No..I didn't get to go the flea market this weekend. Had to work...ho-hum.
I spent Sunday at the shop and since it was a gorgeous sunny day, we didn't get much traffic. I think everyone was at the beach! I had some time to read a few magazines, and wanted to share with you a few tips on flea market shopping in this months 100 Ideas Flea Market Style, along with a few of my own.
So Before you Go...
I think the 3 most important things to remember are :
#1 Arrive early!
It's true.. I have seen some of the best finds leaving the gates within 30 minutes after they open. I have friends who arrive before dawn with flashlights, but that's a bit too early for my taste.
#2 Go with your GUT
If you see something that you absolutely LOVE..buy it. If you leave it, you may be sorry that you did.
#3 Emergency Cash
Bring a little more than you think you will really need, but fold it in your secret hiding spot and only use in case of EMERGENCY!
Don't forget to pack...
*Water & Snacks ~ There may be snack bars, but who wants to waste precious time in line. BYOW !
* Sunscreen , Sunglasses, Hat & Cell Phone ~ Even though it starts early, it can be hot by 8am in California. Always be prepared. :) If you go with a friend, you can always check in with them to help you decide..do I really need this? That's what friends are for. :)
*Tape Measure ~ Of course it would be nice to know if that special find will fit into your home (or car), but did that ever stop me from buying something? No.
*Magnet & Jewelers Loupe ~ If it's made of precious metal like silver, a magnet will not stick. A jewelers loupe is handy for checking hallmarks.
*Notebook ~ I don't know how many times I've made a purchase and forgot to write down the dealers space. I wish I had remembered my little notepad. You may want to take down a dealer's name and number for future contact!
*Packing materials ~ Don't you hate it when you buy something fragile and the seller has nothing to wrap it in? Well, I always bring a few thin sheets of bubble wrap, just for those occasions. I always put in some paper grocery bags at the bottom of my shopping cart.
*CASH ~ Bring plenty because you never know what you might find and have to leave behind. Most dealers frown on checks and some fleas have ATM's if you really get in a bind.
Dealing with the Dealers
* Be Polite ~ It really does pay to be polite. If you ask the price and it seems a bit high, don't reply with an eye roll and just walk away. Simply ask the seller, "Is this your best price?" 9 times out of 10 , they actually will give you a better price. If it isn't what you want to pay, a simple thank you would be nice before walking away. Come back at the end of the day. They may give it to you for less if they don't want to pack it back up.
* Bargaining Power ~ If you purchase more than one item from the same vendor, chances are you will get a break in price. And never ask for a discount after you’ve decided to purchase something. It might be a little too late.
...don't forget to buy yourself a bouquet of pretty flowers on the way out.
After all, you deserve it!
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