Dying to go to a flea market and not sure where to start? I understand your excitement! It's a great time and you can find some amazing bargains. There are a few types of flea markets. Some are complete variety with everything under the sun you could want, including vintage. Then there are flea markets that specialize in just vintage and antiques. Today, the best way to find these markets is through Google or Facebook. Most local markets have pages where you can find out the particulars of where, what, when and how much to get in. Flea markets can be a free-for-all so you need to have your wits about you and be sharp. While there are plenty of great pieces, there can also be fakes and wannabes.
Flea Market Shopping Tips:
1. Be early. If you are there at the opening bell, your chances of getting the best are better! 2. Be sharp. There are lots of great authentic pieces, but fakes are plentiful too. Know before you buy. Read up on your favorite collecting subject; the more you learn the better you'll do. 3. Bring plenty of cash! Dealers today often take all forms of payment, but don't miss anything by making sure you have plenty with you. If you happen upon that one dealer who has your dream piece and they only accept cash, someone else can grab it while you are at the ATM. 4. Get to know vendors. Many dealers establish their business and space at markets. You can find them there monthly. Get to know them and tell them what you are looking for. Hunting down things for a living is a specialty of vendors and they want to help. 5. Don't be afraid to ask for a better deal. Be polite and reasonable. Don't offer less than 1/2 price for an item. Think 10% to 20%. If you ask the dealer for their best price, they may do better. It's always dependent on how much room a vendor has on the piece, but make no mistake, most are ready to deal! 6. Buy the best you can afford. Quality pieces stand the test of time. Be on the lookout and know what serious quality is in the category you collect. 7. Examine closely for damage. It's often dark or dim. Don't be afraid to pull out your iPhone flashlight or ask to take the piece outside or closer to a window to get a good look. Don't just depend on your eyes. Use your fingers to feel as you look. Be confident your piece is 100% whole and undamaged. Second hand shopping can unearth amazing things. The Vintage Garage is right around the corner, so start practicing now.