Having been in the antiquing business for several years—it still puzzles me. Why I bring this up, you may ask? Here’s why. Sunday, I took a few belated Valentine cupcakes to my good friend Cruella, who was not having a very good show by many accounts. I thought a few cupcakes would help cheer her up and take her mind off the dreadful show. Later on that afternoon, I was helping my buddy pack –which is no fun at all if you haven’t made any money! She told me that she had been talking to another dealer, who shared with her an article that had been written in the last week AJC regarding the Scott Antique Market. I already knew what Cruella was talking about; I had read the article regarding Eddie Ross, and I read his blog as well—I’m a fan. I’ll admit it; I love a good flea market find & how-to tips. But, basically, Cruella and many of her neighbors were a little dissatisfied with their venue being referred to as a flea market!
Basically, there is a long story with the Scott’s crowd involving the Lakewood flea market folks, quite frankly, I don’t know if you want to hear it. Being an antiques dealer and traveling to Europe to buy, there are many associated costs. For starters, you have your basic expenses, airfare, car rental, gas (try buying petrol in the U.K and you’ll see what I mean—how dare we Americans complain), food, and in my case a hubby who wants to spend my investment money on bacon and cheese toasties, and pints (it’s a good thing I did not go to France –he loves French food), show cost, & shipping. God help you if U.S. Customs inspects your shipments. That can become a huge expense that you, the savvy antique dealer, has the pleasure of paying for yourself. You actually have to pay Customs to search through your container against your will, and then to put it all back together again for you! And of course, depending on the airline agent’s mood, he may charge you for excess luggage. Having done many expense reports, this adds up! So, if you import your wares to the States, the word flea market is not exactly the word you want associated with your imported wares.
Finally, there is also the Scott’s phenomenon where a few of the dealers shop the outside areas for stuff, and immediately take the items inside to sell for more. Pure and simple arbitrage, and I must admit, I’ve done it myself! (Just a few times though, to make up for toasty cheese sandwiches, pints, very bad shepherd’s pie (that I had to buy to feed my help, the hubby) , breakage of goods through transport (very hard to sell smashed Staffordshire plates), over-tipping porters, landlords increasing your rent, and all manners of other unforeseen business phenomenon !!!!
Really, the best advice I can give anyone shopping Scott’s is to get there early, early, early Thursday morning during setup. That is when most of the trading is going on! And for the flea market folks out there, yes, Scott’s has plenty of 1940’s Grandmother’s furniture but it also has a huge, huge variety of real true-blue English, French, Italian, and American antiques! I like to think there’s a little something for everyone!