Merchants Attic attracts bargain hunters and treasure seekers this weekend

by Michael Short on February 24, 2011

 

By Michael Short

It might be the biggest garage sale in the state.

Treasure hunters will descend on the Merchants Attic II held at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center on Saturday, Feb. 19.

You can find almost anything. It’s part mom and pop yard sale, part collectibles and part local businesses offering their unique wares.

Some 33 vendors or businesses will set up shop in the Convention Center for four hours on Saturday, attracting bargain hunters and savvy shoppers alike. There may be coins, buttons, furniture, clothing, glassware, books or almost anything else one can imagine. Sometimes vendors bring picture of items too big to easily move around the Convention Center, items like dining room sets or other furniture.

The Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce started this event more than a decade ago during the traditionally slow winter months. Chamber President Carol Everhart explained that the Merchants Attic helped local chamber members during a slow period between the Christmas season and the arrival of tourists each spring.

It was also a chance for local merchants to sell some of their stock, so that they could make room for new merchandise and new items for the coming busy season.

But since then, the resort has continued to become more of a year round destinations with less and less downtime in the off season. Merchants are also no longer in as much need to move their wares to make room for new merchandise.

Everhart said that’s due in part to the increase in popularity of sidewalk sales. The result is that it’s no longer just a place for local chamber members to sell their wares.

There are still businesses which take part and Everhart estimates that about one third of the approximately 33 vendor spaces will belong to local businesses. This year, some of them include Odysea, Ruddo’s Golf and Midway Par 3.

But the rest of the spaces will be taken up by mom and pop style garage sale booths offering a little bit of everything or collectibles like books, buttons, dolls etc.

You aren’t likely to find any upside down airplane stamps or other million dollar finds, but you never know. Everhart remembers one customer finding a rare coin in her purchase.

“Pop in and see if you can find a treasure,” she suggests. “Anything is possible.”

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and there is often a waiting line to get inside for the four-hour long Merchants Attic II. There is no admission charge, but donations to support the Chamber’s Event Fund are gratefully accepted.

“It’s really diverse,” Everhart said. “I have actually seen the kitchen sink there.”

“There’s a lot of treasure hunters out there and bargain hunters also.”

For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 227-6446 or visit the Chamber’s website at www.beach-fun.com.

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