Tag Archives: flea market

Outside Flea Market near Fayetteville Arkansas

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Looking north at part of the crowds waiting to get in the gate.

Last week, we decided to visit The Junk Ranch in Prairie Grove, Arkansas for the second time. The Junk Ranch is an outside flea market where old rusty vintage meets homemade signs and crafts. With a big dose of food vendors and garden items. Not exactly what we carry in the store, but it’s close enough to visit again and see what we could find.

On our first visit, in 2014, the flea market was just finding it’s legs. Now, they have the flea market game figured out. The place had three times the number of vendors and hundreds more visitors. They managed vehicle and pedestrians traffic well. We arrived about thirty minutes before the market opened on Friday, at 9:30 a.m., and the two entrance lines were already winding around the fences. It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for shopping in a field.

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Before the crowds.

The Junk Ranch is located outside of Fayetteville, in the middle of a big field around a big red barn. Most of the vendors are set up in tents, so if the weather hadn’t cooperated, you could have still enjoyed the day. Although there was a large crowd waiting for the gates to open, the crowds dispersed quickly because of the size of the venue.

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Typical items for sale.

So, what did we find? Not much that would fit into our store. English country house antiques can’t be found in a field in NW Arkansas. We did buy a few items. We saw a lot of country craft signs, old sinks, metal garden items, buckets, crafts, farm machines, old worn kitchen items, and lots of retro fans with frayed cords. We saw several buyers carrying small overnight suitcases and we wondered why. We made a couple of trips to the car, but our best buys were the extra large corn dogs!

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Some of the treasures we brought home.

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Haggling over Antiques.

Philip's ready to make a deal at the Sparks Kansas Flea Market.

Philip’s ready to make a deal at the Sparks Kansas Flea Market.

So a guy walks into an antique store and says, “So, has the “American Pickers” changed your business?”

Nope, it’s not the beginning of a joke. It actually happens in our store about once every two weeks. The answer is: we don’t believe it’s impacted our business.

The American Pickers are two guys who go into barns, garages and personal collections of individuals and haggle to buy old industrial parts, signs and memorabilia. They don’t go into retail businesses. They wouldn’t think to come here and if they did, they wouldn’t have the audacity to haggle big-time with Philip. A retail store owner has overhead. You don’t go into Dillard’s and demand a 25 to 50% reduction in price off new inventory. You wait for sales.

Do antique stores run sales? Yes. Do they discount from time to time? Yes. Do they participate in “American Pickers Style” haggling? We doubt it. Can you offer less or ask for a discount? Sure, but there may not be much of a mark up to begin with, so don’t take it personal if your offer is rejected. What about a “cash discount”? Doesn’t hurt to ask.

Haggling is an acceptable practice around the world. Americans haggle over the price of cars. At flea markets, people will negotiate, hopefully politely. Don’t offer too low of a price though. It is offensive to low ball it. At the West Bottoms in Kansas City, we saw lots of signage that clearly stated that stores did not negotiate. Reasonable prices were set in stone.

Know your market. We’ve seen internet shops with European inventory running as much as a 6x markup. You won’t find that in Springfield Missouri. The Midwest antique market has been slow to rebound from the recession. If you are wondering about a fair market price, we usually recommend that people go online and do an advanced search on eBay for “sold” items.

You can trust that we are out looking for good quality items that we can offer to you at a reasonable price. Intense negotiation won’t be necessary.

(Editor’s note: these are simply our opinions)

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Focused on the English Antique Market.

IACF Newark

IACF Newark

This is the last of our blogs on our 2014 antiquing trip to the Cotswolds and beyond.

Flea and antique market shopping is different than shopping for antiques in clean, cozy buildings. Spending the entire day, usually outside, moving from booth to booth may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t beat the selection or the prices.

Cool model of spiral staircase at IACF Newark.

Cool model of spiral staircase at IACF Newark.

Cheltenham Boot Sale.

Cheltenham Boot Sale.

We buy most of our inventory of smalls at flea/antique markets in England and Europe. It’s our sport of choice. It’s all about finding a great bargain that we can pass onto our customers. Something new or different is just what we are looking forward to finding. We cover as much ground as possible, at all sorts of venues.

This ice cream truck seemed to follow Philip to several fairs.

This ice cream truck seemed to follow Philip to several fairs.

It’s fun but this is kind of shopping is not for the faint of heart. It’s not comfortable, nor clean. Portable toilets are the rule. Food is purchased from trucks. Often, the weather will not be perfect, so you are working against time. If the weather turns, the dealers are gone in a flash. We are up early, moving fast and staying until the dealers pack up. As the day comes to a close, you can find the real bargains, as dealers prefer not to lug their items back home.

Griffins ready to go into the shopping trolley.

Griffins ready to go into the shopping trolley.

Trio shopping at Arthur Swallow Lincolnshire Fair.

Trio shopping at Arthur Swallow Lincolnshire Fair.

On our last trip to England in 2014, we visited more fairs than we normally do and because of that, we’ve have some awesome bargains coming in the next container. Here are the fairs we visited:

  1. Stow on the Wold Flea and Collectors Fair
  2. Cheltenham Boot Sale
  3. Malvern Flea and Collectors Fair
  4. Great Wetherby Racecourse Antique Fair
  5. Magnes Antique Fair
  6. Swinderby Village Hall Antique Fair
  7. Winthorpe Antique Fair
  8. Pride of Lincoln Antique Fair
  9. Arthur Swallow Lincolnshire Fair
  10. IACF Newark Fair
The gang's all here!

The gang’s all here!

Here are some of our survival tips for flea market shopping.

  • Start early. We hate to be late; Philip always feels like he has missed something of value if we aren’t there when it opens.
  • Wear comfortable all-weather shoes. You may be stomping in mud puddles and standing all day.
  • Carry more than one collapsible tote bag. If it’s a good fair, you may need to unload several times during the day and it’s a long walk back to the car.
  • Bring a small note pad and pen to track your purchases. At the end of the day, you won’t remember how much you paid for which item.
  • Bring cash, in small bills. Don’t count on the presence of an ATM.
  • Dig for items. Scanning a booth from the aisle won’t cut it. Look under tables and through boxes.
  • Travel in light layers, adding or shedding as the sun plays peekaboo.
  • Buy quickly and keep hold of the item until you finish the sale.
  • It’s ok to haggle, but only if you are serious about making a purchase. If the dealer can’t come down to your price, make sure you still thank them.

 Magna Carta Pub in Lincoln with Stephanie, Suzanne, Peter, and Philip.

Magna Carta Pub in Lincoln with Stephanie, Suzanne, Peter, and Philip.

At the end of the day, it’s great to settle around a table at the neighborhood pub and share our stories and finds with friends.

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Where do you plan to retire?

Many people retire to the Ozarks including Daniel Boone’s youngest son, Nathan.

Nathan Boone's home near Ash Grove Mo.

Nathan Boone’s home near Ash Grove Mo.

Nowadays, people are drawn to the Ozarks for various reasons: a lower cost of living, great healthcare, the lakes, having a moderate four season climate, etc. But why, in 1837, would you build a cabin in the Missouri Territory, amidst the government pushing out the native Indian tribes of the Osage and Kickapoo? On Sunday, we drove to the Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site near Ash Grove, Mo. to find out more about this frontier man.

Nathan Boone's homestead.

Nathan Boone’s homestead.

We think Nathan Boone had visited the area during his surveying days and fell in love with the rolling hills and clear streams, a place where he and his family could put down roots and build a new life. He had ventured into the American West as a surveyor, trapper, hunter, and soldier and his family saw an opportunity to buy up large quantities of land, vacated by the Indian tribes.

Boone House.

Boone House.

Whatever the reason, Nathan and his wife, Olive, and their family (14 children were born to the couple) arrived in 1834. Settlers were moving into the area as the Indian removal continued. By 1837, three of his sons and two of his slaves built a double log house in the newly established Greene County. Boone Township was established around the same time as the township of Springfield was formed.  The small Ozark farm grew to more than 700 acres.

Nathan continued his military career into Indian Territory and surveying, all the while his family remained in Boone Township.  By 1853, he was done with the military and retired to his home. He died in 1856. We hope he savored his retirement in the Ozarks.

Ash Tree Antiques in Ash Grove, Mo.

Ash Tree Antiques in Ash Grove, Mo.

We enjoyed our Sunday afternoon visit to the State Historic Site. And of course, we managed to check out two antique/flea markets in the town of Ash Grove. The “Ash Tree” and “Kaydee Jo’s Treasures” are located across Maple Street from each other. Both are small booth-type markets carrying few antiques and mostly vintage items.

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Flea Market Discovery.

What Goes Around, Comes Around.

Philip with his latest treasure.

Philip with his latest treasure.

On Sunday, we stopped in at a Springfield flea market that we had not visited before. We don’t typically shop flea markets, especially in our own area. Flea markets are not good resources for someone bargain hunting for antiques, but we were driving by and had the impulse to pull into the parking lot.
Whatever expectations we had were quickly crushed when we saw that customers were trolling the aisles with grocery carts. Big Sigh…We quickly made it down a few aisles, nothing antique, nor interesting, but as we turned to exit, something caught Philip’s eye.
In an almost empty booth, with just a few bits and pieces, was a framed print. The print was not anything special, but the frame was something of value. Close inspection of the back of the piece confirmed Philip’s suspicions. It was framed by his dad back in the early 1960s. The frame was an American hard-carved frame from New York. It would be crazy expensive to produce a similar one today. He got the bargain for $15! He’ll clean it up and put it in the store at a great price for one lucky customer.
Needless to say, Philip was whistling for the rest of the day.

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2012 Area Antique Show Schedule

We’ve just received news on some 2012 Antique Shows and thought we would pass on the information to our readers.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI

February 11 & 12, 2012 – ANTIQUE FESTIVAL OF THE OZARKS
 October  27 & 28, 2012 – ANTIQUE FESTIVAL OF THE OZARKS
 OZARK EMPIRE FAIRGROUNDS – E-PLEX East – 3001 N. Grant

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TULSA, OKLAHOMA

February 17, 18 & 19, 2012 – VINTAGE TULSA SHOW
EXCHANGE CENTER AT EXPO SQUARE, (Tulsa State Fairgrounds) – 21st & Yale

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SPRINGDALE, ARKANSAS

July 14 & 15, 2012 – ANTIQUE FESTIVAL OF THE OZARKS
NWA HOLIDAY INN CONVENTION CENTER, 1500 S. 48th St., Springdale, Arkansas

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FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS

January 14, March 10, May 12, July 28, September 8, November 10. – FLEA MARKET

 PHOENIX EXPO TRADE & EVENT CENTER, 4600 Towson Ave., Fort Smith, Arkansas

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