August 20, 2019
There are many antique markets and fairs happening daily in the UK. Totally analogue and brilliant!
The antique fairs and markets in the UK are the best in the world. It is part of mainstream culture and is one aspect of the antiques trade that has changed very little in the past hundreds of years. Before so much of the trade moved online, fairs and markets were the life’s blood for dealers at most levels. (Auctions were also very important!) Dealers would get to the fair at the crack of dawn and buy what they wanted for their galleries and then the general public would come in later to pick through what the dealers left behind. It was exciting to go to a fair and find something that was valuable but was cheap as chips to buy. I got to experience this in the 80s and 90s going to charity shops, fairs and flea markets in California and New York. I moved my focus to online trading in the 90s as it was clear the way the business was going but I have always been happiest rummaging through a flea market like the Rose Bowl in California or a large fair like at the Detling Showgrounds here in Kent.
When I would visit my sister in London in the early 00s, I was always drawn to the fairs and markets as it was like taking a time machine back to the good old days. Indeed, I have always felt a strong affinity for the traders at fairs and markets. Their excitement about the things they were selling was infectious and it made me look at antiques and vintage as more than a hobby. I even had a go at having my own stall at a few markets around London way back in 2003 selling vintage handbags.
I also love to hear the stories of the traders because they all have a different background and reason for being a market trader. Some people do it for fun and the social aspect while others travel up and down the UK all year going to the many fairs that are happening on any given day. I think that it is an equal opportunity business and I really like the diversity. It allows people who love the business to manage as a sole trader without the need for a gallery or high overheads. It is the analogue model for online trading – if that makes sense!
It is no wonder that we have designed Intercollector to be the perfect partner for this group of UK traders. It is designed to be a platform for traders that still go to the fairs but would like to work with online selling as an alternative or extra revenue stream. Maybe this has been said before, but I don’t think there has been a company like Intercollector where the team is so motivated to preserve the human element and passion for the business.