The woman in front of me wasn't budging. “£5 is all I can afford,” she said.
I gave in, not cut-out for this haggling lark, and happily wrapped the beautiful vintage coffee pot for her to take home.
Since green is the new black in these credit-crunching times, and recycling beats buying new, I jumped at the chance to take part in Belfast's biggest shopping phenomenon — Northern Ireland's leading vintage fair, Frock Around The Clock.
Organised by local vintage queen, Becky Moore, the fairs have become so popular that more than 1,000 people (and that doesn't include the number of children there) attended the last one, which took place on February 15 in Belfast's Wellington Park Hotel.
Being a dedicated recycler and green living person — not to mention an enthusiastic ‘recessionista’ and vintage collector — I was there at my stall selling 1950s, 60s and 70s vintage homeware and clothes.
Having bought and sold vintage goods on ebay for a number of years, my hubby and I still had an attic full of items that we had still to sell.
So what better way of doing something different on a Sunday, and making a bit of money into the bargain, than by joining the other exhibitors — everyone from vintage clothes sellers to local young jewellery designers — and be part of Belfast's biggest shopping revolution!
Exhibitors turned up from as far away as Dublin and Londonderry, selling everything from clothing to reclaimed and antique furniture, ceramics, jewellery, silver, vintage comics and vinyl records, from decades gone by.
As soon as the doors opened, people started to flood in, and my hubby and I had made several sales within the first half hour.
Best of all was the chance to talk to people and learn about their interest in vintage.
One lady was buying a 1950s tea cup and saucer for her elderly mother, who sensibly “preferred bone china to modern mugs”, and we sold a psychedelic 1960s handbag to a girl who was sporting a matching dress in the same material.
It really was ‘the place to be', with a jazz band providing the music and swing dancers showing-off their moves.
Visitors also had the opportunity to get a vintage make-over and retro hair-do, or simply watch the hair and make-up demonstrations.
An impressive number of people also made the effort to dress up in their finest vintage gear, showcasing an array of different styles.
The next Frock Around The Clock vintage fair takes place this Sunday, May 10, at the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast, between 11am and 4.30pm.
Entrance is payable at the door on the day — £5 for adults, £3.50 for students with ID, while accompanied children under 16 years go free.
If you want to get in touch with Becky about exhibiting at future fairs — there are fairs booked for September 13 and November 29 — contact her by
email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
And for more information on all things vintage, log-on to Becky's website at www.northernirelandvintage.com and sign up for her free fortnightly e-newsletter.