When planning a trip to an antiques market you want to be prepared. I'm a vintage and antiques market enthousiast. As I have visited lots of little markets here and there, I'll share some tips for the starting collector. Wether it's antiques, vintage or modern items you're after, these tips might help you out.
1. Early birds...
To start at the right spot: be there at the opening of the market. It's terrible to wake up at five or six in the morning on your free day but... other 'hustlers' (what I call them) will be this early too! So be there, because (cliché) the early bird gets the worm.
2. Money money money
When trying to score bargains and haggle a bit, cash will always come in handy. So, before you go, make sure you have some cash in your pockets. A dealer may be a little quicker to tack on cash. Also make sure you can pay via smartphone. More and more dealers are starting to wake up (it's 2022) and are quite willing to do business via smartphone / online payments.
3. Know what you're looking for
Keep your shopping list in mind. With a market full of 'hidden gems' things can get overwhelming, but with a little shopping list in mind you'll be in and out in no time. On the other hand: straying from the list might let you end up with things you've never even seen before... So, this tip is a bit tricky. Keep a shopping list but don't be too hard on yourself?
4. Have a little chat here and there
Most dealers have some storage where they keep items as well. A little chat won't harm. It sometimes helps you get hold of just that one item that would otherwise take you years to find.
5. Bring a big car or van
Orrrr... ask one of your friends with a big car to come along or try to rent / lent a little van when you're planning to buy furniture. Often times you'll get the, what I call, "Ikea-effect". You buy something that is a bit too large for your car and end up at the loading area calling someone with a bigger car... Not desired at the end of your 'hunting day'! Side note: take a trolley with you! You'll thank me later.
6. Hesitation might bring tears
You may hesitate, but don't hesitate for too long as that beautiful candlestick or that little painting could be sold just like that. When it's sold it's gone!
Bargaining (or haggling) on prices is generally done at all antique markets. Dealers almost expect you to. In the morning, when the real stunners are sold, haggling is not really helpful. But at the end of the day, you are more likely to be able to buy your beloved vase for just a little less.
8. Have fun
At the end of the day it is all about having fun! You should see nice things, hopefully find some little treasures, see items you might need to save up for, gained inspiration, see things you've never seen before, learn something new about that one painter or vase manufacturer, have chats with interesting people... I always end up with new contacts, inspiration and little gems or items which are too big to bring home in a normal sized car. A fun day!
Check out our article about some of the vintage and antiques markets in The Netherlands.
In case you've missed it: Oblomov Art will be at the VerzamelJaarbeurs in Utrecht on November 12 and 13 in Hall 7 (the vintage plein). Buy your tickets for the Verzamel Jaarbeurs Autumn 2022 Edition in the Jaarbeurs Utrecht (The Netherlands) here.