How does the day tripper find “something for everyone”? They go shopping!

Who searches out antiques and collectibles? People who enjoy the hunt of looking for specific items are always on the lookout for a good deal. Many shoppers are those who enjoy looking through vintage items from days-gone-by.

Why shop in flea markets and antique stores? Shoppers may be hunting for specific pieces that they need for their collection. Many people look for items that they remember from their childhood years. It may be a churn or crockery like they saw their grandmother use, an apron like the one their mother wore when they had company for dinner, or a favorite toy they remember from younger years. They may be hunting for a reasonably-priced item that they can resell in their own shop or antique booth or online auction. Shoppers known as “Pickers” are those who have a targeted buyer for the items they buy.

When is the best time for the “hunt”? Dealers like to travel in the late fall and early spring. Shops are less congested and sometimes the store keepers are willing to agree to a lesser price than marked on the desired pieces.

When buying several or high-dollar pieces the shopper can, sometimes, get a better deal on the combined purchases. Some shops are closed during the winter. This is a good time for the shopkeepers to find goodies to restock their store’s shelves. Actually, any day is a good day for shopping.

Where do shoppers look for treasures? Here are a few suggestions to explore for a day. The ever-popular garage sale is a must-shop stop. Whether it is a sale in your own neighborhood or you are traveling across country, few can resist following garage sale signs.

Open to the public on specific dates are auctions and estate sales. Local auctions are great for checking out all the articles up for auction. Boxes of items sold all-for-one money are always popular. Whether the high bidder is a collector, reseller, family or friend of the family, the history and/or the usefulness of the item purchased will live on. Online auctions and stores offer a world-wide variety of every kind of item buyers would want to seek out for purchase. Estate Sales offer the heritage of the owner to the public. Pieces are priced fairly and are often reduced by half on the last day of the sale.

There are retail ‘mom and pop’ storekeepers of which some have other sellers in their store who rent individual store booths. Flea markets, antiques, and collectible businesses are open during regular business hours. A good way to find locations is to check out the yellow pages of the phone book or pick up an Antique Area Guide at one of the stores you visit.

What’s popular? Shoppers look for items that fit into a particular category like glassware, toys, books, etc. Most narrow the hunt down even further by only looking for a particular category type like kitchen glassware, plastic toys, or first-edition books. A variety of eras and decades attract the buyer’s attention. Presently, mid century and mid-century modern are the most in demand. Hunting for ephemera is much sought after right now. Ephemera is anything that would, normally, have been discarded by now. Old premiums (free gifts) that advertise a product, old documents, political buttons, posters, and autographs are a sampling of what folks are “hunting” for their collections. Collectibles are those items that are no longer in production.

No matter what the day-trip find may be the buyer will be pleased with his detective work. It may be an ashtray made out of bull’s horn, a vintage Westmoreland elegant glass cake stand, or a box of nails. The day tripper’s hunt can result in “something for everyone.”