Sparks Fall Show Recap

Last Saturday I drove up to Sparks, Kansas for the fall antique and flea market, and to visit my friends Connie and Linda who have set up at each show since the early 90s. Usually when I go the weather does something crazy, like the rainy and cold Memorial Day show this year. This past Saturday was sunny and warm, with a big crowd out enjoying the weather and the market.

I don't get to a lot of outdoor shows so I can't really compare Sparks with others, but I thought both the spring and fall shows this year were really very good. Sure, there was that table of tube socks (buck a bag!) that I passed right by, and plenty of shiny new indian jewelry, just like there always are. But there were also lots of antique booths merchandised well and full of interesting things. One barn in particular always has an interesting assortment of antique tables and case pieces, and this time he threw in a few vintage stoves that were quite nice.

I went with the specific task of buying furniture to paint for my booth. I do well with small occasional tables and they've always been plentiful at Sparks. I saw a number of them that I liked a great deal, but I came home with exactly zero.

Why, you ask? It's because I got mad. There's a trend I've noticed of dealers not pricing merchandise, and I don't like it a bit. Connie thinks it's because sellers are getting lazy, and in some cases I'm sure she's right. In others though, I have to wonder if it's because they think they can adjust the price they quote against what we look like we might pay.

I don't like to haggle, and never have. But I'm trying to get comfortable with it as it's practically expected and cost directly effects what I make on the things I sell. But when a piece has no price on it I have no starting point. I can ask, and they'll give me a number, but I have no way of knowing if that number is based on their cost, the value they've estimated for the piece, or the clothes I'm wearing. (Note to sellers: I dress down for these things.) We'd have to start in a gray area, and I'm just not comfortable with that.

So I came home with a cast iron oval pot (used for rendering lard the man said) for the booth, and the McCoy pot pictured above for me. One usually finds that pot in the mottled brown and green glaze, I had never seen this orange before. It's great holding small implements next to my stove. I DID ask for a discount here, because the point of one of those star bursts has a teeny chip, and I've never been above using a flaw to get the price down. It seems less like haggling and more like pointing out a mistake.

It was a fun day shopping and visiting with the girls. Kudos also to the couple with the smoker and the pulled pork sandwiches and satellite TV. Throw in the cold bottled water and the umbrellas over the tables, and that was the perfect lunch break.


Decorina said...

Hi David: I don't know how to show my email either, LOL. I can get around on a computer but only know enough to be dangerous sometimes.

You're right - Skylar is a wire-haired fox terrier (although we have many many foxes around here and they mystify him. Or maybe it is me telling him to "get the fox"...). Since he has been at doggie day care he gets along with other dogs, especially Schnauzers. I wanted to tell you how cute yours is, but felt I'd rambled enough.

My email is: I will post a link to your blog on mine if you don't mind...I seem to have more trucking blogs than design blogs and once I get off the political things I'll go back to design.

I'm glad that the post I did about Cheney and Rove didn't turn into the shitstorm that the others did. There is that one woman that looooooves to call me angry. Posting as anon, of course. I am tired of her and don't even take time to respond anymore.

Thanks for the post. Oh, and no, Skylar can't go in the trucks, but he goes a lot in our cars. I always take my doggies with me.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I wonder how far Sparks is from Omaha? Fun!