This holiday weekend I’ve made it my goal to do some antique and flea market shopping. I’ve got the family on board and we’re going to make a day of it. Though we’ve been to a few in our area, we’ll be heading west to some unfamiliar towns and markets. Flea market shopping can be a bit overwhelming and I need to be prepared so I’ve put together this reminder list for myself.
If you’re headed out this weekend for some shopping here are some tips:
- Arrive early for the best selection. If you’re traveling far, like I am, this may be difficult. But if you are looking for a particular item you won’t want to miss out because someone else beat you to it. For general browsing this will be less important. Really confident and experienced shoppers (unlike me) may actually arrive late in the day and while selections will be slim, the best deals may be possible at that time.
- Dress appropriately. Mornings might be cool this time of year so you may want to dress in layers. Comfortable clothes and shoes especially are important for an all day shopping jaunt. You may also get dusty or dirty from handling objects, so leave the Sunday best at home.
- Bring measurement tools. A pencil, notepad, and tape measure are a must. Take measurements of your room, space or wall area you’re trying to fill. Nothing’s worse than buying a piece of furniture that won’t fit into your space! The notepad is also handy for writing down the name/number of a booth you may want to revisit later in the day.
- Money matters. It’s best to bring cash in small bills. Some vendors don’t accept credit cards. Having cash allows you to stick to a budget more easily. As far as haggling goes, yes it is acceptable within reason. You might try asking the vendor “Is this your best price?” to start negotiations.
- BYOB. That’s bring your own bags and blankets. Plastic or cloth tote bags are a very good idea to bring. If you anticipate purchasing several items and are concerned about lugging them around all day, a rolling basket or suitcase may do well. Plan on buying furniture? Don’t forget to bring blankets and maybe even some ropes or bungees to safely secure your pieces for the ride home.
Most markets have food and even some have entertainment, so enjoy your day out. Once you get home you can unpack your treasures and dream about their many possibilities. That’s why this month I’m recommending the book Flea Market Style to help you pull it all together. Have fun!