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How To Cope With A Home Show

August 18, 1990|ROBERT OSTMANN JR.

Making your way through the 1,200 exhibits and 13 acres of the 36th Annual Southern California Home and Garden Show can be a bewildering, overwhelming, disorienting, exhausting experience. But, by following a few tips, it can be a lot of fun, too.

Get a map. Any compendium of home-show advice has to begin with this: Don't take a step inside until you've taken your bearings, know where you are and where your car is, and have established some easy-to-spot rendezvous points in case you or a loved one become swept away in the tide of browsers.

Go on a weekday afternoon if at all possible. Evenings after dinner and weekends are like New York City sidewalks at quitting time.

If you are interested in some special product, say, roofing material, plot your course through the exhibit halls. Anybody who's anybody in the roofing business will be in the show, and they will probably all be situated in more or less the same general vicinity. Make an itinerary and try to stick to it.

Don't buy anything you can't eat or carry in a small bag. Many vendors advise against committing to any high-ticket purchases in the rushed, pressured atmosphere of the show. If the salesperson tells you that the price on your item is a one-time-only-this-show-and-nowhere-else price, it probably is not. If a vendor wants your business on big purchases, you should have the opportunity to review the deal later at the vendor's place of business. It's always a good idea to determine if a vendor has a place of business, in case you need to track it down later.

Wear comfortable shoes.

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