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Preview: Antique Show Insider

Antique Show Insider

An inside look at four of America's favorite antique shows plus insight from many others.

Updated: 2018-03-06T14:13:39.518-08:00


Off topic and welcome back


The antique show business is based upon a lot of people traveling.  Here is one sad travel tale and a company to avoid!The death of customer service and the birth of #travelocitysucksAfter 48 hours and a weekend lost occupied by anger, bewilderment and frustration over the death of the concept of customer service, I am now compelled to memorialize what must be considered the worst customer service experience ever.  On Friday afternoon around 4 p.m., I attempted to book a spring break trip to Mexico for the family.  What transpired over the next 8 hours and 10 minutes will live for at least 5 minutes in the horrible customer service hall of fame.After spending the earlier part of the day scouring travel websites, we had finally made a decision and around 4 p.m. decided to book.  Typing in all the required information, reviewing for accuracy, double-checking dates and times were done and it was time to push the magic button to purchase the trip.  Now those of you who have ever made an online booking travel mistake know the anxiety about the proofreading process- mistakes on booking are almost nearly fatal.  Trying to change tickets or hotel rooms after booking comes with a punitive level of fines, scorn, public shaming and several years of therapy.Pushing that final purchase button brings up that 2 second-5 minute lag until you receive your glorious confirmation and trip details page which signals success.  But alas, it was not to be as I received a message that the trip could not be booked at this time.   Using deductive reasoning, I quickly figured out the problem.   The cost of the trip exceeded the daily limit on the debit card I was attempting to use.   No problem I thought, simply call the good people at my bank’s call in center and have them raise the limit on my debit card.  That should only involve a wait time of 90-120 minutes and 2 hours of Kenny G while on hold.  No offense to Mr. G and his musical skills but any hold music after 90 seconds makes people long for the sweet relief death will bring.The wait time and musical selections on the Chase line were not as bad as anticipated and after a few minutes, I was able to raise the limit on my card and was reviewing my online Chase statement when I noticed that there was a pending charge for over $4000 on my statement from Travelocity!   How does a company place a charge for a trip that was not purchased???  I immediately called the “customer service” (quotation marks from this point on denote sarcastic air quotes) line at Travelocity and tried to figure that one out.   I did not want to raise a stink; I simply wanted to purchase the trip.  I wanted to give them money and book the trip I had spent several hours looking for which included finding a nice hotel at an acceptable price and not having to overnight at a Mexico City bus station.  I thought to myself that they already have over 4k of my money, how hard could this be??The first customer service rep that I spoke with was very friendly and seemed determined to help.  When I brought up the charge on my account, she apologized and said that there was no way she could take another card for the difference between the amount charged and the total amount of the trip.  I asked why I was charged over 4k on a trip that wasn’t booked, I simply got an apology and assurances that the charge would disappear in 2-3 business days.  She then asked for all the details about the trip I was trying to book and said she would help me book it.   After 5 minutes, I was told that the trip was no longer available and that the hotel was sold out.  I told her the trip was still showing available on the website and she asked me to hold.  She came back on the line in about 10 minutes and told me that she was able to book the trip, but that it was $1500 more expensive than the one I had tried to book online.  If I could provide her with a card we could book it right now.Frustrated by [...]

At last, a day fit for blogging


I apologize to at least all three of you who loyally read this blog. Over the past several months, other activities have deprived me of the time and motivation to share the insight that I claim this blog does. So- I'm back at it.

Loaded up the family truckster yesterday and made the short jaunt from Indy to the Queen City to visit 20th Century Cincinnati. For those of you who have never been and have an interest in all things Modern and Vintage, I highly recommend the trip.

I always like to judge a show by the behavior of dealers and customers.

1. Is there a crowd- people in booths, aisles and do they seem happy and engaged?
2. Is there a buzz- the audible sound of a crowd of people shopping, talking and moving around a space.
3. What are the dealers doing? Sitting and reading? Looking depressed or Standing and talking with customers and other dealers.
4. Can you see the tell-tale signs of success? Sold tags, empty spaces in booths, smiling dealers or customers carrying things.

The answer on all these questions were overwhelmingly positive, great engaged crowd, active dealers with few sitting and even fewew having time to talk about shows. Great job dealers, Bruce Metzger and Staff and Customers. A show well done!

Also took the time to visit Jungle Jim's- the famous Cincinnati grocery store. Wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it and can't wait to go back.

Where have I been? What have I done?


Sorry for the failure to share any cohesive thoughts in recent memory. Been in the laboratory creating other things. Check out the results:

Tailgate-Music Valley
The Vintage Marketplacecase
The Design Showcase

These are the new sites for our show in Nashvile coming up February 2-4. So take a look, pass along the links and follow if you like. Happy holidays- I might even try to take some time off- yeah right.

Antique & Vintage for the Holidays


My earliest memories include being around the antique business. I set up at my first show at age 3- selling $19 and buying a Christmas tree (dad was in the booth next to me- these were much simpler times). As I grow older and now have a child of my own, I look back and realize that most of my special Christmas memories don't necessarily involve toys, electronics, clothes or money, but presents from family members that were gifts from the antique world. Whether it was cast iron still banks, T-206 baseball cards, marbles, cool college sports memorabilia or things that still are in our home. , those things stand out as deeply personal gifts, rather than mass produced items that come and go with time. This holiday season, think about giving something from the past, which might have a great chance of creating memories into the future.

New blog header needs work & Nashville video


Ok- this new blog layout is still a work in progress. Check out the YouTube video from our Show in Nashville

Working on new concepts.


Been busy this week trying to put the finishing touches on new features at shows. Stay tuned for some exciting things next year in Nashville & Springfield- details to follow in the next week or so.

Behold the eye of the Wanderer!


Although this link might not be timely- here is the journey of the Antique Show Wanderer at the September Harwinton Show- click here.

Recycle your money!


One really cool thing about living vintage is a story from our recent show. We decided that turning the pool room into a play room was the right decision for our 4 year old. Out with the pool table- in with toys and storage. I took a few things off the wall that I had purchased at a show about 10 years ago to our show in Nashville. I sold them and used the money to buy a set of vintage gym lockers. Now I didn't make any money on the sales, but I took money that I spent 10 years ago and turned it into something I needed today. The Pottery Barn item that was in the room, went into the trash.

This is it- our new home in Nashville!



A 30 year search ends in success.

For the past 30 years, the Tailgate and Music Valley Shows have been mainstays of Antiques Week in Nashville. Both shows are a superb combination of great dealers, great customers and wonderful merchandise. Their success was and is a combination of those ingredients. Through the years and several facility changes it was always our feeling that despite great success, the shows lacked the “great home” that they deserved. Despite the many obstacles presented over the years by fire marshals, second & third floor rooms, cold & rainy tents, snowy parking lots, cease and desist orders, political manipulations and possible facility closures, the shows succeeded in spite of these challenges.

We are happy to announce that beginning with our February 2-4, 2012 show, the Tailgate/Music Valley Antique Show has a new home- the Hendersonville Expo Center. This brand new facility will give us the great home that the show deserves. The Expo Center Features:

· Room for 250 vendors in one space on one level in a drive-in facility.

· High ceilings

· Brand new concession and restroom facilities

· Located in the affluent suburb of Hendersonville

· Easy hotel, restaurant and interstate access

· 6 year contract with February dates corresponding with Heart of Country

· Shuttle bus service between show and Opryland Hotel/Heart of Country

· Superb Free Customer and Dealer Parking

· Onsite dining/recreation options

We are excited to offer you the chance to participate or attend what we are confident will be the great home that we have been looking for all these years. We offer you our strongest commitment that every conceivable effort will be made to insure that the Hendersonville Expo Center will be a great home for dealers and customers for the continued success of the show.

With Thanks,

The Jenkins Family & Staff

Not too serious


Sometimes the antique business isn't very serious. This sandwich shop sign was a hot item last weekend in Nashville. Can't stop laughing thinking about the times Marv asked patrons "do you prefer your wieners Jumbo or King Sized"?

Photos From Nashville


Photos from this mornings opening of our Nashville Shows at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Booths of Karen Buckingham, City Farmhouse, Marie Miller, Mark Morris and Worden Select Objects. Make plans to join us this weekend.

Check out this new blog!


A group of like minded people have started a really cool new blog- I Live Vintage!! It is the story of people who have made the decision to live their fast paced modern lives accompanied by really cool things from the past. It is the story of their lives with vintage. Click here-

Because sometimes it is just really cool.


There is always a lot of discussion as to why people buy antique/art/vintage. Is the main motivation to collect, live with or be surrounded old things? That may play a part, but I think a powerful motivator maybe the fact that many times, old stuff just looks cool- for lack of a better word. Time graces many objects with a patina that just can't be reproduced exactly (nice try R. Hardware).
Here is the booth of Mark Morris from last week's Rhinebeck show. He will be in Nashville along with a lot of other dealers with really cool stuff- hope to see you there.

New England Fall Weekend and coming to Springfield


Spending what I consider to be one of the prettiest show weekends of the year in Rhinebeck, NY and Deerfield, MA for two great shows. Rhinebeck was aglow in autumnal (spelling) splendor with a strong selection of dealers. If you've never been, put it on your antique bucket list. Deerfield features a selection of top dealers on the grounds of Historic Deerfield. The show runs on Monday this year and I will fill you in later.

Springfield this weekend for our last outdoor show of the season featuring the Mid-
America Holiday and paper show in the Youth Building. Hope you join us for a great fall weekend.

Texas, Rhinebeck & Deerfield


Hope to see some of you at upcoming shows- Round Top has been an absolute scorcher with temps well over 100 degrees but plenty of cool beverages to help keep it reasonably tolerable. Planning on being in New England next weekend to cover Rhinebeck and Deerfield. Will take pics and share.

Redefining good and great.


We are constantly subjected by the words "good" and "great" in the business. They are overused terms that have come to mean things that often cause a basic mis-understanding of the very nature of what we do. There is a pandemic with both of these terms that illustrates the conundrum that we find ourselves trying to escape. That is a great cupboard. He or she is a very good dealer. That is a great auction house. The prices were very good. We tend to associate the words good and great with expensive, rare, museum quality, high end and various other words. I had a discussion with a dealer the other day about what these terms mean in today's world. What we came up with, although just our opinions, more accurately reflect the new world we find ourselves living in: A good/great dealer is someone who keeps customers happy by providing unique objects that customers value at prices they can afford with honesty and integrity- regardless of the price level at which they operate. A good/great customer is someone who chooses to use discretionary income on antiques and in turn helps dealer operate their business. A good/great show is a place where customers/dealers can get together and exchange goods for cash- regardless of price level. A good/great antique is an object that is as represented, has an intrinsic value based upon, form, function, aesthetics, intended or repurposed use or the fact it just looks good- regardless of price.

New Extravaganza photos!!!



Extravaganza Photo Contest


Don't forget to bring you camera to this weekend's show in Springfield. The five best photos will receive a pair of season passes for 2012. Either submit them via our Facebook group or email to Capture the fun, excitment and good times of the show!

Attempt at humor-


Top 10 things to do before this weekend’s Springfield Extravaganza from the home office in Terre Haute, Indiana

10. Check supply of comfortable shoes and clean socks.
9. Stop eating now so you will be hungry for something wonderful from our food vendors.
8. Clean out your house and storage areas to be prepared for the new stuff you are sure to find.
7. Stop all discretionary spending until next Friday.
6. Double check hotel reservations.
5. Convince someone new to come along- always more fun with friends.
4. Concoct a series of plausible explanations as to the origin of new purchases for your family:
“Honey, where on earth did this life sized stuffed giraffe come from?”
3. Call ahead to the authorities and warn them that even though your family will likely be reporting you missing, you’ll simply be at the Springfield Extravaganza longer than anticipated.
2. Stop checking the weather forecast- one word “PERFECT”
1. Prepare to be amazed!

Harwinton Photos



A few Harwinton photos-enjoy and remember that a few of these were taken when Graham took the camera.

Fast forward- Brimfield to Springfield


This time of year is usually chaotic at best. The photo above is Graham at the dry portion of Brimfield. For those of you who haven't heard, raincoats were a must. Have plenty to share from Harwinton, Brimfield and gearing up for a great Extravaganza next weekend.

Harwinton- now Brimfield


Will talk at length about Harwinton later this week. Suffice it to say we were very pleased with the show and are more excited than ever about our new home and the future of the show. Photos, recaps and thank-you's later- on to Brimfield today. Raincoats anyone???

All signs point to Harwinton


Despite news to the contrary- the Harwinton Antiques and Design Weekend is on for this weekend. Hope to see you all there.

Come on Irene


With apologies to the Midnight Runners and Dexy- I am happy to report that the Harwinton Fairgounds withstood both the June stress test that Mother Nature provided as well as yesterday's encounter with Irene. Irene did provide a good bath to the grounds, but they will be in top shape for the show this weekend. Hopefully those dealing with the aftereffects of the storm will want a break by next Saturday and Sunday.

Win free Extravaganza tickets.


Share your favorite story about the Springfield show and win free passes for the September Extravaganza. Either share your story on our Facebook page, or leave the story as a blog comment. We will give away 5 pairs of tickets.