Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Antique Show Tips

(my booth during one of the Fall shows)

Each Antique Show season I always try and post tips that I hope you find beneficial for preparing to come out to the best Antique Shows in Texas.  Please know that I don't pretend to know all there is about the shows, these things I've just learned along the way.  I've seen other blogs that also offer great show tips as well. 

(Zapp Hall fun pics)

Since I've already received several emails and comments about why my blog shows one date for the opening of the Zapp Hall Antique Show and their website shows something else, I thought I'd explain.  I always try and put when I WILL ARRIVE in Warrenton, which this time it's on the 21st.  Zapp Hall's first opening day is September 23.  I went ahead and updated my blog so it wasn't so confusing. 

Also, please remember that not all shows open on the same day. I know for some this is hard to understand because you would think we would all start the same day, but we don't. The Bar W show and several others will open about a week before our show opens.  The Marburger Farms Antique Show opens on Tuesday, Sept. 27 and The Red Barn Antique Shows opens on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

For more info. when all the shows open, check out The Show Daily. They'll have all the dates and maps and where to shop. If you've never been to these shows, it covers several towns that are all near each other and the Show Daily maps this out for you. This is a must have at the shows if it's your first time. You should be able to find a copy at the shows.
The Falls shows are also very different than the Spring shows, weather wise.  It seems to be much hotter in the Fall but we could have cool mornings, so don't forget to dress in layers. It can be cool starting out but it will probably warm up by noon. Since we've had cooler weather this week, as compared to the over 100+ summer, I'm so hoping for a cooler show. You almost always have to bring clothes for all seasons when you're in Texas.

Here are few more helpful tips:

1. Wear Comfortable Shoes - remember you are in the country and the grounds can be unlevel.

2. Dress in Layers (see my note above).

3. Bring a shopping cart with a liner to carry your purchases in.  Last season I read in a magazine that mentioned flea market tips while you are at the Round Top shows and they recommended to "not" bring a shopping cart because the grounds were too bumpy and to bring a large canvas bag instead.  I guess they've never really shopped the fields here, because if you are buying several things, after walking for hours carrying those things they can get heavy. Besides a cart will allow you to bring drinks and snacks and the grounds aren't that bumpy that you can't roll the cart around.

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, but only a small few accept credit cards. Also, remember a lot of dealers are no longer excepting OUT OF STATE checks.

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. See my note above about The Show Daily.

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. I can't stress this enough.  You don't know just how hard we all work to find you the coolest things we can, clean it, price it, haul it and display it, and courtesy can go a long way in this business. Also, while we are on the subject of this and I hope I don't hurt any feelings, please don't go up to a vendor and automatically offer 50% off an item.  Unless you see a sign that says 50% off this can be very offensive to vendors.  You might ask "what is your best price" or "can you do any better"?  If they can, they'll let you know, but some vendors are firm about their prices and they'll let you know this too.

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. Show vendors are also required to charge sales 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.  There are shipping companies available at the shows to ship your purchases back for a fee.

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, Sept. 23 @ 4pm: Clutter Show Opening Day Party
                     **  Saturday, Sept. 24 @ 6pm:  Leftover's Antique Shop has a shop opening party.  See their website or blog for more info.
                     **  Sunday, Sept. 25: **My Blog Party** ~ you do not have to have a blog to  attend. See my post HERE for more details.
                      ** The Texas Rose Show Monday evening party is on Sept. 26
                      **  Junk Gypsy Prom at Zapp Hall is on Thursday, Sept. 29!

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, Joe's Place in Fayetteville is a favorite as is The Cactus in Burton.

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.
16.  My last tip is, drive around and explore the great views that are in the Round Top/Warrenton area.  You'll find gorgeous home places, like this one:

Or visit Festival Hill, you'll be here a while because it's just so gorgeous. I recommend even having your lunch here, it's so peaceful and you'll just enjoy the gardens and buildings so much:

Check out their website here.
You can also check out a previous post HERE for more show tips.

Can you believe you are literally 2 WEEKS away from the shows starting.  Hope to see you there.


  1. OMGoodness! I'm got so much to do! I really shouldn't be in here looking at blogs, but I'm taking a little break! Soon girl! Real soon!

  2. looks like I'll be missing all the fun AGAIN!


    sell sell sell

  3. I only wish... have a great show! t.xoxoxoxo

  4. Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I live in Arizona but this is good information where ever one might go shopping. Have a super great time.

  5. Great post T! I have a feeling it's going to be a fantastic show this year!

  6. What a great post...I'm going to make it to TX one day. In the meantime I'm posting a link to this on my FB page cause it's great advice for any show!


  7. Sometimes I think these reality shows have done more harm than good. They give folks a false sense of what we do and just how hard it is to do it. Ah well...guess it's our job to re-educate 'em. Not all of us have TV salaries to fall back on.
    P.S. I can't believe how fast it's coming and how slow I am!

  8. Excellent points. I need to call my Round Top buddy and see if she can go this fall. I hope so.

  9. My dream trip! It's so hard reading and seeing all the blogs about this amazing show. What a great post! Thanks~SueBee


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