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5 Tips for Mastering an Antique Show

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by guest blogger, designer Mark Kintzel

I love going to antique shows. You never know what you’re going to find, or whom you’re going to see.  (Let’s just say, antiques aren’t the only finds with “patina.”)  One year at the Antiques and Collectors Extravaganza in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, a dealer was selling coffins. Ummm…I’ll pass. But I confess, I did peek inside a few.

I’m on a never-ending hunt for STUFF, and always thinking about my next creative project (keep checking the blog to see some in future videos). Here’s my plan of attack, which you can follow to make the most out of any antique show you attend:

Timing is key. Arrive early if you’re looking for a good selection; stay late for the best deals. Dealers don’t want to pack up as much as they came with, so don’t be afraid to swoop in and make an offer at the end of the day—this is the best time to haggle.

Map the floor. I always take a quick walk-around first, and take mental notes on special finds and good food booths.

Watch for duplicates. What’s great about scoping out the entire place first is, you may see a must-have item in one dealer’s display, yet another may have the exact item or a similar one for a much better price. Okay, there have been times when I’ve gone back and my must-have item was gone.  No big whoop—there will be other opportunities, and after all, it’s just stuff.

Employ your curiosity. Investigate and ask questions. Some pieces may have cool history behind them (some of the exhibitors do, too), or exhibitors may have additional merchandise of interest to you in other locations or shows.

Prep for anything, and everything. Dress for all types of weather if it’s an outdoor event because shows generally run rain-or-shine. Wear comfortable shoes.  Since credit cards are usually not accepted at shows, take plenty of cash.

For our local blog readers, the Antiques and Collectors Extravaganza is three times a year located on the show grounds behind the Renningers Antiques and Farmers Market, Kutztown, PA.

Mark Kintzel comes from a long line of crafters, artists, musicians and farm folk. He first came under the magic spell of flowers as a boy, while wandering through meadows near his grandparents’ farm in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. His appreciation for creativity and flowers grew throughout the years, and he now specializes in event planning and styling, garden design, and organic floral arrangements for just about any occasion. See more at markkintzel.com.

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7 Responses to 5 Tips for Mastering an Antique Show

  1. Kate May 31, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    What a timely post…I just wandered around my first Antiques Show in Brimfield, MA. If you weren’t already a collector, you could easily become one with the variety of dealers. I’m hooked…and will be heading to more East Coast fairs in the future! Any tips on bargaining for a “fair” price?

    http://bread-n-chocolate.blogspot.com/2011/05/and-were-backfrom-brimfield.html

  2. Donna in Delaware May 31, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Would love to go to an antiques fair/show. Don’t want to go alone, although sometimes it’s better to go alone. Never been to one so, thanks for the tips Maria. Sounds similar to going to a farmer’s market!
    Have a safe trip to Europe and enjoy yourself.

  3. Donna in Delaware May 31, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Oh, I’m sorry you’ll miss the fantastic flower show in your backyard! The peonies look absolutely fantabulous!!!!

  4. Myra June 1, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Thanks for your post. I love antique stores. My last purchase was an old “flat iron”.
    This reminds me of an experience that I had in my own garage sale. I had a very old veggie strainer. It was not broken, but it was covered with rust. I almost threw it in the trash, but changed my mind. I figured someone might want it for ten cents.
    Along came an older gentleman who picked it up, exclaiming, “just what I need!” I could not stop myself from asking what he had in mind. It turned out that he had a collection of old kitchen gear displayed on the wall of his patio. He did not have a strainer and my sale offered just what he needed! Imagine that!
    Trash or Treasure?

    MyraSaidIt
    http://healthylivingtodayandtomorrow.blogspot.com/

  5. kao June 1, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Love this video!!
    I always love Marks work and I can’t wait to see his next crafty creation!! I have tagged along with him at an antique store before, and let me tell ya… he has an eye for possibilities!

  6. Kay Kintzel June 2, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    So enjoyed seeing this! Great new format! Can’t wait till the next one!

  7. Antiques Online January 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    The tips in this article are excellent for anyone considering one of the many outdoor antique shows. One of the favorite antique shows in New York City is the Armory show, put on every year in the winter. It is a fabulous place to find some of the most unique antiques from some of New York City’s top dealers. If you can get there this weekend, it is well worth your while. Of course, the last tip is the most important, as we are set to see single close to digit temperatures this weekend, with very low wind chills!

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