In honor of National Thrift Shop Day (shoutout to our ShopBando planners for pointing that out!) we’re sharing 5 tips to help you score big at the next flea market. Thrifting for vintage pieces and one of a kind items is one of our favorite things to do on the weekends.
1. Get there EARLY! We can’t stress this one enough, the earlier you get there the better the chances are of finding something you really want! The best stuff goes right away so beat the crowds by getting there when they open. Research the market before you go as some of them offer early admittance for a small fee.
2. Be prepared to barter. Start by asking for half the price you are willing to pay, and let the seller come back with a negotiated price. Be careful not to haggle too low that you insult the seller, you could end up ruining your chances for a better deal! If you are still unhappy with the price, let the vendor know you will think about it, they may end up offering a price you are happy with before they let you walk away.
3. Bring cash in small denominations, and bring more than you think you will need (incase you find that can’t-live-without item). This is important when it comes to bartering with the seller, you shouldn’t say you only have $20 dollars and then hand them a $50 bill and ask for change. Some sellers allow you to use credit cards or checks, but to be safe we suggest carrying cash.
4. Figure out what you are looking for before you visit! Write down a list of things you want to find so you aren’t overwhelmed in the moment. If you are looking for specific pieces, write down the dimensions and bring them with you, don’t forget a measuring tape so you can double check the size before buying! There is nothing worse than buying something only to find out it doesn’t fit when you get home.
5. Ask the vendor for more information on additional products or offsite facilities, they usually have an inventory of hidden treasures in storage! Some of the vendors run small shops or online stores as well, so always ask for business cards and more information! We’ve found some of our favorite vendors that we work with regularly through connections at flea markets.
We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing a few shopping bags or a small cart if you have one. Check the weather ahead of time so you can dress accordingly. Most importantly be creative and keep an open mind to pieces that could use a little elbow grease, think about what you could repurpose for your next DIY project!