Sunday, February 17, 2013

Rust and Antiques, Prepare to walk away!
      I don't care what you saw on Antiques Roadshow.  I don't care if you've been watching the show for years or just happened to catch an episode.  Just because it's old and/or it's perfect cousin was featured on the program doesn't mean your rust bucket, chipped, cracked lookalike is of equal value.   I just don't want to hear it any more.
      I will have to make a point to miss the next nationally known Renninger's Flea Market Antique Extravaganza, in Mt. Dora, FL.  This place is usually a great place for a walk and an exploration and occasionally to go to an event like the car swap meet.  I went to the extravaganza today and I am fed up with people hawking their wares at top volume yelling ridiculous boasts of "as seen on Antiques Roadshow".  I know the economy leaves less money for frivolous purchases.  I know times are hard and getting harder and I know you have a first amendment right to say whatever stupid thing you want to say.  

    Know this:  I have the right NOT to listen.  I have the right to keep my money in my pocket.  I have the right to walk away.  I have the right to laugh at you as I go.

     I often recommend thrift shops, yard sales and flea markets as sources for non-electric gadgets and prep supplies like military surplus.  I stop to blog tonight to clarify.  BUYER BEWARE!

     It is your money.  Don't throw it away.  I was appalled by the number of vendors proudly displaying their wares in a state of utter ruin!  Rust is not good for a saw blade, ax, or other tool.  Rust is not a sign of age.  Rust is a sign that the tool has not been properly maintained.  I was at an antique fair at a flea market.  I was not looking for new.  But, it is appalling to me to see a kerosene lamp with the fuel cap rusted to the point that it was welded shut.  To hear a vendor tell a potential customer that she could take out the wick and fill the base from there was dangerous.  To hear a vendor claim a shotgun with termites in the stock was a wall gun was a joke that was painful.  A wall gun, indeed!  It had termites!  Live termites!  They were alive and had wings.
by MARK BELLIS  (THIS photo is a representation of what NOT to buy when prepping and was taken from an art photo site.  This is ART.  This is NOT a prep item.)

      It is not my place to speak out and say to the unknowing customer, "Run away!"  But I do have that kind of face that can discourage a fool and her money with a subtle head shake and a mommy look that says, "put it down, child".  One vendor snapped around and caught me looking discouragingly and asked me my opinion.  Because we are the same age perhaps this person thought I would agree and say oh yes, take a hot wick out of a kerosene lamp and splash a combustible fuel into a slot with a screw mechanism below the surface that would cause it to splash out.   

      Not gonna happen.  I told the customer that the lap was useless except as a door stop.  It was unsafe and overpriced since it wasn't all that old and the chimney wasn't original and it's BROKEN! We both walked away quickly as he shouted out it was just like one on Antiques Roadshow.  No it wasn't.  It was a reproduction at best, a fake at worst!  

     I warn the world, do NOT ask my opinion and assume I am your girl.  I am MY own person and I don't play with money.  I shop Flea Markets and I smile and change direction or I offer a lower price if i feel I could use an item.  I do not buy junk.  I shop yard sales and I have often just said thank you and walked away when a price is out of reason.  I never argue or ridicule the owner and I did not like seeing vendors bullying and lying to customers.  I did a lot of walking away today.  I suggest you do the same.

     Buy the best you can afford, not the highest priced item.  Don't get caught up in the prestige of the place you shop or the festive feeling of the outdoor flea market.  Buy good quality.  Buy from a trusted dealer when you can and from strangers when YOU know more about the item than they tell you.  Buyer beware, and you might as well prepare for more of this behavior in the future.  As money gets tighter, there are going to be cheats and liars.  Don't be a sucker.  Buy wisely.  

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