Shop the Flea Market – Like a Pro

Unique and one-of-a-kind pieces make the most interesting homes ~

I’ve been told that I always have good luck at flea markets, but that is not always true! Going often, being patient and using these tips have helped.

I love the hunt of finding treasures, repurposing things and mixing old & new items.

We are lucky to have a flea market about 10 minutes away but I don’t mind making a drive to shop. I actually dream of driving across the country stopping at markets one day. Round Top is high on my wish list!

For now, I try to make efforts to shop resale locally and when I travel too. These kind of treasures make for the best souvenirs 🙂

Here are 8 tips to shop the flea market – like a PRO:

1. Make an offer if the price seems too high.

Many vendors expect this and will price higher for this reason. Don’t hesitate to do a quick internet search on your phone if you aren’t sure how something should be priced.

A reverse google image search works in some cases too! Take a photo of the item, upload to the google app and see if there is something comparable available on ebay, Charish or elsewhere. I do this for larger or more expensive items.

I only pay asking price when something is priced well (or not very expensive) AND I truly love it.

2. Bring Cash

It’s easier to barter with cash. Be sure to bring smaller bills too. Not every vendor will accept (or want to accept) a credit card.

3. The time of day matters

You know what they say…the early bird gets the worm. I like to go early to get first pick, and still have the rest of the day. It also seems to get busier as the day goes on.

However, it also is worth going at the end of the day too. Sometimes you’ll get a better deal because vendors may be more open to negoiating if they don’t want to pack everything up.

4. Bring water, a snack and a tote bag for smaller items.

5. Look at the SHAPE of furniture and keep an open mind if it has good bones.

Furniture can always be easily reupholstered and painted.

The shape will not change.

how to shop for furniture at flea markets

6. Ask makers if they take custom orders

Always take a business card if you like their work.

6. Make a list beforehand and know the measurements if you are looking for something specific.

Bring a measuring tape!

7. If you are drawn to something, keep an open mind…

Thinking creatively and of ways you can repurpose items pays off. I spotted these tiles at our local flea market last weekend and they reminded me of when I used similar ones in a clients home as artwork.

I love the texture that they add to this space. The unexpected pieces are always so interesting!

8. Flea Markets are more fun with friends ~

I love going with my mom and bouncing ideas around! It’s helpful to have another set of eyes too when looking.

Another important tip is be friendly! Remember that each vendor works hard to bring these items to the markets. It’s a lot of work. If you are genuinely interested in an item, ask questions, engage and maybe you’ll even get a better deal 🙂

What has been your favorite resale find?

Samantha Regan

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