If you are a Fiestaware fanatic like me, you must go to the Fiestaware Tent Sale this week in Newell, WV. All Fiestaware is made in a factory in this tiny West Virginia town and twice a year, they hold a tent sale in their parking lot for all their seconds. Seconds can be anything from a tiny mark to a major defect, so you shop based on your own definition of second. I can say from experience that I have always been able to find a ton of things to buy that had barely a mark on them.
Sales are in June and October and this month’s sale is June 12-14. Prices are ridiculously cheap, most items are a couple dollars. If you are a collector of Fiestaware, you know this is a BARGAIN! Now, I will caution you that this is not the place to look for a matching set of pieces. The seconds can be any color, but usually are colors that have recently retired and you rarely can find matching anything. I personally prefer my Fiestaware to be a mix of colors, but I know some people like one color only. If you are one of those people, this is probably not for you (in my humble opinion).
Many people like to show up at 7 am (sale opens at 8:30am) to reserve their spot in line, I have done that and I have also gone late afternoon. The only difference to me is less people the later you go. If you are looking for bigger pieces, like bakeware, serving bowls, etc, then you will want to show up earlier to have the best chance to find them. I have a collection of the large pitchers on top of my kitchen cabinets and I have been able to find them later in the day too. It really is all personal preference. I am not a fan of waiting in line, so that makes my choice easier.
Once you get to the sale, you are given a ticket, which you fill out for a chance at a prize and then continue into the tent. If you arrive before the tent is open, your ticket number reserves your spot in line in case you need to use the restroom, grab a concession, etc. Everyone will line up in number order right before they open at 8:30 am.
Once you enter the tent, there are very large pallets with stacks and stacks of Fiestaware on them. The items are usually very dusty and dirty from the factory process, so I bring a cloth or old sock to wipe them off to check for defects. Sounds weird, but you definitely want something to wipe them off with.
There are stacks of crates you can use for the pieces you want to buy. You can grab them by the entrance to the tent. I bring a small dolly (and my husband) to make it easier on myself. Those dishes get heavy!! Once you pick out your items, head to the check out. An insider tip is to peruse the bins by the checkout, you can usually grab something good there as people make their final decisions while waiting to check out. Once you check out, they box it all up for you and you can be on your way.
Because the parking can be far away, they have some volunteers who will give you a ride to your car. (Helpful when you have many boxes of heavy dishes). They also have a discount on first run items in their shop during the sale. In the past, I bought silverware and glassware and a few other specialty items during the tent sale extra discount days. Basically things I haven’t ever seen in the tent sale.
I have been using Fiestaware seconds from the tent sale for several years and haven’t had any problems with them, put them in the microwave, dishwasher, etc.
What about you? Have you gone to the tent sale? What are your tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them!