Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Tips for Flea Market Shopping!

On Sunday, Anne from The City Sage asked me to share some of my tips for Flea Market Shopping with her readers and I was thrilled! After all, I have learned A LOT in the last year, and it felt great to share my flea-market-know-how with all of you.

So, as an encore, here are my tips for Flea Market Shopping!

*Leave the house wearing comfy clothes and appropriate shoes! You might be walking on loose gravel (or worse, mud!) and you don't want to be wearing fancy sandals.

*Bring some reusable canvas totes. The vendors at the flea market don't always have plastic bags to package your goods. I like to bring extra bags so I know that everything will be safe, and I will be comfortable carrying everything around. If you really want to go the extra mile, bring a section of the newspaper for safe wrapping.

*Make sure you have ample storage space in your vehicle (and maybe a blanket or two)! You might come home with two small bags, and you might come home with two chairs! Leave room in your car for the unexpected.

*Parking! When you get to the flea market, remember where you parked. You might need to make a couple of trips to the car if you buy a large item.

*Bring plenty of cash. I always bring more than I think I will need (just in case you spot that treasured piece you can't go home without. You don't want to be left with an empty wallet). Then, separate your cash into different pockets, or sections in your wallet. This helps me stay on track with my spending and also serves as a valuable negotiating tactic.  You don't want to pull out a wad of $20s when you are paying for a $5.00 item. Keep most of your money hidden.

*Be polite to vendors. Say hello and smile. You'd be surprised how far common courtesy will get you.

*Don't get too excited. If you spot something that you are interested in, don't act like you've struck gold! Calmly ask for a price. If you seem overly interested or too excited, vendors may think that they can get more money for the piece, and they might even raise the price.

*When negotiating, do NOT insult the vendor on pricing. Learn from me, I have done this before and it's not a good thing. A good rule of thumb is offer about 25% to 30% less than the asking price. You may need to meet somewhere in the middle.

*Pick it up! If you see that one item that you have to have, pick it up! You are touching it, it's yours until you can make a deal (but still remain calm). If you leave it sitting there while inquiring about a price, some other lucky person may snatch it up!

Read my tips with Anne HERE. Thank you, Anne!


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Barbara@HausDesign said...

I know this is an old post but I just came across your blog today and then found this post - great tips and good reminders for things I have forgotten in the past! I thought you might like to read my recent post about a flea market near to me here in Munich: Hope you like it! Love your blog and will follow going forward!

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