Visiting & Buying From An Antique Fair
For our first blog post we thought we'd write about buying from one of the UK's many Antique & Collectibles fairs. It can be quite daunting if its your first time and we are all about encouraging new people in the reclamation world. So here are a few hints & tips, on this occasion our destination for the day was Arthur Swallows fair at Lincoln Showground . There are 100's of shows and fairs dotted about the UK from the large IACF fairs including Ardingly, Shepton Mallet & Newark to smaller local fairs and sales all over the UK, Antique Stalker is an excellent resource for these. 888
I guess the 1st rule is be flexible, chances are your not going to find exactly what your looking for. Try and go with a broad brief like buying storage for the kitchen or bathroom (my favourite of the day pictured left, an original sweet shop jar would make fantastic kitchen storage) or if your looking for something larger like a piece of furniture make sure you take your maximum dimensions and find something that fits in around that. When you find something you like, have a chat to the dealer/seller chances are they'll probably know some more about the item. Sometimes dealers can seem a bit guarded to the newcomer but chances are they've been up since 3am battling with stock and the weather. My advice and it always works for me is be polite.
Once you've found something you like it now comes down to the money. Normally items aren't priced so you'll need to ask 'how much'. Once the dealer gives you a price your off. Believe it or not even as a commercial buyer on occasions I'll ask the price and if its less than I was expecting I'll buy it without asking for a deal. At this point don't be afraid to ask for a deal, the dealers is basically at the fair to sell stock. Please remember don't take the mick and offer an 80% discount, it might happen on TV but chances are it won't happen at a fair and some dealers at fairs are there to sell to the trade so won't give a huge discount. A good rule of thumb is a 10-30% discount. It certainly helps to put a bit of a bundle of items together. Most dealers will quite happily give you their contact details if you want to have a think about but then you could have additional delivery costs to consider.
Always remember if you like something, the chances are someone else will also like it. So if you wander off to have a think about it chances if you come back it'll be sold.