Do’s and Don’t of Flea Market Shopping

do's and don't of flea market shopping

Do’s and Don’t of Flea Market Shopping

Flea market shopping can be both exciting and challenging for the shoppers. Considering it a treasure hunt would not be an understatement as you never know what you will come across.  While you are sure to get hold of great finds at the flea market, looking for the right thing can be quite a challenge and needs some dexterity and skills on the part of the shopper. However, by following the do’s and don’ts for flea market shopping you will reward yourself for the right choices and also making the trip worthwhile:


THE DO’s of Flear Market Shopping:

Reaching Early:

Do reach the market early. This always comes to the advantage of the buyers as there is plenty of fresh merchandise to look for. But to get the biggest discounts, you can stop by a couple of hours before the dealers start wrapping up. However, early comers do have their benefits; fresh stock is waiting for them, they can plan the day well and get done with their shopping by the afternoon thereby saving a lot of time to reach home, unpack and start placing the stuff where it belongs, reaching early is also beneficial since there is a great possibility that the market wouldn’t be too crowded and it would be easy for the buyers to navigate across the aisles and explore with ease.

Get a Map:

Do try to get a map of the flea market that you are about to visit. This will always help you find your way around. As you are buying around, mark the shops or booths where you’ve left your purchases so that you can easily pick them up on your way back. Maps also help you find the shops you might want to revisit later during your trip. However, getting a map also depends on whether it is available.

Keep Cash With You:

Do keep cash with you while making a visit to the flea market. In most cases, much to the dismay of the buyers, the dealers would not accept credit cards. This can definitely turn them off especially when they have spent substantial time searching for something only find out at the cash counter that the dealer only accepts hard cash. So always keep your pockets filled with cash – it will save you time and sometimes embarrassment!

Keep Your Cash Safe:

Do keep your cash in your front pocket or if possible in a cross-body bag positioned in front. You may be shocked at times when it’s time to pay for your purchased goods and when you frisk your back pocket, you find out that there is no wallet in the pocket at all.

Many a time, it can become really crowded at the flea markets and pickpockets snoop around to relive buyers of their wallets or bags. So always be careful and be wary at all times for such mishaps.

Comfort Comes First:

Do wear comfortable clothes to the flea market. The hot climate can always slow you down and make you extremely exhausted. Try to wear layered clothes so that it is easy to peel off clothes as the temperatures rise.

Alongside clothing, also try to wear comfortable shoes to the market as you may have to walk miles across the market and wearing comfortable footwear would also help navigating your way across. After all, you wouldn’t want to get blisters on your feet!

Keep Food & Water Supplies With You:

Do keep a water bottle with you. Walking along the market throughout the day in heat may result in dehydration. Another good thing to do is also keep a sandwich with you. Why spend lots of money on buying food from the vendors? It can save up some dough for some other stuff that you can buy instead.

Have Respect for the Merchandise:

Most of the time the sellers are selling their stuff for fun and mostly the merchandise that they are selling is from their personal collection. So do make a conversation with the sellers in an amicable manner and always be respectful of their goods. There may be sentiments attached with some of the merchandise that they are selling so always be considerate with them for a mutually beneficial shopping experience.

Research is always good:

Do your research before visiting the flea market, this way; you would have a better grasp of the items and their expected prices. You would be in a better position to haggle with the seller and mostly likely strike a fair deal. For instance, pricing of antiques and special artifacts can be a bit difficult in that these items are not commonly available in the market. But a little research on the internet would always go a long way in making the right choice and making the right bargains.

Make a List of Things:

Do make a list of things that you intend to buy from the flea market. That is, be prepared before you head out as this will surely save you a lot of time. Make a wish list of things so that you can easily narrow down stuff that you require the most. Once done, you can start searching for other stuff if you’ve got some bucks left in your pocket!


Is Everything Dandy?

Do make sure that the merchandise that you are about to purchase does not have any defects. While you are at it, look for cracks, chip-offs, torn edges, missing pieces, etc. so that you wouldn’t have to regret later on.

THE DON’Ts of Flea Market Shopping:

Trivial Can Mean Important:

Don’t ignore what may turn out to be important. Dealers with merchandise booths will instantly grab your attention as their goods are well displayed. But it is always good to look through those cardboard cartons or boxes that may be lying unattended. Why? Because that is where the ‘real find’ may be! While nobody else suspects these idle boxes may contain goods of value, you may be the only one to discover the real goodies inside. There may be things of great value waiting for you to grab in these so called worthless boxes.

Inquiring about Delivery Options:

Don’t give cash for large items instantly. First, find out whether the dealer offers pick-up/delivery options. You may be stuck with a dealer if there is no delivery service available. You would have to leave your merchandise with the dealer until the next day. Obviously, you cannot trust anybody with your stuff. It is always better to be safe than sorry! Hence, if planning for large items, have arrangements to get it delivered home first.

No Morning Expectations:

Don’t expect dealers to offer huge discounts during the morning of flea market’s first day. While you are definitely bound to have some consideration every now or then but in usual cases, dealers save the big deals for the end. That is when these dealers are dog-tired and willing to sell out all their merchandise and head home!

Be Serious about it:

Don’t ask for price concessions from the dealers if you are not series about buying anything. Why? Because suppose you are suddenly make your decision to buy a particular item from that dealer later on, you will never be taken seriously! The dealer would think you’re non-serious again and wouldn’t waste any more time on you.

Don’t Walk Away:

Don’t walk away from an item you eagerly want to purchase. If you like it then just might as well grab it because there won’t be a second-look for you as somebody else might get away with it – of course after paying for it!

Know the Importance of Everything around You:

Don’t overlook the importance of things or items of low cost that require a little work. Sometimes, you can strike a great deal on these items and all they need is a little refinishing or reconditioning and voila, they’re good as new.

No Pets Please:

Don’t carry your pets to the flea market because if you’re visiting for the first time, you never know whether they even allow pets in the market. Also, even if they allow pets, it is always a good idea to leave them back home since they may distract you during your shopping session making it difficult for you to make your choices.

No Rush at all:

Don’t let dealers rush you. They will always try to persuade you to buy their merchandise but be careful what you go for. Try inspecting the item thoroughly for any defects and then buy it. Most of the time, once you have made your purchase and later on when you’ve reached home and found out that the item you have purchased had broken edges – it is too late then!

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