Friday, May 28, 2010

When Junk Shopping: Flattery Works Miracles In Getting A Good Deal

Catching More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar: Ask The Gals At Baltimore's Honfest

In the junking world, you will "catch more flies with honey than vinegar". Oy, I'm not saying pour honey all over your junk....I'm saying that when you go out shopping for "stuff' you need to know how to use flattery to "make friends" with the vendors and seal your deal.

The worst thing you can do is to "start off on the wrong foot" . Forget about "haggling"...that is a TURN OFF! Nope let's not go there. Instead I want to suggest that in order to strike a good is important to win your seller over. He or she has something you want. The question do you get it? The answer is FLATTERY!

Here are some tips about how to strike a deal... begin slowly. You warm up to the deal making.

The Silent Phase

1. Spot what you like at a sale but keep it to yourself.
2, Walk around and see what else you may want.
3. Keep the additional items to yourself. Make a mental note.
4. Do not ask about price at this stage.
5. Ignore the price tags on the items.

The Honey Phase: FLATTERY

Beginning to engage in pleasant conversation.

6. Mingle...schmooze....hang out.

7. Try to engage the dealer into small talk. Here are examples:

Sample conversations:

A. So are you from Mars...I love that region!
B. Oh my sister lives in Jupiter,
C. I love your necklace made out of subway tokens.
D. Your stuff is so cute ..I always wanted to collect diaper pins.
E. You have one of the best collections of candy wrappers I have seen in awhile.
F. Love your have such a great license plate.
G. I see you are eating an amazing salad.......
H. I love your displays , I always wanted to hang my teapots from trees.
I. Your dog is so sweet, I have a three legged dog also.

8. Beginning to Talk About Collectibles

Sample questions

A. How did you get into selling giant marbles?
B. Do you have a shop back home?
C. I'm just beginning to buy old computer mother boards , could you give me some pointers?
D. Wow, I had no idea, people collected tongue depressors.
E. When did you get interested in buying and selling vintage thumb tacks?

9. Working Your Way Into The Sellers Good Grace

Sample comments:

A. Your price for that rusty bicycle is so low....can I offer you more?
B. You untangled, polished and restored all that jewelry, I would like to give you a few
dollars more.
C. I can't believe you shlepped all those splintering old boxes to the fair grounds...I want to
give you a few bucks more in case you need a tetanus shot.

Feel free to add your suggestions or funny quips.

Photos Courtesy of:

Baltimore's Honfest*:

*What is the Honfest? :
HonFest is a local tradition. The Bawlmer term of endearment, Hon, short for Honey, embodies the warmth and affection bestowed upon our neighbors and visitors alike by historic working-women of Baltimore. HonFest is an annual celebration in honor of these women

C. Dianne Zweig
is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. Hee-hee-hee! Oh hon, you just made my morning! :)

  2. Well Hon, that is the only way to go! hmmm the things I could do with a tongue depressor AND thumb tack collection ...:)

    luvs and glitter

  3. That's it, that's how it works, I did sales for years, get them to love you and they will sell you their first born for a deal!!