The October What Cheer Flea Market was a wet and chilly end to the 2019 What Cheer Flea Market season. As the October What Cheer Flea Market neared I am sure, like most dealers, that I always hope for perfect weather or at least weather that you don't have to fight against. But as the date neared, the rain came just as we dealers were setting up. It was to turn sunny for a couple days so I had hoped but then I saw rain was coming during the middle part of the flea market.
When I started to looking over what items I had planned to bring to the flea market -- only a small amount of it was stuff that would not be damaged by the rain and mud that I would have to deal with. Faced with the choice of having a small choice for the buyers to browse through or taking what I had planned and having a number of items damaged by rain and mud; I decided to just go over as a buyer for change and experience that adventure again.
As I pulled into the flea market I wasn't faced with one problem most buyers have -- and that is where to park. I remember when I used to park before I started setting up a booth trying to find a free space close and giving up and paying the fee to park close by. But since I had paid for my booth, I parked at the end of it. I left most of it free so Bill could use it if someone wanted a space rented to them. After talking to Bill for a bit I paid for my booth for next May, I let him know most of my booth was open if someone came in needing a space. And I filled him in on my plans for next year but more on that later.
Then I faced the problem of where to start looking for first. So after hitting the buildings first, I got to visit with vendors and people who had shopped at my booth. Of course I had to explain why I decided not to set up but it was nice to see people I knew and visit with them. I wasn't really planning on buying a lot since I had been buying at a couple auctions and several yards sales. But I was looking for items to use for props, since my latest interest is photography. Now I knew if I found great bargain I wouldn't pass it up. I only got one item I could use so I didn't spend much.
It was nice to see the booths full of items since usually I go through on Sunday getting pictures. By then most vendors have sold down what they brought. Not that there isn't good buys on Sunday but usually they will reduce prices more on Sunday so they don't have to load it. But I forgot just how overwhelming the flea market can likely seem to someone who comes for the first time. Plus your legs and feet do tend to wear out with all the walking. So it was nice to see the flea market through the eyes of a buyer again.
On a different note, I learned a little about how young people become collectors. Via a friend I learned that the Cub Scout had a meeting the same Saturday as the What Cheer Flea Market. While there they got to make rope with old rope making tools. They also forged nails using old Blacksmith tools. I applaud this, since it exposes the children of today to the old tools and ways of doing things. Perhaps later in life they will come to a flea market looking to buy one of those old tools they got to use as a child. This how an interest in antiques or collectibles is started, by not only exposing the youth of today to things like this, but letting them use these items. It shows them what life was like for their great-great grandparents. I have always said that people usually buy what they remember -- the items their grandparents were using every day. Not their collections that they were not allowed to touch. So let hope for the future a few of those Cub Scouts will be at What Cheer wondering through the booths looking for old tools they got to use as young kids.
Now my plans for next year due not being able to handle heat of August I will set up only during the May and October flea markets. Now I will be there buying in August and getting pictures for the Collectors Journal. So next May I hope to find the weather sunny and warm. I don't look forward to a long winter till then but I will keep my eyes open for bargains at auctions and online. So you never know what I will find for my booth.