Wednesday, September 09, 2009

15 Days & 15 Tips

Today marks 15 days until the Antique Shows start in Round Top/Warrenton Texas and to kick off the countdown I thought I'd offer 15 Flea Market Tips.  Can you believe we are so close to being in Junker's Paradise.  The shows have grown so much over the years and the displays only become more fabulous with each show season.  Well since it's officially 15 days until you can junk until your heart's content and time is flying by, here are 15 tips I thought might be helpful for those of you that may be new to coming out to the shows.  I always try and post show maps and tips each season for you.

  1. Wear Comfortable Shoes - I can't stress this enough, not cowboy boots that you are just trying to break in, save those for the Junk Gypsy Prom on October 1st.
  2. Dress in Layers.  Sometimes the mornings can be a little chilly here, but it won't take long for the day to warm up.
  3. Bring a shopping cart with a liner to carry your purchases in or bring a large tote bag.  Just remember as you purchase things, the tote bag can get heavy.
  4. Bring water and snacks.  You need to stay hydrated while you are shopping and snacks will help you keep your energy so you can keep going.
  5. Bring cash and small bills.  Some dealers do not except checks while most do and only a small few accept credit cards.
  6. Find a show map to become familiar with all the shows that are here and try to arrive as early  as you can at the shows for the best selections.  You'd be amazed at just how many towns you can shop at and you don't want to miss any of the cool things. Remember not every show opens on the same date.  Some open earlier (the weekend before, also referred to as the preview weekend), while others don't open until later in the show like Marburger and The Red Barn.  Also, some shows charge an entrance fee but many of them are free of charge.  For many shows you can park in one location and walk, but since this show encompasses so many towns it's best to have a plan of what town you want to start at and where you will go next.
  7. Bring a small notebook and pen to write down what you've purchased and it will also help you remember if you need to go back and pick up things and where it's located.  It may be helpful to bring a small measuring tape if you are needing to measure something.
  8. Be nice when working with dealers.  You don't know just how hard we all work to find you the coolest things we can, clean it, price, haul it and display it, and courtesy can go a long way in this business.
  9. Remember to inspect what you are purchasing.  All sales are final and you can not return an item and expect to get your money back. Shows vendors are also required to charge tax, so if you do not have a tax number, you will have to pay sales tax.  However, if you do have a tax number it's always a good idea to carry a copy with you because many will require to see it.
  10. Bring packing materials, blankets, bubble wrap etc. to wrap your purchases in when you get back to your vehicle.  Bungee cords or twine are also helpful when tying things down to your vehicle.
  11. Ask vendors if you are looking for certain items but maybe don't see it.  Sometimes they have merchandise that is still in their trailers or they may have it and your eye doesn't see it.  Also, if you are uncertain about things ask the vendors questions.  If you are interested in something the vendor can sometimes offer more information about an item.
  12. There are always parties you can attend at the shows.  Find out through the vendors what parties they may know of.  I've listed several on my side bar for your info.
  13. There are some great places to eat during the shows.  Ask around, you never know where you might find a place to eat at that otherwise may have been hidden from you.  There are several places we like to go in the evenings, so be sure and ask me.
  14. Watch the weather for the shows.  It can be storming one minute, sunny the next, cloudy and over cast on another day and snowing before you know it.  Yes we have literally experienced every one of these weather conditions during one show.  It happened last Spring!
  15. Have Fun!!  This is your time to find cool stuff and just to have fun doing this.
Since it's also White Wednesday, be sure and stop by Kathleen's blog to see all that are participating.  Here's my white item for you today.  Dawn of The Feathered Nest featured white flour sack towels that you can buy at Wal-Mart, so last week when we were in Austin I purchased them.  And I love them.  They are so versatile, while you can use them in the kitchen, I think they'd be great using them to cover small stools, etc. and you can tea stain them too. It's the simple things in life that sometimes makes me happy. 

Thanks Dawn for your tip.  Happy Wednesday to you!  See you hopefully soon at the shows.


  1. i can't tell you how much i love your banner...what a delightful mix of goodies there...those are great tips for attending any large show...thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Those are some great tips for the shows. I hope the weather is good for the show. Thanks for sharing the tips! Sandi

  3. Sounds so fun! I have always wanted to go! If I had some spending money and didn't have an infant and two young boys I'd be there!! LOL! Maybe someday...

  4. Good Tips! We are relatively new at this, so I never thought to ask if a dealer has something they have not displayed yet. I am also going to get a tax ID number this week...we keep putting it off. Thanks and see you October 1st.

  5. Such wonderful tips Theresa...oh how I wish I could be there...with my pockets packed with money!!! Don't you just love those little towels??? It's the sweetest fabric ever ~ thank you for the link love! xxoo, Dawn

  6. Great tips! I think the "be nice" one is my fav. 15 days?! Ahhhhh!!!! ~Mindy

  7. excellent tips foe going to fairs and market- thanks. also must get those flour sack towels- thanks again..

  8. And the most important tip of all...Have a great time!
    Very good post with excellent shopping advice for a show that is all over the place!

  9. Spoken like the true seasoned professional that you are! Great tips for a fun week. Oh how I'd love to get there some day.
    Love your new banner photo and the manny boy. Really great!

  10. AAHHHHHH....I'm so JEALOUS I don't live in Texas (for LOTS of reasons) but this would be a BIG one. Maybe next year I can make it. Good luck and have a blast!!

  11. Great post! Loved learning about the other parties!! Looking forward to yours on that Sunday!!


  12. T, you are amazing - I don't know how you find the time to change your banner so often. Thanks for the always delicious eye candy.

    Now... I'm seriously contemplating coming to Texas to go junking with you! I'm just amazed at all that I see through your blog. Just amazed.
    xo Isa

  13. You just put us in a flea market mood!, we can't wait 'til the weekend!!

  14. Hello
    Thanks for all your great tips on going to a show, very sound advice.
    Your banner looks great also...

  15. Thanks for the tips! Can't wait to get there and see all of these fabulous booths and to meet ya! See ya soon!!!

  16. Thanks for those tips...they really helped me when we came in the surprise I got though...the charged a nominal fee for withdrawing money, which I was happy to pay...but the other charged $12.00 per transaction!! Shoppers, just know before you withdraw...I didn't pay attention :( That could have purchased yet another treasure!!

  17. Thanks Gale for mentioning this. I didn't know that they could charge that much for using the ATM. And, this is so true, you could have kept buying!

  18. You know me, I'm eating up any and all tips you have for me about Warrenton! I'm just bummed that I'll only have one day there. But as I've been told, one is better than none. I plan to concentrate my shopping on your area...Carolyn Westbrook and a few other key peeps are there, right? Will Troy be close by, too?
    Yippeee, I'm gettin' jazzed here!
    ~ Anne

  19. Great tips again, Theresa. See you soon and I will be sure to ask you about good places to eat.

  20. Theresa, I've committed your tips to my memory. I can't wait to be there. How early should one arrive in the morning? I'll be driving in from Houston. Am very bummed though that I won't be able to make it to the highlight of the show, your blogger party!

  21. Oh how I'd love to be able to go. Someday I'm going to be there and be able to meet all you fabulous ladies. until then I'll just have to drool over all your pics. Also, I really love the photo you have for your blog header. It's really sweet.

    Take care,


  22. Great tips, I wish I was there to use them . Thanks for pointing out how hard we all work to get the good stuff. I've had customers actually offer me half price for an item. I always wonder what they think I paid for it?? Sue

  23. Love your tips, can't wait till the show. I use those towels to dry dishes, clean and stain furniture. They are great!!!


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