The year’s first Brimfield show is quickly approaching (May 10-15), so we thought we’d get all you first timers ready for this lovely but overwhelming experience.
The show’s official website is a veritable wealth of well-organized knowledge and cutting-edge design. Kidding! It looks like they made it on Geocities. Still worth checking out for all the show opening times though, and for helpful advice. I especially like numbers 3, 7, and 8: “Watch what you wear – don’t overdress. The trick is to look pretty much like everyone else”; “If you’re a casual or a serious collector, get a tee-shirt made up that says: ‘I COLLECT (whatever)’. You’ll be amazed at the people who come up to you“; and of course “Go when it’s raining.”
DO NOT do those things. Should go without saying. You will, however, see people doing precisely those things.
DO show up early and be ready for sun, rain, and lots of walking. Drink lots of water; Brimfield is an endurance event. Bring cash; some dealers take credit cards, but cash is king; the only ATMs at Brimfield have a $200 limit per transaction with an excessive fee tacked on. Haggle, but don’t lowball. Be respectful; the dealers are just trying to make a living, and they definitely aren’t getting rich either way. Try to spot some celebs. Tara met Diane Keaton five years ago!
You’ll find better deals at the end of the week, since nobody wants to pack up the same things they hauled all the way out there a week earlier. But you’ll also miss out on tons of great stuff that the earlybirds snatched up before anyone else even saw it.
F I E L D S
Brimfield is actually twenty-some separate flea market fields all clustered together. Some are open for just one day, others for the whole week, and the rest fall somewhere in between. These are the openings that we try to hit every year:
The Meadows: Not actually an opening but always our first stop. Open all week, no admission charge. Lots of big tents toward the back with European vendors whose beautiful finds are usually refreshingly unfamiliar. In other words, the best stuff! Pricier than you’d hope for at a flea market, but way less than you’d pay for Danish modern in a nice shop. And less than you’d pay for new crap! [Read more…]