They lovingly refer to me as the “Flea Market Girl” at my local swap meet. I ALWAYS find something! Here are my go-to-tips:
The Early Bird Gets The Worm
This one is obvious and honestly the hardest one for me since I am NOT a morning person! I love to sleep-in on the weekends and most of the time I don’t even get to the flea market until around 10am. Whenever I do arrive early it has paid off! It’s not as busy and of course it’s less picked over. I will say that if you go later in the day you are more likely to get a deal since the dealers don’t want to pack it back up.
Cash Is King
Dealers are more willing to haggle with you if you are paying with cash; plus not everyone accepts cards at flea markets. Always bring smaller bills and whenever possible pay with exact change – they always like that!
You Get More Bees With Honey
This is my go-to-tip and one that a ton of people don’t follow. It’s so easy to be a kind human. Just be nice… say good morning before you ask for their best price on something, compliment their set-up, listen to their story about a particular piece, remember their name… easy stuff people! Kindness goes a long way.
Make Quick Decisions
If you see something you like and it’s a good deal then you better get it! These markets are usually fast-paced and well attended. By the time you do a lap and think about a purchase, it could be gone by the time you circle back and IT WILL HAUNT YOU! Trust me on that!
Bring A Bag or Cart For Your Finds
This is a must! There is nothing worse then lugging around your finds without something to put them in and having to make several trips to your car. You can usually leave something you’ve purchased with the vendor and swing by to pick it up later, but then you have to remember where they are set up. I have driven away and forgotten to pick up a piece before and it’s the worse feeling. DON’T DO THAT!
Don’t Be Afraid To Dig
I have a great eye for what I’m looking for and I can typically walk fast and scan a booth or table pretty quickly. Of course this saves time, but I am risking missing out on a treasure because I didn’t take my time to dig through boxes. If you have time, I recommend doing two laps. Walk fast and scan the first time, buying your must-haves. Slow down on the second lap and do some digging.
Happy hunting y’all!