Date: Jan 20, 2020

Vendor Spotlight: Trader Bob's MUSIC

By Lora Gates

A little hidden secret (open year-round) inside the Shipshewana Misc. & Antique Auction building is a flea market style music shop called Trader Bob’s MUSIC. A perfect stop for all things music and open every Wednesday in Shipshewana, IN.


Young, female, red-headed shopper buying a guitar at Trader Bob's Music inside Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market in Shipshewana, IN


When I promised my daughter a guitar for her sixteenth birthday, there was no other place I would go than Trader Bob’s which is open year-round in the South lean of Shipshewana’s weekly Misc. & Antique Auction. Trader Bob calls Shipshewana Auction home every Wednesday year-round and also on Tuesdays from May through September during Shipshewana’s Outdoor Flea Market Season.


Young, female, red-headed shopper buying a guitar at Trader Bob's Music inside Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market in Shipshewana, IN


Early one morning the week after her birthday, at 7 am, we made our way out to the auction barn and Bob helped her select an instrument that was the right fit for her. He really encouraged her to hold the instruments and get a feel for the one that felt most comfortable so that as she begins learning to play, it would feel right as she’d be more relaxed and the easier it would be for her to learn.


Guitars pictured at Trader Bob's Music inside Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market in Shipshewana, IN


Bob’s love of music inspired him to sell guitars and other music-related products. He enjoys taking old guitars and getting them to their optimal working condition whatever that may be. Just like us, age and condition make that a little different for each “6-string”. 😊 He works with all the adjustments for each instrument making them the best they can be, some of them dating as far back as the late 1800’s.


She looked at so many different styles, ages, and colors. I had no idea that some had different size necks, different shaped bodies and with or without the ability to connect to an amplifier. Once he understood her wants, together, they found just the right one. She selected a tuner and a stand and the guitar and got it all paid for and loaded up and she wasn’t even late for school!


Guitars pictured at Trader Bob's Music inside Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market in Shipshewana, IN


Trader Bob carries stringed instruments, horns when he has them, parts, amplifiers, guitar stands, music books, dulcimers, or just about anything music related. All of his instruments are given a little TLC so they can be purchased and taken home to create music for the new owner of an old treasure.


Why Did You Choose to Sell Musical Instruments?

Bob says, “My love for music is why I sell music products. My whole life, I always wanted to learn to play something but thought I had to know how to read music. Finally, about 7 years ago I realized you could learn to play dulcimer without having to know how to read music. Since then I went on to take guitar lessons.” Bob continued, “The business continues to grow and I love what I do.”


Shipshewana Hotel Farmstead Inn


What advice do you have for someone wanting to start selling for themselves?

Bob stated, “New vendors should find a niche, something someone else doesn’t offer, and ultimately something you love.” I loved meeting Bob, learning about how his love for music got him started in this small business and how he finally made his dream of wanting to play on his own a reality with a little persistence and some lessons. We could have gone to a box store and purchased an instrument but wouldn’t have gotten the chance to meet Trader Bob, a small business owner selling in Shipshewana.


Just next to Trader Bob, John & Carolyn Begly’s flea market booth promotes booking magic shows in which John shares the Gospel. He shares this message all over the Midwest through magic and Illusions 2 Illustrate the Gospel of Christ. His booth features magic items and flea market type items. They pick items throughout the year and bring them to sell on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during market season and every Wednesday year-round in the South lean of the Misc. & Antique Auction building.


Flea market booth inside Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market in Shipshewana, IN


Guitars, magic and flea market finds aren’t the only treasure you’ll find at Shipshewana Auction weekly. If you love antiquing, this HUGE barn is the place for you. It is filled each Wednesday with a variety of antiques, collectibles, glassware, farmhouse, primitives, architectural salvage, advertising signs, toys, art, furniture and more. Sellers from all over the United States bring their picks and finds to sell at Shipshewana Auction year-round.


Antique crocks and other items for sale inside Shipshewana Auction in Shipshewana, IN


Don’t forget to fuel up in the snack bar while your bidding and shopping as well. The snack bar has locally made donuts, hand made biscuits and gravy, Sloppy Joe, polish sausage and more to keep you energized so you don’t have to worry about missing a thing in the sale with good tasting food at hand.


Food being served inside Shipshewana Auction in Shipshewana, IN


To learn more about planning your stay in Shipshewana, download the FREE Shipshewana Trip Planner and with so much to do you can make it an overnight and stay at the Farmstead Inn & Conference Center just across the street.


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