I am a huge believer in mixing a little old with a little new when it comes to decorating. There’s something about the hunt for unique objects at Antique malls that make an item feel truly special to me. Maybe it’s a bit of nostalgia from summer weekend mornings spent garage-saling with my grandma (she’s the Queen of getting a good deal) or maybe it’s the preciousness that comes from having an item that might be the last one left on Earth, whatever drives that specialness I know I can always find something good at Scott Antique Market. Before you head to this Mecca of antique goods, there are a few things you need to know.
The Complete Guide to Shopping at Scott Antique Market in Atlanta
Transportation Tips – The shopping experience is located in two huge warehouses down by the airport at the Atlanta Expo Center and there IS a $5 admission to get in (priced per person, not per car) and if you want to save a bit of money, you can always clip this coupon here for $1 off. You can always park in one lot and take the shuttle between the North and South expo center.
Where to Start- The best place to start is at the South Building. The outside courtyard area is where you’ll find the best deals and some great treasures. You may have to do a bit of digging or some pieces may need some elbow grease, but you’ll typically have more bargaining power outside.
Best Day to Go- Note: it is only open the first full weekend of every month. Friday morning and Sunday before Church lets out. While Scott Antique Market opens on Thursdays, most vendors travel around or have other jobs so they don’t show up until Friday. If you want the freshest pick of all the items, come Friday morning. Sunday before Church lets out is a great time to get great deals with minimal crowds, and Sunday afternoon you can pay pennies on the dollar at some vendors.
- Bring cash. You will always have a better chance of bargaining with cash.
- When bargaining always ask “what’s your best price” instead of “will you take $xx”. Their best price may be less than your offer.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring a large car. The expo center is huge, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. You may find amazing pieces of furniture and you are responsible for taking it off the property. Comfy shoes + large car = taking your treasures home without issue.
- Make friends with the vendors. These people come here month after month so if you like their boutique, grab their business card or find their social media handle and follow them. They may be able to help you find something you’re looking for down the road or they might be willing to hold something for you if you build a relationship with them.
- Scott Antique Market isn’t all antiques. Some vendors are resale boutiques of uniquely sourced new goods, and some have things that look like antiques but might not be. Do your research if you’re looking for something very particular. Remember, everyone is trying to make a sale.
- Bring a reusable bag. The vendors will offer you plastic bags to hold your stuff, but if you’re on a serious shopping spree, it’s best to come prepared with a durable bag.
Best Things To Buy-
- Silver plated & vintage serveware priced roughly $1-$2 per piece. For a food blogger, this is where I source most of my props. The patina silverware is perfect to keep reflections out of my photos.
- Bookshelf decor: books, knick-knacks, old cameras, ceramic figurines, you name it they have it.
- Frames: If you come across a beautiful frame but a terrible photo, it’s easy to retrofit that frame to house one of your pieces of art.
- Vintage Posters: One of my favorite vendors is located in the South Building and has a bunch of antique liquor posters from Europe. They’re all original and sometimes will have reproductions for sale as well.
- Tabletop pieces: mix and match vintage is always in, so stick with a color palette and outfit yourself with new cups, plates, and serving platters.
- Holiday decoration: during the November, December and January markets you can always find unique holiday decorations spanning every century.
- Rugs: the vintage rug collection at the back of the North building is INSANE. The vendors there bring their stock over from the Middle East and source one of a kind prints and hard to find designs in every color. 10/10 would recommend buying a rug here.
What to Be Wary Of-
- Someone claiming it’s authentic without providing paperwork. Don’t buy on someone’s word, do your research to make sure you aren’t getting taken advantage of.
- Furniture that needs a lot of rehab to make it usable. The true cost of recovering furniture professional is really expensive, see my thrift store chair makeover here. Unless you are versed in it, it’s not an easy weekend project nor is it rarely cheaper than buying something a little better off.
- Excessively stained clothing/ fabric. Stains rarely come out, and yellowed fabric means the clothing wasn’t preserved properly so it won’t clean up well.
- Anything with a smell. If it has a smell at the antique shop, it’s going to have a smell at your home.
- Avoid buying anything that looks like it has water damage. Mildew & mold can be easily covered with paint but will destroy your item from the inside if not treated properly.
Scott Antique Market in Atlanta is an awesome way to spend a long weekend. It’s one of my favorite pastimes and I always look forward to scouring out new goodies on my trips there. You will have the most success when you go there with a creative, open mind, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty looking for the things you really want.
P.S. if you get hungry while shopping there is ONE place you need to eat at and that is the Greek place in the back right corner of the North building. Most of the food there is concession stand-esque, but this Greek place is fantastic. We’ve had the full menu, definitely get the tabouli, hummus and save room for a slice of baklava.