Sunday, 12 August 2012

First come, First served

Buying at a big trade Fair in France is a matter of sharp eyes, routine and of course, luck. We try to arrive in very good time, just before the gates open, mark the position of the car (as near to the gates as possible for ease of loading), wave our business card at the door and take one area or building between us. They are often full size aircraft hangars - comfortable shoes vital. We start by going round all the outer stalls, then work our way down the lanes of stalls in the centre, each one taking two rows to scrutinize, meet at the further end and take on another two rows each. If there is something of note we then double back to agree together, yea or nay. We have two or three HongKong zip bags under our arms, Euros in a safe pocket and pile the stuff in and ask for a bit of paper, or possibly a receipt (difficult to obtain in France!) We leave all at a friendly stall in their van, note the no. and position of the stand and return with a light folding trolley to cart all back to car. If you have stickers. put them on your bought goods, and remember to keep your hand on anything you want while you negotiate, as otherwise someone else can pick it up and get it under your nose! If stuff is piled high at the back or side of the van it is usually already sold. Credit cards and cheques are not acceptable.

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