The Brimfield Antique Show is the largest of its kind in the country. Taking it in for the first time? These 10 Brimfield survival tips are here to help.
By Cynthia Bogart
Apr 14 2020
Three times a year, the Brimfield Antique Show (the largest of its kind in the country) rolls out the welcome mat to over 100,000 shoppers on Route 20 in south-central Massachusetts, where 12 fields are filled with rows and rows of tented booths. Roughly 6,000 antique and collectible dealers make annual pilgrimages here to sell wares ranging from furniture and garden treasures to folk art, vintage textiles, and just about everything else you can imagine. Heading to Brimfield for the first time? Here are our ten best tips for surviving the Brimfield Antique Show.
Arrive bright and early. Parking is hard to get at the Brimfield Antique Show and you want to get close to the show grounds so you won’t have to haul your loot miles to your car later.
Have an idea of what you are looking to buy. DON’T stop at every booth. Learn to assess quickly to see if they have what you are looking for and if they don’t, smile and move on. Stay true to your list or you won’t get out of the first field you enter. Remember, there are 12 of them.
Yes. Dealers expect to negotiate. Don’t insult them, be reasonable, but don’t pay the listed amount right off the bat.
The Brimfield Antique Show a big show, so make sure you bring a vehicle large enough to cart all your goodies home. If you know you are looking for large items such as furniture, check on shipping options with the dealer before you hand over your money, or come back with a U-Haul the next day. Here’s the good news – there is a UPS and FED EX dealer located in the Brimfield Acres North field. There are porters that will help you take your large items there or to your car.
Bring something to carry all of your purchases. Big tote bags or wire shopping carts – the ones your grandmothers used for shopping day – are the best idea. You can buy them at places like Target, Amazon, or Walmart, in person or online.
Wear comfy clothes and walking shoes, and appropriate weather gear, including a rain poncho or sun hat. Be comfortable! The Brimfield Antique Show is not a fashion show.
Bring your cell phone/charger, calculator, notebook and business or contact cards to hand out. Use a fanny pack for maximum efficiency. I know it’s probably not your look, but it will free your hands up and keep your valuables safe.
Pack water and food if you’d like, but the Brimfield Antique Show is home to an assortment of food trucks and concession stands that range from traditional to gourmet. You will certainly not starve.
Do not let the rain deter you! This is the best time to shop. The crowds are smaller and the dealers are willing to come down on their prices, especially if it is toward the end of the week.
Treat your time at the Brimfield Antique Show as a learning experience. Pick the brains of the dealers. They are fantastic teachers and filled with information you might never find in a classroom, book, TV show, or online. People become experts by learning from the experts.
And above all…have fun!
American Pottery; Americana; Architectural & Garden Items; Art & Paintings; Baskets, Books & Manuscripts; Bottles; Buttons & Smalls; Cast Iron; Children’s Items; Civil War Memorabilia; Clocks & Watches; Coins; Comics; Costume Jewelry; Deco & Decorative Arts; Decoys; Dolls; Fiesta Ware & Depression Glass; Fishing & Sports Items; Flow Blue, Majolica, Staffordshire, Stoneware and Yelloware China; Folk Art; Country, English, Oak, Painted and Victorian Furniture; Games & Toys & Trains; Glass & China & Crystal; Guns & Arms; Hats; Kitchen Items; Jewelry; Lighting; Lithographs; Maps; Marbles; Marine & Nautical Items; Medical Items; Memorabilia; Musical Items; Optical Oriental Items; Paper; Pewter; Postcards; Primitives; Porcelain; Quilts; Radios & Phonographs; Oriental & Indian Rugs; Sterling and Plate Silver; Tools; Victorian Items; Vintage Clothing; Vintage Textiles.
For more information on the Brimfield Antique Show, visit brimfieldantiquefleamarket.com
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.