Thinking about the many ways there are to stock an antiques shop.Many dealers go to EUROPE (mostly England) and buy containers full.It’s what they know and what they like. Others go to ESTATE SALES usually run by a professional who is hired to sell the contents at the site (home). Another part of this  market are the garage or yard sales  where  dealers  hope to stumble on items that they can buy and then sell and make a profit. Others buy mostly at the local AUCTIONS. Still others look for opportunities to buy ENTIRE ESTATES. and do. (This was our choice, eventually) Others buy from other dealers or shopkeepers) This is what we did when we were first starting out. Nothing since has been more  adventurous or  fun.                                                                                                                                                                                                

Buying from other dealers usually involved taking trips to the country: New Jersey, upstate New York, Pennsylvania, and to Massachusetts,Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, and sometimes, into Canada.We would stay at motels or inns, dine at the local restaurants. It was like combining business with pleasure. The most exciting aspect of these trips was the HUNT-for new locations, new places,discovering that remote country shop just around the bend in the road, and the shopkeepers, some very interesting people who, once we got to know and like them,became friends. It was all about learning, making some money and enjoying ourseves.

                                                                                                                                                                                 With  the arrival of the Internet, all of this adventure came to an end. The Internet brought all those remote corners together. If you were to do any discovering, you had to do it through your computer. Very different. But I have to say, it was much more fun the old way in the old days.We went on to do much better when we started to buy whole estates and never regretted our decision to do so. But we would have missed out on an important time for learning and development in the business. Regretfully, newcomers to the business will not have this experience.

Soon, we became known for exciting finds. Nothing, I mean nothing was more pleasing and satisfying than having a group of people waiting outside the door of our shop when we arrived, usually on a Saturday morning with our station wagon full of treasures from a recent trip. And how many times would a piece of furniture or a painting never enter our store. It would go directly from our wagon to the buyers’. That’s business, folks! I guess,in a way, you can call all this SOCIAL without the MEDIA.These people were our flesh and blood FANS, FOLLOWERS and FRIENDS.We got to know them all very well through the years. And the business was REAL,TANGIBLE, and IMMEDIATE. So, here’s to the good old days before SOCIAL MEDIA.There’s a lot to be said for it.

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