BRIMFIELD 2012 MAY 8 – 13
It’s that time of year, when antique lovers and flea market junkies from around the world begin to prepare for their trip to Brimfield. Brimfiled is considered to be the largest antiques show east of the Mississippi – some say the largest in the country. If you have never been to Brimfield, but have always wanted to attend, then make this the year! Here are some of my past Brimfield posts; my tips, tricks and insider secrets to make your trip a great success!
PICK THE DAY
The Brimfield Show is a mile long stretch of road flanked by fields of individual antique shows. Brimfield runs three times a year, May, July and September. The shows are open for 6 days, Tuesday through Sunday.
The May show is my favorite. The weather is usually pleasant (the July show can be extremely hot) and the May show seems to draw the greatest number of dealers.
The weekends tend to be very busy while generally Tuesdays have less traffic.
Not all of the shows are open from Tuesday through Sunday. Some shows are only open on certain days, such as J & J, which runs Friday and Saturday. If you are a first timer it really doesn’t matter what day you go, there will be more than enough to see and shop. For those who like a particular show be sure to check what fields are open on what days.
I have always found that Brimfield is an easy drive and a day trip for me, though there are several hotels and inns located nearby. For directions go to www.brimfieldshow.com
TIP: I take the Mass Pike (Rte. 90) to exit 9, onto Rte. 20 West. Right off this exit is a McDonalds, a nice place to stop after a long drive to get a coffee and freshen up, and the show is only about 7 miles down the road!
Leave early, parking lots fill up fast. Once you hit the Brimfield Show you will see plenty of parking signs. I like to travel to the heart of the fair and then find parking. Parking in the middle of the show makes it more convenient for trips back to the car to unload my treasures. Parking can cost between $5.00 and $10.00 depending on how far you want to walk. I find that parking in a central location is well worth the extra cost.
Brimfield is big and the weather can be unpredictable, so planning what to bring and wear is a must.
MY GOLDEN RULE; wear comfortable shoes, dress in layers and bring a cart or wagon.
A cart is the best way to haul my treasures. Most dealers will allow you to leave larger items with them until the day’s end and, under most circumstance, you can drive right up to the dealer’s booth to load larger pieces. Several delivery and shipping companies are also set up at the show.
TAPE MEASURE – Don’t forget any measurements from home.
PAPER & PEN – Remember to note where and what items need to be picked up.
WATER – There are a vast array of food and beverage vendors.
TISSUE PACKS – Porta-Potties are readily available, but may run of tissue.
CASH & CHECKS – ATMs are available.
HAT, SUNGLASSES, SUNBLOCK
PACKING SUPPLIES – Blankets to protect furniture on the ride home and a box to contain smaller items.
CELL PHONE – So that you can regroup if you get separated from your shopping buddies.
TIP: There is a wonderful Italian restaurant, Francesco’s, at the north end of the fair. We always stop for lunch. It’s inexpensive, has great pizza, and is comfortable and clean (restrooms too!) Lunch here is a must for us, a great way to freshen-up and rest-up before another round of shopping!
I have bought and sold at many shows over the years, including Brimfield. Here is my best advice for negotiating a deal.
Two GOLDEN rules of Antiquing
** IF YOU SNOOZE YOU LOOSE – If you see it, love it, can’t live without it and it’s in your budget – buy it! You will not be the only one to notice a great deal. If you decide to think on it, it may not be there later.
** BE POLITE - Dealers are willing to negotiate a price. Just ask, “Are you firm on this price?” or “Can you do any better on the price?”
It’s best not to make an initial offer, such as “I’ll give you $75.00 for this item.” This can backfire on you in two ways; the dealer may have had a lower price in mind than the one you’ve offered or if the price you offer is too low you might insult the dealer and destroy any further negotiations. If you feel the
price the dealer quotes is still too high then you can make a reasonable counter offer.
INSIDER TIP: It’s best not to point out flaws on a piece in an attempt to lower the price. The dealer has purchased, researched, cleaned, packed and unpacked the piece. He/She usually knows the items flaws quite well and has priced it accordingly.
You are off to Brimfield! Have fun and enjoy the hunt!