Picking with Reyne – Shopping Abroad – By: Reyne Haines

May 24th, 2010 by

I think one of the exciting things about the hunt for treasures is going to new places.  The anticipation of what we will find, or not find, from one area to the next.

A lot of it depends on the area and the people that populate it.  Were there any major department stores in the area; was the area a place where immigrants came to live;  was the town peppered with well to do residents?

These factors don’t always equate to great picking region, but they certainly help.

It’s safe to say, I’ve been around the antiquing block in the US, but I’ve only checked out a few places abroad.  I had a great experience many years ago in Berlin; London is completely yummy and Paris, well – they have great things but with the exchange rate I bought very little.

One of our frequent bloggers on Antiques.com is Marko – an antique enthusiast from Finland.  He seems to like my picking blog so I thought I’d ask him to tell us a little more about picking in his country.

RH: Where are some of your favorites haunts to buy antiques?  Is it shops, private homes, flea markets or??

I can say that I have always open “radar”. I’m looking and looking, and I can find and enjoy.
As you know Reyne, I love flea markets and antique shops. I am an old goods “junkie” :-)
A few years ago I did the best finds at flea markets. Today, the best hunting arena is private people. They have a genuine and good stuff, no junk stuff. People know prices are so cheap it is difficult to get. My favorite flea market is a “Bazaar” flea market. There have nice staff and these people are smiling. Smile is an important trading tool for me.

RH: I agree that a smile goes a long way, especially if you are about to ask for a better price!  Where are the best bargains found?

Places where I can find cheapest…..TOP 10

1- A private person who needs money quickly
2- People’s private yard sales
3- Traditional flea market halls
4- Summer market
5- Internet
6- Newspaper sales announcements
7- Auctions
8- Buying and selling stores
9- Antique shops
10- My home :-)

RH: Do people go knocking on doors of people’s homes they don’t know in Finland searching for antiques?

Not anymore.  Sometimes years ago were traveling dealers. They went
to the house and asked whether they had antiques or old stuff.
Sometimes they gave the booze so that they would be easier to buy.

RH:  I had to giggle at the booze reply, but then I started to think about how often opening night at an antique show offers wine or a full bar.  Maybe they are on to something!

What was your best find ever?

Marko:  I’ve found several good bargains. This one story comes to my mind.
I bought stamps from an old man. There were 30 folders. I paid 100e ($120).

I sell them off on the same day 1500€ ($1850). Good profit, but this comes rarely.

Not the best but the funny purchase was horse carts. I paid them 20€ ($25)
Now they have my yard ornament. Peoples are smiling when they go over my yard.

Marko, thanks for being a good sport and answering all of my questions. I loved the images too!

Bookmark this site – the next installment of Picking with Reyne will be uploaded next week!

Happy Hunting!


15 Responses to “Picking with Reyne – Shopping Abroad – By: Reyne Haines”

  1. Carolyn COBAYLEY Says:

    Loved this article. Thank you Reyne and Marko!!

  2. Marko Says:

    Thanks Carolyn !

    That woman forced me to this article :-)

    Do you believe, that I pulled these horse carts home when I bought them?

    This story is true! :-)

    Dr. Marko

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Reyne, I would love to hear more about where to pick and how to find great opportunities. Everyone can go to a flea market or yard sale and hope to come across the bargain of a lifetime, but I wonder how you find these people who have a barn full of stuff that their grandfather started collecting in 1909. I’ve watched American Pickers a few times and I’m simply amazed at the stuff people keep around. What exactly are they waiting for and how do I find them? Thanks!!

  4. Marko Says:

    I can add to the list……TOP 11, a place where you can find cheaply antiques..

    11) Bar counter :-)

  5. Carolyn COBAYLEY Says:

    We tend to shop small “new” flea markets when we find them or hear about them or see them advertised. Many times Craig’s list is a great source of information.

    This past weekend we shopped a brand new small flea in Napa California. It is set up adjacent to an Antiques Consignment store. The people that own/run the shop organized the flea. For this first time, there were 20 or so vendors and the consignment store was open. It was scheduled to start at 8:00 AM and when we arrived a bit before 8:00 AM all but 2 of the dealers were set up and ready for sales. Everything vintage….and it was fun!! I forgot to take pictures, but I’m providing a link to the website for the flea. There are lots of pictures and information. They are having it once a month through October. It was fun and most importantly, I found bargains to buy!! I’m very pleased and I’ll be back.


  6. Marko Says:

    Reyne … can I say to my own reply to Jennifer question ?

    so..I have put in the local newspaper purchase notice . ” Wants to buy agricultural chattels and the estates”

    There is always somebody who offer products…..at least here in Finland :-)

    Farms is genuine good stuff. The hosts are just really stingy, so take the time to make a business.


  7. Marko Says:


    It seems nice flea market, just like in Finland.

  8. Reyne Haines Says:

    Marko – you really pulled those carts home?

    Now that would have been quite the site to see!

    Happy Hunting!


  9. Reyne Haines Says:

    Carolyn – Thanks for sharing the “tip” on the new flea market for all the
    West Coast readers. Let us know what you find on your journeys.
    We love hearing about a great score!


  10. Reyne Haines Says:


    Thanks for writing. Where do you find those great picks?
    Country roads, Craigslist, flea markets – they are all around you.

    You have to have a great eye, patience, and the willingness to wade thru
    a lot of stuff to find that diamond in the rough.

    What part of the country do you live in?


  11. Marko Says:


    I’m the workhorse, who sacrifices herself on many issues :-)

    My radar is open…..hunting may continue !

    Reyne…You have not told us what is your best treasure what you’ve found?
    I throw the ball to you, please tell us.


  12. Reyne Haines Says:


    That’s a great question.
    The answer is this….many years ago (probably 15) I received a call to come to a country home to take a look at a piece of Steuben glass.

    The way it was described on the phone to me told me it was common piece – valued around $200-250. I wasn’t going to be out their way for several more days. I almost considered blowing it off.

    I finally drove out to the house and met with the owner. He pulled out the piece of Steuben, and it was exactly as I thought…no frills.

    Alas, he said “And I found this too…” and pulls out an applied tendril Loetz vase that is actually on the cover of a book on Loetz. It took all I had to keep my mouth closed.
    I asked him where he found the items at, and he pointed to the big red barn behind his home.

    I sold the vase for $15,000 at Christie’s that winter.

  13. Marko Says:


    This is fantastic !!! This is real treasure.

    Your inner instinct told you ” GO! get it home soon ”

    How the hell , I can find a treasure like that ??

    Here are just a Wirkkala, Sarpaneva, Franck and others unknows names :-)

    Please, tell us…What was your feeling , when you saw this vase, so you wanted to cry,

    laught or both ?

    Hunting continues….stay tuned !


  14. Reyne Haines Says:

    I am going to answer these questions in my upcoming blog that is
    posted tomorrow.

    Stay tuned!


  15. Marko Says:

    Reyne….You are mysterious !

    Ok, View next page !

    See you there!

    Stay tuned!

    Marko :-)

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