On the Trail for Antiques w/ Pick & Grin

On the Trail for Antiques w/ Pick & Grin

The summer selling season was over. This year seemed consumed with flea and antique markets, plus we conducted more estate sales for clients than any other summer. We felt the need to relax.

Pick: How about a week in Florida, it’s warm and beaches are empty.  Our choice is always to go in early fall. It proves to be a great time to go, when summer travelers are back home, children return to school and the arrival of Snow Birds is still a month or more away.

Grin: And the great seafood restaurants will not be crowded. Plus we could drive and shop along the way.

Pick: Do we ever go anywhere without stopping & antique shopping?

Grin: Not since you forced me into marriage, 40 odd years ago.

Pick: Well, yes, It has been 40 odd years. You plan the route down and I’ll make arrangement to rent a condo for the week.


And so I started by digging out the “Travel Guide to Antique Shops & Malls” published by Antique Week, which came with our subscription of their weekly newspaper. Our plan was to take a route we had not traveled “to see what we could see.” I also had their phone app, downloaded to my I-Phone.

Pick: I searched for a rental in Redington Shores, at a complex we already knew from a previous visit. I was set to start looking at “a route less traveled”, at least by us. With the help of a real paper map of the eastern half of the US and the section maps photo copied form the Antique Travel Guide, all laid out on a table, we went about trying to create a list of malls and shops to find the greatest treasure of the century, our Monet Moment.

The A.W. Travel Guide provides listings of stores by sections of the states, on our chosen route, along with informative advertising for each store in alphabetical order by city. I did find the copies of the section maps I photo copied somewhat difficult to page together, and align to my route, so I used a big folding map to highlight our total route and selected shops we wanted to visit along the way. 

 I must tell you, it is the phone app that was most impressive. Easy to use and free to download,  it conveniently offers a very simple set of screens that allow you to select the radius in miles for your search, up to twenty-five miles distance. All stores registered in that distance are shown, and with a few clicks you will see each stores listing and the distance and direction from present your location.


Select a shop and the address and phone number comes up. That phone number can save you from traveling to a store on their day off or after hours. The next screen is a map of the store location and travel time. Touch the address on screen and a route map comes up. How cool is that? All this to decide whether a detour from your route is in your best interest, or continue on with your original route plan.

From our experience, the shop owners or staff of stores listed in the guide deserved our visits. All were well run shops, clean and well stocked, with staff helpful in finding and showing items we were looking to purchase. They listened to our stories of the hunt and shared their insight on what is selling in their area and the general condition of the antique market. Oh! And we were told where to get the best lunch in town, and the next shop we should not pass up.

Did the guide and phone app prove successful in finding great antiques? Well, our trip home was hastened by the fact that we could only buy stir sticks, nothing else would fit in the back of our van.

As always, good hunting.

Pick & Grin

Antiquing: There’s An App For That (Or, Why You Should Give iTunes & Google Play Gift Cards)

Whether you have a smartphone or a tablet, whether it’s an Apple or Android based, you can put it to work for you as a collector. Many of them are completely free; others just a few dollars. With apps like these, you’ll feel like the Harrison’s on Pawn Stars because you’ll have your own experts to consult anytime you need them! Here are a few of my favorites.

(Because I have an Android phone, I’m listing these with links to Google Play but you can find most, if not all, of them at iTunes as well. You can easily gift these apps by giving Google Play Cards and Apple iTunes Cards.)

There are scads of apps for alerting you to garage sales, including providing maps so you can easily get there. Pickers Pal has free and paid versions. (Note: Apps based on location will vary widely in results/reviews because some areas just fetch smaller results, so I say try free versions first to see if the number of results is worth it.)

The What’s It Worth? eValuator App determines the average eBay value of an article from the successfully sold items of the last few weeks; there are free and paid versions.

WorthPoint’s Price Miner has a free app, but it’s only for subscribers. To access it, use your wireless device to go to www.priceminer.com/iphone and login.

If you buy and/or sell books, Amazon’s Price Check app will show you what the book (or anything else with a barcode) is selling for at Amazon.

One of my favorite apps is from my local scrap metal guy. Not only does this sometimes help in evaluating the price to pay for metal objects, but there’s no reason I can’t pick up scrap stuff along the way, sell it to my scrap guy and use the profits to fund my antiquing. So look around and see if there are scrap metal apps like this to help you in your area.

The Antique Silver Makers Marks App is your digital catalog of makers marks for silver items. Why carry around a book when the knowledge can be in your hip pocket?

There are lots more apps that you might find useful. Just start searching! And please do tell us what apps you find useful!