Just like any good athlete, you need to warm up before the big game. In order to have a successful performance, you need to put in some time during this crucial preparation phase. Here’s what that entails before your first big flea market trip.
1. The Gameplan: Grab a small notebook that will fit in your purse or bag. We suggest you write down a list of all of the treasures that you’re keeping an eye out for. It’s also important to write down some measurements. For example, if you’re hunting for a new dresser, you’ll want to measure your space at home and have those measurements written down in your notebook.
2. Cash is King: Some vendors do accept cash, debit, and credit cards. But trust us, you don’t want to be that person holding up the line. You’ll have more bargaining power if you have cash in your hand when negotiating with a vendor. Be sure to hit the ATM before the big day.
3. Equipment: You wouldn’t show up to play baseball without your bat, gloves, and cleats. Thrifting is the same. You need to have your “equipment” ready to go. Here’s a good list of supplies…
-newspaper (to wrap up any fragile purchases)
-an empty bag or small collapsible cart (for storing your finds)
-snack & water (keep hydrated and fuel up to keep on going!)
Okay, so you followed the warm-up and you’re now ready for the game to begin. Here are some tips for a winning flea market trip.
1. Set your Alarm: The saying “the early bird gets the worm,” definitely applies here. Get there early and beat the afternoon crowds. Browsing with a coffee in hand is our favorite way to shop!
2. Do a Lap (or 2): It may be a good idea to get the lay of the land at the flea market. Peruse each aisle just to see what is being offered. That way you can plan your day accordingly. This may not be applicable at every flea market (some are sooooo huge!), but if it’s a smaller space feel free to roam.
3. Don’t Hesitate: If you hesitate about a purchase, there is a good chance the piece won’t be there when you get back. If you’re in L-O-V-E…take the plunge, and go for it!
4. Negotiate: Here’s something we really need to drill into your head. Flea market dealers expect you to negotiate…so go for it! We know it can seem strange to haggle over a few dollars, but we’re telling you most vendors really enjoy that part of the process! It may seem scary at first, but after bargaining a few times you will be a natural. Here are some tips for any negotiating newbies…
-Don’t show your excitement over a piece.
-Never admit how much you love something, because that weakens your negotiating power.
-Remain calm and casually ask for the price
-Here are 2 wonderful lines to have in your arsenal…
“Is that your best price?” & “Can you do any better?”
Great job…you’ve scored some fabulous deals and now have unique goodies for your home! We just have some final tips to really make your trip a home run.
1. Bring the big “guns”: Look at Bridget’s dad being such a gentleman. He came along for our flea market shopping trip and kindly offered to carry all of our scores. What a guy! It never hurts to have an extra helper (or two) to help carry all of your new treasures.
2. Sliding into Home: You need to make sure there is plenty of room in your car when hitting up a flea market. That may mean that you and your shopping buddy drive separate vehicles. It would be a shame to find the perfect item, and have to pass it up because your backseat is filled with people. Sorry friends…flea market finds take precedence over you today!