Posts Tagged ‘Brimfield Antique Fair’

Ten Tips for Shopping at Brimfield Antiques Fair

 This picture of me dragging around a metal stand I bought, in a metal cart, was taken by Amy from ABCDDesign, one of the amazing people I met at the BRIMFIELD Tweet Up.

My Brimfield Story. Tips, Tales and Pictures.
What a busy week it has been.  I’ll tell you more about my trip to Oregon soon but I wanted to chat about Brimfield Antique Fair first!  I was just there for a two day TWEET UP (coordinated by Cynthia and the amazing people from The Daily Basics) with a bunch of amazing people–designers, editors for magazines, stylists, writers, company owners bloggers, TV hosts and more. I cannot express enough how nice everyone was! I went with my friend Karin Lidbeck Brent, an amazing stylist, who you all know and love if you read Better Homes and Gardens, New England Home, Country Living and a dozen other publications she styles for–her YOUR COZY HOME BLOG is filled with great styling tips and ideas! As we walked around Brimfield I found out some things I hope you will find helpful for any antique fair.

1. The fields can get muddy and wet (it rained the two days before I arrived) and even if the fields aren’t wet — still wear your crappy sneakers or shoes, it is all dirt and mud. Thankfully, when I got off the plane (red-eye from an Oregon event) I stopped and got Karin and I some rain boats–so happy I did — we walked all day!

2. We were lucky to have a tent to go back to and rest a bit but I tell you the closer you can park the better — it is worth the extra few bucks — you can go back to your car and drop stuff off — which I did three times that day — and if you need to–you can take a cat nap.  Get there early to get the parking close to the fields you are going to shop.

3. There was no way we were going to see everything (about 6,000 vendors) so we picked a couple of fields and went shopping. There are a lot of booths so if you are looking for something specific or a particular booth, do some research online about the fields and who is there so you can have a plan of attack.  We just roamed — which is good too. 

4. Go with someone who can be a bit independent–not attached at your hip. I don’t want someone waiting for me to look at a booth, and I certainly don’t want to wait for someone else — going with people who can wander a booth or two away is great.  Just make sure you say — hey — heading down a couple of booths — or do what I did when I lost Karin a couple of times — called her cell phone — “Where are you?”  “Oh, never mind…I see you.” Walkie Talkies work too you if you don’t get cell coverage there.

5. Cash is king. I ran out of cash and tried to buy a burger with a credit card — no go — :)  Thankfully they have ATM’s easily accessible — I think I went back three times–not for a hamburger — cash!  I did buy a rug with a credit card but it was a vendor whose products were higher in cost so I’m sure they don’t expect people to carry that kind of cash with them.

6. Be nice when you haggle.  It is so important that you don’t get competitive, aggressive or down right rude when you try to negotiate.  This is what people do for a living — could you imagine someone coming into your place of business and getting all… “It’s not worth more than $50…” with you.  “Would you be willing to take ___ for this?” is a bit better :) If they say no, then say “I really appreciate your considering it,” and walk away if you don’t want to pay their price.

7. Water — bring plenty of it.  I could not believe how thirsty I got — I wish I had a couple of water bottles filled from home. You don’t want to stop shopping and search out a place to find water — bring it with you.

8. Bring a push cart with wheels.  Karin and I had bags the first couple of hours — then the TWEET UP tent had carts we could borrow — phew — because I seemed to buy everything that was big. This cart was a huge help both days. The second afternoon, I shopped with Amy of ABCDDesign, and filled that sucker up and even gave her a small corner of it  :)  Thanks Amy!

9. Have a great time — it is a crazy busy place! Don’t get upset by traffic, people crossing the road, busy booths or things like that. Smile and have fun!  You will meet some amazing people like I did!

10. Bring a big car or truck :)

Check out these fun pictures…

My best, Joanne

Amy of ABCDDesign, was intrigued by this kitty cat — I think it was a faucet…is that right Amy?

If I had a truck there–this set would have been MINE! 

My friend Karin, with Shane Inman, an incredibly nice guy and talented interior designer from Chicago. He designed the Tweet Up tent and the floral arrangements — they were so cool!

Yes I bought this for $5!
I made Karin buy one too :)  We are going to wear them this summer to a cocktail party!

Textiles everywhere!

I just loved how these were laid out on the table.  I think I’ll make cards from this pictures.

Boxes and boxes of vintage clock parts–should have, would have…but ran out of cash :)

Got a great deal on these vintage printer drawers. I bought three of them–my goal–a clever project for DIY NETWORK.

Not what I was looking for but I had to get it — the orange color was very cool. I have a good idea for it. Wait and see…

In the Tweet Up tent, in front of the sponsors banner, my pal, Karin, Tara, Erin and myself. Tara and Erin are from Canada’s Style at Home Magazine. Great to meet you,Tara and Erin and the rest of the girls from Style at Home! Hope you had a nice drive home. Me… I had to pull over and sleep in a rest area for a little while before heading home :) after 10 days of travel.

Big Thank you to the Sponsors of the Tweet Up! Benjamin Moore, Company C, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts and Robert Allen Design, Shane InmanWarren Bobrow   Media sponsor is Style at Home.