Monday, October 4, 2010

The Kane County Flea Market - Would Love to Hear YOUR Opinion!

This year was my first at Kane and I participated in four shows there. My friend Kathy shared a booth with me this time and our location in Expo West was great. The building is light & spacious and sales were good.

At The Kane County Flea Market you'll find a great mix of primitives, industrial, and shabby treasures. You'll also find the dreaded beanies, t-shirts and cheap imports.  Countless customers at other shows have commented to me that they no longer shop Kane because there's too much new stuff.  From a shopper's perspective, I say just walk past what you don't like and you'll have more time to spend in booths like
The Frenchman's Wife...

Kane does have a different vibe than any of the other shows that we do.  The show opens at noon on Saturdays and this weekend traffic was steady but we never felt the type of "rush" that we get at other shows. (We don't have the established customer base at Kane that we do at other shows so that may account for the quiet start.)

Sundays at Kane just feel surreal.  Few shoppers arrive at 7:00 when the show opens and many dealers don't stroll in to open their booths until 9:00 or after.  It's one of those chicken/egg things. Do the customers not come because the dealers don't bother to show up, or do the dealers not come because they don't want to open for just a few potential sales?  Personally, if I've paid for a space I'm going to be there for every possible customer. A later show opening on Sundays might be warranted at Kane since the hardcore buyers probably come on Saturday.

Traffic was steady later on Sunday, but many times during the day it just felt like there was no energy in the building and people were plodding along. (A little background music in that hall would probably help a lot.)  One of the vendors that came in late on Sunday just packed up and left around noon.  An hour or so later another did the same.  If I were the promoter I wouldn't tolerate that and those folks wouldn't be welcomed back.

We appreciate each shopper that helped make our weekend a success.  If you shop at the Kane County Flea Market I'd love to hear your overall opinion of the market.  And if you sell there, likewise...we'd love to hear from you!


  1. I haven't had the pleasure of shopping this flea market but if I could I'd be there first thing on Saturday when it was fresh. I personally don't like it when dealers aren't there early aand I have to keep checking back - usually cause there isn't a price on someting.
    I love the one day shows that we do. We always are vendors the July Portland Expo and it is a Looong 3 days. Sunday is awful with no serious shoppers. I keep hoping that they change it to 2 days. We'll keep selling there because Friday and Saturday make it worthwhile

  2. I have only been there once, a long time ago. But I have to tell you that if I ever see sellers packing it in early, that always gives me a bad vibe about the whole show. And if you're not all unpacked and ready to go when the doors open, I will not be back around to see your things. That is a big pet peeve of mine at the flea market that I go to. It opens at 7AM, and most sellers are there unpacking at 6AM. If you're just setting up as I walk by, sorry but you've just lost my business! Did that help at all, or was I just blathering?!
    Happy Monday,

  3. I don't shop Kane because of all the reasons you listed. The last time I went was on a Sunday and it was so haphazard as far as dealers there or not that it's just not worth the distance for me (about an hour). I didn't get a good vibe so it's just not worth the hassle. I prefer Grayslake which is about the same distance for me but so much more pleasing to shop. It's refreshing that you care enough to ask for opinions.
    Jeanne (non-blogger)

  4. Hi from the uk
    I would love to get to one of your fairs they have such lovely junky things :)
    Cate x

  5. Thanks Sue, Carol & Jeanne for taking the time to respond. I asked because Kane was a show that I hadn't done before this year and I've had both great shows & disappointing shows there. I'm just not sure what to make of it!

    I know when I'm a shopper and not a seller I much prefer markets where new stuff is not allowed and posted hours are honored by the vendors. Those types of shows seem to be getting scarce around here.

    On the other hand, there are a lot of terrific sellers at Kane that put a great deal of effort into giving shoppers a great experience.

  6. I usually shop Kane on Saturday's this was my first time there shopping on a Sunday...I was disappointed because we had been to Elkhorn the weekend before and every dealer was there and set up @ 7:00 when gates opened. Not that way at Kane...we arrived when it opened at 7:00 and I would say at least 75% of vendors were not there and like you said did not start arriving until 9:00 so we had 2 hours that we felt were a little wasted because we had to go from one end to the other and back and forth trying to find some booth's that were opened. A big no-no I felt was that one vendor left her booth while we just got to her booth, asked us to come back later because she had to "run somewhere" We saw her go shop another vendor's booth! That really disappointed me because she was someone I had been looking forward to buying from...truly, she lost a customer:( It was my first time @ Elkhorn last month and I already have my calendar marked for next years shows :)

  7. Jan,we just spent 4 1/2 days at What Cheer.The official days and hours for the show are Sat & Sun. 7am to 4pm, with admission being $1.

    Alot of vendors have started setting up on Thurs, us included because Thurs. & Fri. have become dealer days.Sat is a fairly good day, but Sun. is terrible. A good third to half of the vendors are already gone.The truth of the deal is the promoter of the show needs to make it a Thurs.-Sat. show.Thats not likely to happen it's been this way for 35 years.

    There is old and new along with some crafts and some plain old garage sale stuff.I agree with you if it isn't something you are interested in walk on by.

    Thats my 20 cents, sorry it's so long
    Take Care Ginger

  8. I've known Kane for years, and there has always been a hodge podge of new and old. Frankly, on a particularly rainy day we were pleased to be able to buy an umbrella and socks :)I haven't been in several years due to being spoiled at Elkhorn.
    However, not following the hours posted totally frustrates me, and I would not go back to those booths. It would especially frustrate me if I were a vendor next to them.
    It creates dead space and loses energy.

    You and all the other ladies should try do what they do at the Warrenton show, and get your booths all together and just blow it through the roof with your displays and great stuff. That way it creates excitement for the customer, and you KNOW no one would be late or leave early.

    That's my two cents!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.