Brussels Design Market 2013 by 002

Flea Market: 10 Tips To Shop Like A Pro

Flea Market tip #10: Early bird? You're still too late for the best deals.

Getting up at the crack of dawn may not be early enough to get be one of the first flea market visitors. Vendors say they typically take a turn around other stalls before the flea market opens, picking up items for their personal collections or to resell down the line. “Even at 7 a.m., things might be picked over,” says Grahl, who has seen transactions go down as early as 2 a.m. at big markets as vendors set up. “If you’re a collector, be there early before they open.”

Latecomers can still find some bargains, say experts. Some vendors replace purchased items with other stock from their vehicles throughout the day, says Fendelman. In the afternoon, Grahl says, sellers may be more willing to haggle to avoid packing up unsold items. “That’s the time when they’ll say, oh, give me $2 for that,” she says.

[Source: Smart Money]


  1. Philadelphia Flea Market News

    Very nice article. #1 I found very interesting and although I agree to an extent, a closer look and a deeper explanation, I believe, is needed. On Philadelphia Flea Market News, I discern between “seller’s” and ‘buyer’s” flea markets. For the most part, seller’s markets are better for professional and semi-professional vendors to, of course, sell at so when I am shopping for resalable merchandise, I avoid this type of market altogether. Instead, I scour the sidewalk, yard, and garage sales but also add to my itinerary buyer’s flea markets. These are lower-end, or normally smaller flea markets (like church or school fundraisers) that are just like the sales I mention above in that they are normally swarming with vendors who do not know (or care) what their stuff is worth. They are just there to either get rid of their “junk” from their homes and/or have a good time supporting whatever organization running the flea market.

    There are other types of buyer’s flea markets that because of the neighborhoods they are near attract clienteles that are looking for more practical and household items. When vendors at these flea markets have a vintage or antique or rarer item, they normally sell it very cheap since their regular customers have no interest in it.

    Shopping at these types of buyer’s flea markets is more work as the merchandise is much more mixed and there is a lot more junk but, for the collector, professional vendor, and Internet reseller, they are often worth the extra effort. Last year, at a weekly, year-round buyer’s market in Philadelphia, I bought about 12 books for 20 or 25 dollars and sold four of them online for $27, $44, $65, and $225. The rest I sold at various flea markets for $3 to $10.

    • Great tip! I’d recommend any person who usually scores flea markets for antique or rare items, to follow these few rules. By making a discern between “seller’s” and ‘buyer’s” flea markets, the probability of going back home with a great find is multiplied by 10; for instance, church flea markets are great because vendors usually want to get rid of the stuff they sell (not even theirs, most of the time) and don’t argue much on price: everything has to be gone within a day or two. For instance I found two Rolleiflex cameras from 1955 for 60€ (they usually retail on eBay for 500€-700€). And if you’re clever enough, try and show up a day before the official start of the yard/church sale when professional vendor scour the place for valuable items; that’s when you’ll find the best items on sale that will be gone anyway by the next day. Once again, great tips!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.