How to Become a Flea Market Shopping Pro

flea market shoppingSummer is here, and it’s the perfect time to head to the flea market.  I love finding bargains or negotiating a good deal.  Flea markets are popular on the week-ends in most cities or towns.  There are indoor markets that are open during the week as well. Check your local listing for hours.

In addition to flea markets, there are farmer’s markets.  Farmer’s markets have a heavy emphasis on fresh produce and organic items.  However, there are other flea markets that focus on everything from tools to antiques. No matter where you live, city or country, there’s a flea market nearby.

Here’s a few tips to help you successfully score a haul on your next trip:

  1. Arrive Early – In my experience, you find the best deals when your arrive early.  Quality items are items are still available, and ready for a new home.  You can also find deals in the afternoon.  Many dealers don’t want to pack up their wares, so they are willing to lower prices.
  2. Wear Comfortable Clothing and Shoes  – In the summer, lightweight clothes is a must.  Walking shoes are suggested rather than flip flops.  However, if your feet and legs can withstand those cute flip flops go for it.  I would dress in layers during cooler weather.  You can always take off a jacket or sweater or put one on.
  3. Bring Water and Snacks – It’s important to stay hydrated during hot, summer months.  Most flea markets will have vendors, but if you want to save a few buck bring a tote and pack a few bottles of water
  4. Take Cash – Money talks.  Vendors would prefer cash rather than running a credit card.
  5. Make Quick Decision on Purchases – Delaying making a purchase could cost you that item that you have your eye on.  If you’re connecting with an it, take it home.
  6. Make Sure You Can Haul Your Goods – Make a list of items that you would like to obtain, and determine if you will need a truck to haul your goods. With most vendors, you are immediately responsible for your purchases once the transaction is made.  Some vendors will deliver for an additional fee.
  7. Don’t Be Afraid of Items That Need Repairs – If you see a piece of furniture that has good bones, but has scratches, dings, weak legs or needs the seat replaced, don’t run.  These items can be repaired.
  8. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate – Most vendors are willing to lower their prices if your offer is within reason.
  9. Check out Vendors Who Are Packing Up
  10. Try to Bundle Items – If you find several items that you want to purchase from the same vendor ask if they will give you both items for a particular price.  Most will be willing to give a great deal to move several pieces.

So, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and get ready to grab some great deals at your local flea market.  You may also like Auction Tips for Beginners.