At a fair, most collectors will come and go from a dealer in a matter of minutes. “Any new churches today, Brian?” “Don’t think so, but you’re welcome to have a look."
They know what they want. And a dealer's cards will be ordered by popular collecting categories to make searching easy. It might be a certain place or artist that a collector is after, or pictures of a famous Edwardian actor or politician.
I'll typically stay hunched over one or two stalls the entire time, until my eyes tire.
A good message could be in any box.
While staying in one position can be exhausting, the advantage is you get to eavesdrop on passing trade...
Dealer 1 (holding his friend’s card): I’ve never seen such a good gypsy card. I mean the expressions on their faces…
Dealer 2: I found another one as well which was pretty amazing. And that was £80. How many times have I ever had great photos of gypsies like that in the last 40 years?
Dealer 1: Who does get them?
Dealer 2: Jeremy, not very often.
Dealer 1: Who does get them? They’re just not there. No, no.
Dealer 2: I won’t see another card like that for 20 years. And I won’t be around in another 20 years. I only got them because I would pay whatever people ask for them which means you’re not making money. That’s the problem….
Dealer 1: A card like that will always appreciate in value…. I am lost in admiration for that one.