5 Tips for Shopping Antique Shows

5 Tips for Shopping Antique Shows

Antique shows are in a league of their own, as far as shopping experiences go.

Making plans with your mom, sister or group of friends, pulling on your cute rainboots and making the trek out to some field  full of vintage goodness is great way to spend a Saturday.

Ok, sometimes they are in a convention center, but my favorites involve driving past miles of bucolic scenes complete with old, rickety barns and fields of cows.

I have only been to a few antique shows, but I have some tips that make shopping them more enjoyable.

This year, the day before Mother’s Day, my friend and I decided to go check out the highly acclaimed Farm and Frills show in Washington state.

The pros and cons of antique shows and how to get the most out of your shopping experience.

Now, I am an avid garage saler, so some of the differences were a little difficult for me. By that I mean, when you go to an antique show

  • you usually pay an entrance fee
  • it can be overwhelming because everything is cute, unlike garage sales, haha!
  • food prices are much higher than garage sales

 

That being said, I still think antique shows are worth the extra time and money because of the

  • fun music
  • gourmet sandwiches, pies, donuts, etc
  • vintage campers
  • fun with friends and family

Scroll to the end to find Antique Shows near you!!

The pros and cons of antique shows and how to get the most out of your shopping experience.

This post contains affiliate links to products I love. Click here to read a full disclosure.

So, now that we got that settled. Here are my top

5 Tips for Shopping Antique Shows

1)Prepare Yourself- Dress in layers, wear comfortable shoes, prepare for weather changes with rain gear, sun hat, sun glasses and bring water and snacks.

2) Prepare for Your Purchases– Bring cash, a shopping list, measuring tape, fabric and paint swatches from your house, a bag or cart and leave your purse- I only carry my phone, keys and wallet.

Click on the Images Below to Get this look

3) Move Fast  It can get really competitive, which is part of the fun, but don’t let that push you into buying something you will regret. If I am not sure about an item, I take a picture or mark my map. If I come back later and it is still there, then I buy it.

4) Negotiate, As Needed- If you are happy with the price, I say just buy it. I love supporting small businesses and paying cash saves them on the fees they have to pay for debit and credit cards.  Only negotiate on prices if you are uncomfortable with buying something, this can be simply because you don’t need it. Sometimes I say I’m trying to justify my buying an item that I have a whole collection of at home and we have a good laugh. Read my 10 Tips for Negotiating at Yard Sales post for a full description on how to negotiate.

5) Keep a Detailed Record- Most vendors don’t give receipts so write down of all your purchases including descriptions, quantity and price for your financial records.  The money can go fast and keeping an eye on what is happening is a good idea.

 

The pros and cons of antique shows and how to get the most out of your shopping experience.

The pros and cons of antique shows and how to get the most out of your shopping experience.

The pros and cons of antique shows and how to get the most out of your shopping experience.

 Once you get a second to sit down with your shopping pal, lay each and every item out.

Then, reassure each other that you got the most unique finds, at the cheapest prices, ever in the history of all antique shopping!!

Speaking of brilliant finds . . . do you want to see what I found?

I will take that as a “yes”.

The pros and cons of antique shows and how to get the most out of your shopping experience.

An urn, basket, vintage blocks. . .

The pros and cons of antique shows and how to get the most out of your shopping experience.

 . . . wooden folding chairs (I’m going to paint them white) . . .

The pros and cons of antique shows and how to get the most out of your shopping experience.

 . . . two vintage posters and a french flower bucket.

Now, it’s your turn, pack smart, move fast and go get those deals!

Click on the link below to find out which shows are in your area.

The 26 Best Antique Shows in America by Country Living

Related Posts

5 Secrets to Shopping Yard Sales

How to Yard Sale with Children

What to Pack When Shopping Yard Sales

10 Tips for Negotiating at Yard Sales

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11 Comments

  1. Tanya Hulbert
    June 4, 2017 / 10:29 PM

    What a fun trip this was! As I’m looking through the pictures I am thinking, “I missed some really cute things! How did I not notice that?” We will have to make this our annual market and pass by the old barns and cows together. For a long, long time.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 6, 2017 / 4:35 PM

      Agreed. Thanks for that fun day!!

  2. Ardith
    June 5, 2017 / 12:46 PM

    These are excellent tips, Sarah. I haven’t gone antique shopping in eons, and now I am reminded that I miss such friend outings. Hmm, food for thought. Cheers, Ardith

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 6, 2017 / 4:32 PM

      Oh fun, I hope you can go soon! Thank you so much for stopping by.

  3. Brenda
    June 5, 2017 / 1:33 PM

    What a fun article! I went back and read your post on negotiating at yard sales and enjoyed it, as well. Having been a thrifter and garage saler for years, I appreciated your sound advice. It lines up with what I have found to be true, over the years.

    And, do give the children your list, as well. For some years we were collecting our canning equipment and supplies. Often “my crew” would spot what we were looking for before I would. It was like a treasure hunt.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 6, 2017 / 4:33 PM

      Yes, I love your idea of including the kids! I’m so pleased that you agree with my shopping thoughts, good to get your stamp of approval.:)

  4. June 6, 2017 / 6:12 AM

    I looooove Antique shows. I am getting married next summers so my mom and I are spending this summer shopping around for cool pieces of decor. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 6, 2017 / 4:36 PM

      Oh how fun!! Wedding planning are some of the best days with a mom.

  5. July 7, 2017 / 5:55 PM

    Great suggestions!! I’ve found myself in some of those same situations at antique shows.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      July 25, 2017 / 7:24 PM

      Oh good, I am glad you got some new ideas!

  6. August 14, 2017 / 12:36 PM

    I like that you mentioned to think about negotiating on prices that you don’t feel comfortable paying. It makes sense that antiques might be subject to a bit of haggling. I am trying to find some new antique furniture for my home, and I want to know how to shop for antiques properly. I will be sure to keep these tips in mind as I visit some antique shows, thanks for sharing!

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