- In a tough economy people tend to scale back on buying luxury itemsÖlike antiques.
So how do antique dealers keep their business thriving?
Ted Slaton, Antique Dealer, one of the vendors at the Eagle River Antique and Show Sale said," I think itís really important to know what market is happening and fill in to that market. You have to sometimes transition from how things used to be to how things are and thatís what weíre doing. This business hasnít really declined itís transitioned."
With nearly three decades in the businesses Ted draws in customers by collecting unusual pieces.
Slaton said, "You have to be really diverse in this business. People are looking for unique, rare, different items."
Among his rare collectables an early 1900ís ACME oil filter. The piece is rare because ACME purchased Standard Oil in 1911.
Itís selling for $595.
And for $995, he has a 1930ís Coca Cola ice box.
Slaton is one 26 dealers who had a booth at this yearís Eagle River Antique Show and Sale.
The event has been a tradition for 20 years and attracts dealers and customers from all over the Midwest.
In a slow economy, the number of vendors has declined in recent years.
The Show Manager, Steve Bina, said "If you specializes just in tin ware and there arenít any tin ware collectors in your area, youíre going to be in trouble."
Mary Lou and Bob Gates sell glass and crystal ware but what makes their businesses so successful is that they also repair them with a special machine that they bring with them to every show.
"Whatís so great about when we do come to the antique shows we do up in Wisconsin we bring our little machines so itís always repairing while you shop. Girls know to drop their items off before they shop the show and by the time they walk the show, Bob has most of the items repaired," said Mary Lou Gates.
The two day event attracted about a thousand customers, a sign the antique business is doing well.
"Itís a unique setting because of the Northwoods atmosphere. You get items here that you wouldnít normally see in many shows especially in the metropolitan areas," Bina said.