Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Flea Market Etiquette

I think it's time to have the talk. Don't be nervous, we've alll had to hear it, or learn the hard way. Myself, I learned by trial and more than a few errors. Yes, I'm talking about Flea Market Etiquette.  (You mean you thought I was talking about something else?)

All right, Rule # 1: Kind Words go a long way to getting a good deal. If you are hoping for big discounts don't start by dissing the merchandise or the seller. Telling a dealer what's wrong with their item is almost guaranteed to stall negotiations. If there are flaws (and often there are, we are talking about items that are generally 40-50+ years old),  most dealers worth their salt will point them out to you. That's a good time to suggest a small discount.

               Rule #2: Even if you are one of the appraisers from Antiques Roadshow please be humble, let the dealer tell you what he/she knows about the item first, then if you have something to add, add it with a little humility. Most dealers I know are happy to get new information if it's delivered with a little finesse.

               Rule #3: If you're planning on low balling with your offer, preface it with  a little humour at least. Re-Selling is an extremely difficult way to earn money. Few if any dealers ever get their items for free and most make only marginal profits on the majority of their sales. We are there because we love the thrill of the hunt, we love connection to the past, we love the history and provenance. And, most of us at least, like the social aspect of buying and selling in a community marketplace.

              Rule #4: Please, for the love of God, don't ask how much an item is and then tell the seller what an amazing deal you just got on the same item from another dealer.  We are happy you got a good deal- we really are, but our prices are set by what we paid for our items, which may be much more than what the dealer you bought your item from paid.

              Rule #5: Consider This; A vendor spends a good portion of their time outside the fleamarket searching for items to sell. When and if they find something worth selling they then have to take it home and begin researching and preparing it, (ie, cleaning or repairing and pricing it). This all takes much much more time than you realize. Then they have to haul their goods to the market and arrange them in a nice display. If I added up all the time I spent in prep for going to market I'm pretty sure my wage would be far less than your local Barista's. Soooooooo, please consider that the next time a vendor tells you a price for something. We are always happy to negotiate but please don't make us give you our shirts. For some of us this is our only source of income and I'm not complaining, just asking a for  a little consideration and respect.

Thanks so much to all of you who support these markets and make our work that much more enjoyable. My deepest hope is that next time you visit a flea market, you have fun and hopefully go home with some great finds and a good deal or two. Cheers.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tick Tock

Tick Tock by Cassandre Smith

The golden pendulum sways methodically 
Demanding thought and respect for an action that should not be 
As the clock ticks, time passes unnoticed 
By those who are consumed to overflowing 

Patience, a quality once prevalent, is in want 
Whirls of color blur past, rendezvous at the grave; too late 
Too late to appreciate the simplicities 
Too late to appreciate the sensations; enveloping at every turn, breath 

Born, live, die...Born, live, die 
The pinkness of a newborn, the healthy glow of success, the grayish, earthy tint of death 
As we transition through shades, our life shortens with each turn of the color wheel 
Not enough time, never enough time 

Float on the clouds, paint the skies, glide down a rainbow 
Pause and breathe in the elements 
A pendulum's movement is not altered by one's inability to observe the fragility that is humanity 
Let each tick...tock define a moment cherished, unforgotten, frozen in time 

Monday, April 8, 2013

what happened to spring?

Holy Carp! What happened to Spring? A week ago I was cavorting about in my flip flops and t-shirt and today I need wool socks and a toque. I don't like it, not one bit! Good thing I have lots of inventory to shoot so I can stay in doors. Speaking of inventory..... I am thrilled beyond belief at this weeks find.

Check out my Dizzy friend here, Tazmanian Devil Polaroid 600 cam extraordinaire. (these came out late nineties or so. Hard to believe that's already almost 15 years past.) He's a real looker, but watch out for those teeth! These were likely one of Polaroids last ditch attempts to save the sinking ship. He is working perfectly and will really stand out in a collection. If you want him, shoot me an e-mail right away cause he'll be on ebay before the days end and I doubt he'll be there for long.

Here are some fabulous old frames I picked up from one of my dealer friends at the flea market this weekend. One is silver plated, one is leather and the third is celluloid with brass flower accents.  The details on them are exquisite. If you have vintage pictures hanging about, these are the perfect complement.

And finally for the piece de resistance, Three gorgeous Mod time pieces from the swingin sixties. All are mechanical and functioning.  Unfortunately as I write this bids have been placed on the two Marcel Boucher pieces, but the  orange faced DeCoven is still available.  Happy Hunting!