Funny Stories That Can Only Happen In The Antiques Trade

Just For Fun


In this fifth instalment of my Source Vintage Blog I thought, just for fun, it would be nice to share with you some of my favourite comments, stories and one-liners that I have witnessed myself, or been told, during my time working within the antiques trade. Now, some of these just wouldn't happen in any other trade! We love our customers and we wouldn't have them any other way. So thank you for making us smile!

I also want to say a special thank you to my dear friend and former colleague, Sue, who helped me compile this list. 

So, here we go. Sit back and enjoy!


1. I'll begin with a customer I served one day...

(Me) "Have you been downstairs..."

(Customer) "No, I didn't know there was a downstairs"

(Me) "Just head down the stairs there. If you need any help, there's a button at the bottom of the stairs, just hit it and I'll come down"

(Customer) "Great!"

20 minutes later the fire alarm goes off and we have to evacuate the entire centre, including the restaurant. We searched the premises and discovered no cause for alarm, so we invited everyone back in. The customer that I had been serving re-appeared...

(Customer) "Can I have a look at an item downstairs now, please. I hit the button at the bottom of the stairs, like you said, but nobody came down and then the fire alarm went off..."

(Me) "Which button did you hit, out of interest...?"

(Customer) "This one...?

And she struck the fire alarm...again...!!


2. Here's one for the Royal Crown Derby (RCD) collectors out there. A word of advice, make it clear you're looking for porcelain...

(Customer)  "Have you got crabs?"


3. This is a classic that never gets old...

(Customer) "Can you tell me how big my ring is?"
(Customer) "Can you clean my ring?"


4. This customer had bought an antique propelling pencil and returned with it the next day with this complaint...

(Customer) "I've been all round York and still haven't got any lead in my pencil!"


5. Another classic is when customers ask...

(Customer) "Are your Victorian rings second hand?"



7. Believe it or not, another regular occurrence is customers getting rings stuck on their fingers and then sucking their fingers to get the rings off. On one particular occasion, I couldn't see what was happening, I could only hear my colleague shouting...

(Sales Assistant) "Don't lick it!!  I'll put some cream on it! If you pull at it, it'll only swell...........!"


8. A customer was looking for a particular Royal Doulton figurine that she couldn't find, so the sales assistant asked one of the dealers...

(Sales Assistant) "Have you got a 'Dick Swiveller'?"

(Dealer) "Yes.........."

"It's a good trick if you can do it"

While another Royal Doulton collector announced...

(Customer) "I'm looking for a Curly Knob...!"


9. Customer looking at a ring...

(Customer) "Is it diamonds, or Pubic Zirconium?"


10. It's always a classic when customers return for items they have reserved...

(Customer) "I'm Mrs xxx. I'm the Marsh Tit"


(Customer) "I'm the Beswick Cow"


11. Customer was looking at a bronze statuette of the crucified Christ complete with Crown of Thorns...

(Customer) "Don't think I'll buy it... he looks too miserable...."


12. I just didn't know what to say...

(Customer) "This pearl cleaner..........does it clean pearls?"


(Customer) "The figurines in 'Restorers Corner'...........are they perfect?"


(Customer) "The Viennese bronzes...........are they foreign?"


13. A customer picks up a whisky flask...

(Customer) "How much is this whisky flask?"

(Sales Assistant) "£15"

(Customer) "Can I have the discount?"

(Sales Assistant) "No. Sorry. No discount on this" 

(Customer) "Can I take the stopper out?"

(Sales Assistant) "Yes, but there's no whisky in it"

The customer takes the stopper out and accidentally breaks it in half...

(Customer) "How much is it now?"

(Sales Assistant) "It's still £15!! " 

(Customer) "But it's broken.........." 


Well, that's it folks! I hope you've enjoyed this post. It's only a bit of fun and it's stories like these that make difficult days more enjoyable! Let me know your own stories, I'm sure you have a few!

Anyway, until next week, stay safe and keep buying those antiques!

Much love!



Owner Source Vintage

Shop from Source Vintage here

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment