Thursday, March 3, 2016

Survival Guide for Antique Shows, Barn Sales & Pop Up Markets

Spring is just around the corner y'all. As the weather warms up and the flowers start blooming so does our itch to get out and soak up the beautiful weather. For most of us junkers that means it's time for Barn Sales, Antique Shows and Pop-Up Markets. Every so often we get an e-mail from a newbie wanting to know what to expect at these events. So we compiled a list of tips that may be useful for first time show going customers. These tips aren't meant for your first time as a vendor at a show. They are meant for your first time there as a customer. For you seasoned pros, you know the ropes by now and you might want to skip this post. I sure wish I'd had a list like this when I attended my first event.

Clothing & Shoes: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You will be doing lots walking, squatting, and bending. Layer so you can remove articles of clothing as the day warms up. If it rains be prepared for mud. I live in flips flops, but sneakers sure come in handy after a rain shower. Take a fanny pack. It is a life saver. 

Protect Your Skin: Since most of these events are held outdoors, chances are you are going to be spending a good portion of the day in direct sunlight. Make sure to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Your skin will thank you. Pack an umbrella for those unexpected showers. You will also want to have some bug repellent for those muggy summer evenings.  

Survival Kit: Be sure to pack a tape measure for measuring larger pieces. A pen and paper for note taking. Some other things for your arsenal are: hand sanitizer, wet wipes, first aid, bee sting treatment, headache/stomach meds, snacks and water. I always like to freeze a big bottle of Smart Water the night before. Then I can sip on it throughout the day. Staying hydrated at these summer events can help you to stay focused on the task at hand: Junkin!

Take Cash: These days most vendors have the square to take your credit card payments.However there are still a few that don't. Remember cash is king. You are more likely to get a better deal if paying with cash. Also you will need it if you have to pay to park.

Take a Rolling Cart: These babies are games changers. They make shopping so much easier. Don't worry if you fill it up. Just take it to the car, unload it and repeat. I found my utility cart here.

Arrive Early: Remember the old saying "The early bird gets the worm" this certainly holds true for these events as well. 

Transportation: I really don't have to tell you junkers about this one. If you've been pickin for any length of time you know to take a truck, SUV or pull behind trailer. You never know what amazing treasures you will find. It would be a shame to have to leave them behind. 

Networking: Maybe this one doesn't necessarily classify as a survival tip, but if you are in the junking business it's an important tip nonetheless. Always have a business card with you to hand out. You never know who you will meet at these events. It's all about networking.

Misc: Be sure to charge your cell phone since you will not have an opportunity to do so at the event. Most of us love taking pics so you will want a full charge. Speaking of phones did you know some of the larger shows have their own app? These apps can be very useful. Just be sure to check the event website for more info. Last but not least take your support system aka bestie or a good junkin buddy. That way you have someone to help you carry your stuff and hold you accountable if you are working within a budget. 

Cat from Petticoats on the Prairie shared a couple of tips with us. And their show will be April 16-18 in Coleman, TX. Thank you, Cat for sharing these great tips with us.

Don't be afraid to make an offer on an item you love...most dealers expect it and price their items with a little wiggle room.

If you see it and fall in love with it-don't wait! Buy it right then because chances are when you walk away and think you will return later, it will be long gone.

Tips from our readers:

Shirley @Shirley's Archives: Take a show map with you to make notes and mark booths you like and want to revisit (and maybe where they are holding something for you).

If you have a tip to share please comment below. There are so many great shows and events coming up this spring. We have uploaded an entire album on Facebook with flyers for events all over the US. Be sure to click here to take a look. Stop back by next week because we will be sharing tips for first time show vendors.


Carla Jeffers said...

Great advice! After attending the Country Living show in Nashville last year I can honestly say every one of this tips are right on!

Shirley @ Shirley's Archives said...

Take a show map with you to make notes and mark booths you like and want to revisit (and maybe where they are holding something for you).

Melissa Stanley said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with all these tips... however, if you're interested, I wrote a post about tips/tricks for tackling the 127 World's Longest Yard Sale (really any yard sale route). Here's the link: