All About The Fair

All the Fun of the Fair – An Antiques & Collectables Fair that is!

If you have a passion for a particular era or style,or are a collector but have never been to a fair then you are seriously missing out!

Every week of the year fairs are run at different locations across the UK.

Trade fairs: These are usually very large events with anywhere up to 1200 sellers or more The fairs are nearly always held on large show grounds on a week day.

Traders come from all over the country, and some from as far away as Holland, France Belgium and other places on the continent.

For the traders the excitement begins when they reach the fairs, meeting up with their colleagues, talking about the business and trading goods with one another.

There is always a real buzz when they all get together.

It is not unusual for fairs to start as early as 6am which is the best time of the day to get into an event for the bargains.

The day starts with a hive of activity for all and queues can be long.

The fairs very quickly start to fill up with trade buyers, people with shops and businesses in the UK and other countries, and for whom fairs are their ultimate hunting grounds.They normally purchase an ‘early bird ticket’ and members of the public go in a little later, you don’t need a trade card to enter earlier, but it will cost you more to gain early access.

Trade events have inside and outside stands with a vast selection of stock including Antique furniture, jewellery, textiles, toys, garden furniture, taxidermy, lighting, mirrors, rugs and quirky items for the home and garden. It may surprise you to know its not all about ‘old brown furniture’ There are some fabulous interior furnishings and often the fairs count celebrities along with their customers, looking for the unusual, things you cannot buy on the high street,things from bygone eras.

Antique fairs are normally held on week ends in smaller indoor buildings such as church halls,leisure centres and town halls. The stalls normally sell what is known in the trade as ‘smalls’ glass, pottery, jewellery, clothes, some will include furniture, military items coins,art, ephemera, bronzes and much more!

You’ll be spoilt for choice with so many speciality events taking place all over the country. These include Vintage fairs Flea Markets Home Shows and Salvage and reclaim events and Decorative Fairs.

Here are some top tips on how to make the most of your experience at whichever fair you decide to visit.

1. If you have any distance to travel to one of the fairs, it is always advisable to ring the organiser the day before just to confirm it has not been cancelled, or better still check their web sites which are all kept well updated.

2.Arrive early, make the most of the day and take the opportunity to be the first to see what’s on offer.

3. Consider the weather conditions and dress appropriately, many are held outdoors in fields so make sure you have the correct footwear with you, bearing in mind and depending on the scale of the fair you could clock up a few miles!

4.Engage with the traders, tell them what you are looking for,if they don’t have what you are searching for, they may know someone that has. A good trader will always tell you what he knows about the piece you are thinking of buying..just ask.

5.We have all seen the programs on the TV.. where people try to take the dealer’s way down under their profit margins. Whilst It is accepted by most dealers that buyers like to haggle a little with prices, keep in mind how hard they work, and how long they travel to bring you their wonderful stock, most of the traders will have a deal with you it is the name of the game but don’t push them too hard,you could land up losing that special piece.

6.Some of the traders will have card payment facilities, but most of them do not.Make sure you take enough cash with you.

7.Would you like to get into the trade? If you would like help please contact us on 01424 218803. We will be able to tell you which fairs are in your area and answer any questions you may have.

Look up your local auction, and go along even if it is just to watch at first. It is an interesting trade to be involved in.