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.
- 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.
- Dress in Layers. Sometimes the mornings can be a little chilly here, but it won't take long for the day to warm up.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bring cash and small bills. Some dealers do not except checks while most do and only a small few accept credit cards.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.