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.
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!!
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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.
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”.
An urn, basket, vintage blocks. . .
. . . wooden folding chairs (I’m going to paint them white) . . .
. . . 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
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