Each season as we near Antique Week in Texas, I try and do pointers for those that have never attended the Round Top/Warrenton Antique Shows. Since today marks 15 days until the shows start and to continue 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. I hope these 15 tips are helpful 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 September 30th.
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 AND shopping of course.
5. Bring cash and small bills. Some dealers do not except checks, while most do, but 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. Also please 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 The Marburger Antique Show 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 first and where you will go next. You normally can pick up a copy of The Show Daily at most show locations that will provide all this information you need.
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 vendors. 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. Here are just a few that I know of:
**Friday, September 24: Clutter Show Opening Day Party at 4pm**
**Saturday, September 25: Leftover's Antique Shop Party, Brenham Texas**
**Sunday, September 26: My Blog Party** ~ you do not have to have a blog to attend. If you planning on coming, please bring a dish and RSVP here. Come out and meet others bloggers and vendors.
There are other show parties that you can also attend, you might check with each individual show.
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. You know there is Royer's at Zapp Hall or Royer's in downtown Round Top, both places offer great food. And there are several other places we like to go in the evenings that are in different towns, 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 during one of the Spring Shows, only in Texas!
15. The most IMPORTANT ONE is to have Fun!! This is your time to find cool stuff and just have fun doing this.
I'd love to know if you have any tips that maybe I haven't mentioned but have worked for you while being at the shows, please share these with us. And I'd love to meet you, so please stop by my booth at Zapp Hall, I'm located directly in front of the hall.