HOW TO SHOP AT AN ANTIQUE FLEA MARKET

Antique Flea Markets. Many of you have either been to one (or more) or have certainly heard of them.

French-Antique-Fairs-and-Flea-Markets

Round Top. Rose Bowl. Brimfield. Freemont. Randolph Street. Long Beach. Shipshewana.

The list goes on and on.

Attending a Flea Market can be a very fun and rewarding experience. But there are a few things you can do to make sure you have the most successful time ever.

brimfield-antiques-show

T E N   T H I N G S   T O   K N O W   B E F O R E   Y O U   S H O P   A T   A N    A N T I Q U E    F L E A    M A R K E T

1//  Be prepared and make a list of areas in your house that need an item from the flea market. Take measurements so you know sizes and dimensions. Take pictures of these areas in your house.

2// Go early. The good shoppers shop early. The merchandise is better and the crowds are fewer. The entrance price may be a bit more expensive but it is completely worth it.

3// Take a cart. I have a metal cart and I take it with me every time. A wagon also works. Just make sure you have somewhere to put your purchases so you don’t have to carry everything.

4// Leave your larger purchases with the seller and go back for them when you are done shopping. Just be sure to take a photo (with your phone) of the item and booth. And write down the booth number so you won’t have trouble finding it.

5// Shop the flea market twice. I always walk the first time around and look for specific items I have on my list. Then I go back again and shop a bit slower. It’s usually the second time around that I find the really good stuff.

RB flea market

6// Negotiate. But do it nicely. If an item is listed at $100, ask them “Will you take $80?”. You can also ask, “What is your best price?”. Most vendors expect to negotiate. But don’t insult them. Of course, there is no doubt that you can negotiate more successfully later in the day.

7// Look for items that “stick out” in a booth. For example, if you see an antique quilt in a booth with mostly antique automotive items, there is a chance you will get a better price. Often a vendor selling an “out of place” item has the motivation to sell the item and may not be aware of the current street value.

8// Bring cash. Most vendors take debit and credit cards as they have a swipe or paypal devices. But you can usually negotiate better prices with cash.

9// Make sure you are comfortable. Wear comfortable shoes, dress in layers, bring a hat and suntan lotion and plenty of water. You will be surprised how long you can spend at an antique flea market!

10// If you find an item that you really want, buy it. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked away from an item and returned a few minutes later only to find it sold to someone else. It’s heartbreaking and I have finally learned not to walk away if I really want the item and I am comfortable with the price. Especially since most items at the flea market are one-of-a-kind and can’t be found elsewhere.


I have found so many items in my home from antique flea markets that I wanted to share my tips! Below, I’ve listed a few of my favorite flea market finds!

This table for my project room

These lockers

A big set of scrabble tiles

These linens I used to make pillows 

Cranberry Glasses

Old Scales

Antique Quilts 

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