.
Another option is to hardwire a signal from the outside to the inside. A signal booster receiver must be placed outside of the trailer, and the transmitter inside.