The most exciting part about attending flea markets is the tresure hunt, finding something truly special for less. As someone who visits flea markets pretty often I have my personal best tips which make the shopping experience more enjoyable and increase the possibility of getting unique pieces before everyone else!
How many times have you visited the flea market and left disappointed and empty-handed? (me – too many!)
If it happened at least once, read my 9 tips below to make sure next time you go hunting, you come back with some gorgeous, little tresures.
1. Go early
That’s probably the most important tip which is a game changer. Being one of the first strolling through the flea market will ensure getting to the hidden treasures first, so even if you are not an early bird (like me), this one time you can do it!
2. Come back just before closing
Many times we spot an amazing item with a very high price tag, if you can risk, wait until the end of the market (last day or last hour) to stop by again and aks for a bigger discount. The vendors might be more open to negotiation.
3. Be kind and negotiate
Always be kind and ask for a discount. Flea markets are made to bargain so don’t be shy to ask for 15-20% off.
4. Bring cash
You never know what you will find, bring enough cash to be ready for unexpected treasure find.
5. Chat and make friends
If you attend the same flea markets regulary, it’s good to become friends with your favourite sellers. Chat to them about what you like, what you are looking for. They will remember you and know what to offer you next time you show up, they might even get something special for you, not to mention be willing to offer a bigger discount.
6. Pick up
From my experience, here in Italy you can arrange a later paid pick-up in case of heavy items so you don’t need to carry them with you all day long. just make sure to be clear about the pick-up time so that the seller doesn’t leave before you return.
7. If you love it, buy it NOW
Some items we find just spark so much joy we instantly know, we can’t live without them. That’s a sign you should get it immediately because there is a chance someone else will love it too and buy it before you make up your mind.
8. Develop your flea market style
Knowing what we are looking for makes the time at the flea market much more productive, as we quickly scan through the stands, searching for our ‘thing’. It also helps to be informed about your objects of interest, prices, restoration process, how to verify whether it’s original or a reproduction. My husband always looks for unique books, mainly navy and aeronautics, me on the other hand focus on…well yes, home/decoration objects mainly pottery, small furniture (that was predictable!)
9. Be ready for a surprise find
Even though I am an interior junkie and hardly ever come close to the fashion stands at the flea markets, I did find at one of them the iconic 1969 Paco Rabanne bag (1st edition as I varified later on in their flag store) It was the biggest flea market bergain of my life and a truly special tresure to find.
Do you visit flea markets? What do you usually look for? Any personal tips?
Pictures: Agata Dimmich / PASSIONSHAKE