May 3, 2017

I’m not an expert but after countless years of going to my favorite shopping mecca on the planet, I’m writing this guide by popular demand of customers. I’m just gonna give you tidbits of info, not all my secrets. I’d end up knockin you down on the streets and hoping I get out alive. LOL.

First of all, it’s EXCITING. For months, I look forward to this one time of year, May. Why May? It’s the opening. It’s where the merchandise is so fresh it still has the newness smell to it. The weather, May it be unpredictable is quite beautiful, at least the last few years. With that said, we’re gonna pack our bags and get on the road.

  1. Make sure you bring along somebody that you can get along with. Book your hotel months in advance. I’m not gonna tell you where I stay, but it’s somewhere near Auburn. It’s hard to get a hotel near Brimfield, most people stay 20 – 30 minutes out. This trip isn’t gonna be easy. It’s hard work. With that said, get up early, I mean 4:30 AM. Yes, before the birds. You’re goal is to be in Brimfield by 6 AM. There’s so much less traffic and remember early bird gets the worm. When you arrive, make sure you give a partner a spare key. It’ll make life much easier, the last thing you want to do is hang around all day with each other. It’s easy to get lost out there.
  2. Bring all kinds of clothing. It could be hot, it could be cold, it could be in between. Just because they say its gonna be sunny, doesn’t mean it’s gonna be sunny. Don’t forget the rain gear, MAJOR. A storm could pop up and make life miserable, like walking around in mud. UGGGG. Don’t forget the sunscreen, this is HUGE. You don’t want to be a wrinkled raisin because of stupidity and you don’t want to be fried cause it hurts when you walk. That’ll kill the trip totally. And I’m only telling you this cause I learned the hard way.
  3. Try to park close to middle and in the direction you need to get out. Believe me, it’s gridlock from 9AM until 5. Be patient my friends, you don’t want road rage.
  4. If you see something, BUY IT. You can always flip it on the street, if you don’t like it. But when it comes to haggling, don’t insult the dealer. Feel em out first, try to make friends. If you turn around really low ball him, you’re done. Just walk away. Odds are you will see that item again, in another field in somebody else’s hands. You might pay a couple extra bucks, but you’ll get it. Add a few extra bags for packing, and blankets for your killer finds. Not let me forget to mention, you don’t want to bring a little punch-buggy or FIAT, you want to bring the biggest truck possible. And remember where you parked, it’s easy to forget by the end of the day, which reminds be bring extra bottles of water. You will be thirsty, you will be like a camel in the desert. Quench, my friends, it’ll keep you focused.
  5. Bring an industrial cart and mean utility cart. Remember you gonna be walking, walking, walking. The easier the haul, the happier you are. If you overbuy in a field, try to make friends with somebody. Put all your stuff in one spot. Sometimes you need trust in the grounds because there’s nothing like losing a treasure. This is where the porters come in. What’s a porter? These are the guys that you find in porter jackets, hauling people’s stuff. You always want to ask them before they touch it, how much it will cost to get it back to your vehicle. I personally try to find, the white t-shirt porters. They’re amateurs but they are much cheaper. If you are lucky, you can ask them how much it’ll be for an hour. But don’t forget to tip, these guys work really hard. And if they do scratch something, get over it, you should’ve done it yourself.
  6. Carry wet-naps and toilet paper with you. Your hands with get filthy real fast and the last thing you want to do is find a port-a-potty with no toilet paper. That’s the worst. Just a hint, when a field first opens up, hit the potties in the back. They’re the cleanest.
  7. I’m adding a personal item this year, a Fit-Bit. It’ll psychologically make me feel like I have a personal trainer. I’m curious to see how many steps I take, and I’m hoping it doesn’t break. P.S. busting a couple calories makes everybody happier, right?
  8. Make sure you eat. There’s so many awesome food vendors. My personal fave is the Clam Truck. Love those fritters. Yeeeaaahhhh.
  9. Bring a small bag of tools with ya. You might need to take a table leg off, fix/repair, etc.
  10. You’re gonna be tired, real tired. Don’t kill your friend, partner, or whatever you want to call the person who just spend the last few days with. Take a deep breath, relax, drink some water, eat a pretzel. Remember you’re here to have fun! This is Brimfield, this is what it’s about, the excitement, the thrill. And after a few years, you as well will have many friends and trip that brings you all together. Thanks for reading this and see you in the fields!

Lisa Vonderstuck

Brandywine View Antiques

www.brandywineview.com