On the first Sunday of each calendar month, approximately 100 dealers from all over Australia, set up at the Sydney Antique and Collectables Fair, Wentworth Park Function Centre, Glebe. General admission is $6. Doors open at 9am and close at 3pm. Here are my top tips to make the most of this event, and others that you may attend.
1. Make sure you bring cash. Some dealers have an eftpos machine or a square reader, however, they don't always work. You can withdraw cash from the event organiser but there is a fee on top of this withdrawal. My suggestion is to plan to visit an ATM before you arrive, to avoid any ounce of disappointment.
2. Bring some nibbles and a bottle of water. While there's a cafe on site which serves plenty of coffee and tea, a few nuts or a museli bar is a sure way too keep your mind sharp when you're working your way through the enormous range of collectables.
3. Wear comfortable shoes. There's lots to see and practically no where to sit, other than the cafe on site, which is always busy.
3. Arrive early. It's a well known fact, trade starts as soon as the doors open. For the best pieces of the day, it's first in, best dressed.
4. Be prepared to seriously rummage. Some dealers have mountains of estate lots on tables, waiting to be picked through. It's not glamorous, but there are definitely diamonds in the rough to be found. Be patient.
5. Look at the piece of interest thoroughly. Think about the weight, the condition and whether all the stones are there, or if you see any cracks. Consider whether any repair work needs to be done and if you have the extra resources available to fix the piece properly.
6. Ask the dealer politely for the best price they can offer. Nine times out of ten, dealers won't be outrageous with their pricing. Often their first price is their best price. However, if you're buying a few pieces from a collection, then you can expect a reasonable discount.
7. Regularly attend the Sydney Antiques and Collectables Fair. There's nothing better than developing a relationship with the dealers who trade at these shows. Let them know what you're interested in and ask a few questions about their collection. A touch of loyalty goes a long way.