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Date: Dec 30, 2016

Company Update: A Look at the New Year

The new year is an exciting time for everyone at Shipshewana Trading Place Auction & Flea Market in Shipshewana, Indiana. While the staff in the office works on planning new events and improving customer and seller experiences, flea market vendors are busy getting their products ready for the next outdoor season.

As we look to the new year, we wanted to take the time to look back at everything we've accomplished together in 2016, and also update you on what we have up our sleeves for the new year.

Here's a quick glance at what we've done this year and what you can look forward to in Shipshewana for 2017.

New events for year-round shopping

Throughout the years, we've heard from many customers and sellers who are looking for year-round or weekend shopping events in Shipshewana, due to the flea market being a seasonal, Tuesday & Wednesday market. When we hosted our first ever craft & vintage indoor market series in October and December this year, we began to do just that.

We plan to continue to build on new events in 2017, hosting our Ship-Chic Craft & Vintage Shows in October and December again, plus, adding Satruday outdoor swap meets, an ongoing weekend "Shipshewana Across the Road" indoor marketplace at the new Farmstead Expo Barn (formerly the Antique Mall), and a Saturday specialty catalogued antique auction.

We now have space to host these new events, because this year, we made the tough business decision to close the antique mall and to make it into an event facility. The decision was long and difficult. A lot of factors, of course, were considered. And although we miss our amazing antique dealers and the daily operations of the mall, we are so looking forward to the new auctions, fall indoor marketplace, antique markets, and event rentals that will take place in the new Farmstead Expo Barn.

Reaching unique vendors

Our flea market shoppers have a desire for quality and unique products. Everyone wants to show off their perfect "flea market find." That is why we've focused on reaching and obtaining new, quality flea market vendors. Having a huge variety of merchandise in the flea market has always been a top priority for Shipshewana Trading Place, but this year, we are putting forth extra effort to attract vendors with items that have been especially popular as of late (i.e. repurposed items, antiques, furniture, handmade and local goods.) 

So how are we doing that? 

At the flea market this year, we will be featuring special "themed" vendors from week to week in the Exhibition Area. You could say it will be like a pop-up market within the flea market. The weekly themed vendor exhibition market will begin in June, and will allow shoppers to find the more unique and interesting items in one place, rather than having to search around the entire grounds (although those vendors will likely still be located throughout the flea market as well.) Here's the tentative schedule for featured themed vendor market:

  • First week of each month: Upcycled/Repurposed
  • Second week of each month: Handmade/Local
  • Third week of each month: Jewelry & Boutique Clothing
  • Fourth week of each month: Antiques & Collectibles

More customer tools

This year, we launched a brand-new Shipshewana mobile app, a hub that enables flea market shoppers to search and save vendors based on products. The free app also has accurate and up-to-date directions, event information, deals, and auction reports. We will improve our flea market vendor directory next season by making product listings available on our website's directory, as well as making our classic print directory more user-friendly. 

We've also improved communication to our customers by creating a flea market Facebook group exclusive to current vendors and also a Facebook group for our Shipshewana livestock auction community.

Expanding Auction Capabilities

Being no stranger to auctions, (we've been hosting weekly auctions since 1922), we decided that 2017 is the time to expand our auction events by adding brand new specialty sales to our event calendar. We will partner with Kraft Auction Service for three brand new auctions, which will feature amenities that our buyers and sellers may not be used to such as:

  • Both live and online bidding
  • Catalogued auction
  • Item storage available
  • Weekend sale dates
  • High-end items

These sales will be held in the new Farmstead Expo Barn. Plan to attend the auctions on these dates:

  • Saturday, March 18, 2017: Antique Specialty Catalogued Sale - 9 am
  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017: Antique Catalogued Toy Auction - 6:30 pm
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017: Antique Catalogued Toy Auction - 6:30 pm

Serving RV-ers

On a completely different side of Shipshewana Trading Place's business offering spectrum, we opened up a new, state-of-the-art Shipshewana RV serivce center next to the RV Park on the south side of the flea market. The service center is in line with a growing trend for families who like to get away in their RVs. 

The modern facility has 11 service bays plus something unique - a rain bay. The rain bay can dump almost 200 gallons of water per minute on an RV to check for leaks. The service center is now open and taking appointments for service on both the inside and outside of the unit. It also features a 1500 sq. ft. store for all of your camping supply needs.


The long-term plan is to add 94 full-hookup RV Spots to the existing campground, and maybe even host some RV rally events. 

Improved Facilities

In 2016, we switched over every lightbulb in our entire facility (flea market booths, auction buildings, offices, etc.) to LED bulbs. This saves money, conserves energy and helps the environment. It was a long process, but we know it will help us continue to becoming more efficient for years to come!

We've also done some major renovations in our offices and in the Auction Restaurant. Have you gotten the chance to see the chalkboard animals yet?

In 2017, we will be focusing on making improvements to the Farmstead Inn. Expect new bedcovers, valences, and a gorgeous barn mural in the hot tub/ indoor pool area soon!

These highlights, while only a small taste of what we've been up to, represent how much we value and care about achieving our mission of providing efficient and satisfying buyer and seller experiences in Shipshewana. We look forward to sharing more details of these plans in coming news.

From all of us at Shipshewana Trading Place (Auction, Flea Market, Farmstead, Restaurant, RV), we wish you all the best for 2017. Thanks for your continued support of our family-owned business.

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