We took a stall this Sunday at the Faversham Antiques Fair in Kent. Despite the weather forecast for rain all day it stayed dry if not a little chilly. Coat weather has arrived, sadly.
Doing a stall is hard work. This one took me two days to get ready for. Assessing what to take, pricing everything, getting change, packing the car and getting up early to unpack the car and rearrange everything ready to sell. And of course the selling bit is never easy. Well not for me!
The day dawns on the eager dealers, keen to make money out of my perceived lack of knowledge.
“How much love?” For the little bird picture. “£15”. He knows it’s good and worth about £60, if not more. I just want to make my pitch fee! “Will you take £10?”. Literally five minutes later he sends his mate in to tell me it’s only worth £10 and he’ll give me that now. Fortunately I know what it’s worth and sell it to a very happy customer later in the day for £15.
“How much?” Someone asked. Now I’ve got a bit of money invested in this picture as is usual in this business. I think people think we pick everything up do 50p. “£55” I said, hopeful of a £10 profit and getting my money back. “Oh cool. His Nan has one on her wall, can you tell us a bit about it?”. Now I’ll stand and talk Pyrex with the best of them with no hope of a sale but I have to say I was a little short tempered this morning. I was yet to sell anything and had been standing in the cold for a few hours. David Dickinson fans who think we’re all rich and here to educate you therefore were not that welcome. That’s the TV, not real life. (In my old job I had to remind people on more than one occasion that I wasn’t on an episode of The Bill and it didn’t take 30 minutes to investigate something). Clearly not in the least bit interested in giving me any money they still expected me to give them a valuation and history of the picture so they knew what to ask for in the will. And I did. Hopeful, as ever, of a sale. They walked off with disappointed faces. The Sir Gerald wasn’t paying off their mortgage.
I must have looked ready for an argument (it had been a trying day) because he quickly countered that it was a different colour and a different make and soothed me with a “the green one is really rare, I’ve never seen it!” And then walked away.
And then there were all the lovely customers. The very knowledgeable collector of 19th Century Fashion Prints that bought four from me from the early 1800’s. And very pleased she was. The lovely lady who bought a Crown Devon Sugar bowl because it reminded her of her Nan. The lady who bought the bird picture. The lady that popped back because I found the tin she wanted for her Ryvita that I sold to her for the price I bought it for. I covered my pitch fee and I have some money to spend at Detling Antiques Fair next week to restock.
In the end I had a fun day. I laughed a lot and made some new friends. And if you were on the receiving end of my short temper or sarcasm please understand, I am not David Dickinson!
Love Wish Vintage xx