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Flea Market Secrets: Tips for the Best Shopping Experience

At our markets, we want you to be set up for success! Take it from the dedicated fleasters: the best shopping experience takes preparation. Lucky for you, we’ve got seven tips to make your next flea market a dream come true.

1. Be Prepared

There's nothing quite like the feeling of being unprepared. With the added stress, it can steal away from the joy of shopping. So, come with a list of what you’re looking for! No matter the weather or location, these markets are always bustling. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, carry an umbrella and water bottle, and most importantly, bring a wagon to transport all the treasures you discover. Also, bring along a tape measure if you are looking for furniture to fit a specific space in your home.

2. Get There Early

The best pieces get snatched up FAST. It really is true that the early bird gets the worm, and many pieces get carried away at the very beginning of the market. With that in mind, if you want it, seize the opportunity to purchase it. Chances are, when you come back to make the decision, it will have vanished. The prized item will become the tale you share with your grandchildren — the one that got away.

3. Bring Cash

Yeah, we know. It’s the technology age and you don’t carry cash. Well, for one, it’ll be easier to negotiate if you have cash. This means no extra fees for the vendors, and they’re fans of that! Bring a small purse or sling bag that makes it easy for you to shop with both hands and your money on you. Some markets even have ATMs on site if you run low on cash.

4. Grab a Business Card

With so many vendors, markets can get confusing. When you come across a booth you might want to come back to, grab their business card and write down their booth number so you can easily find them again. Another option is to take a photo of their booth so you can remember the location. Why else should you remember the vendors? You may want to buy something after the market is over. There’s no reason you can’t continue to support your favorite small business vendors.

5. Engage with the Vendors

Find a unique item and want to know more about it? Ask the vendor! Many vintage and antique pieces could have a great story, and that’s what makes a successful flea market shopping experience. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to find a connection to these older treasures. Most of all, remember the vendors are happy you’re there and want to interact with you.

6. Be Courteous

Always be respectful of the vendors’ items. It’s okay to ask, “What is your best price?” instead of offering $5 for a $50 item. The vendors work hard sourcing and selling, and they need to make a profit to make a living. It’s fun to negotiate as long as it is respectful.

7. Get Tickets in Advance

Buy your tickets in advance and get into the flea market quicker. Most markets will have a separate line for pre-purchased tickets that walk right in instead of having to wait in the cash line to purchase tickets. The quicker you’re in, the quicker you get to find treasures. If you’re looking to beat the line at our Fall Market, tickets are on sale now!

Do these tips have you ready to go on your next flea market adventure? If so, happy treasure hunting and remember to stop for a bite to eat, grab a drink, and take some time to enjoy the live music or entertainment many flea markets offer. Make it a day with your besties and who knows, it may become a yearly tradition!


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