As much as it hurts to say it, Summer is already winding down. Mornings are bitter, it's getting dark earlier and earlier, and the weather's been all sorts of crazy in ways that just make me want to grab a bunch of blankets and hole up for the next eight months. But, if there's one thing that I'm going to miss when the warm weather's gone, it's browsing the flea market!
There's just so much to love about flea markets! Not only can you get some crazy-awesome deals, but you have access to so many things that you just can't find in stores. Not to mention, buying used is better for the environment than buying new! If you're planning on shopping a few flea markets while the season's still going, then you're in luck - I've got a few tips to ensure a fruitful endeavor!
1. Arrive early. If there's anything that you're just dying to find for a great price at a flea market, I can guarantee you that there is someone else out there looking for the exact same thing. You just have to get to it first.
2. Haggle! I seriously cannot believe the amount of people that don't realize that this is an option. Many sellers will set up tables and just wait for someone to make an offer on an item rather than labeling prices. Make them an offer they can't refuse! Also, be sure to look at all of someone's items before making an offer, as many sellers are more than willing to bundle items for a little less.
3. Set a spending limit, and only bring that much cash with you. This isn't just a matter a frugality - it's for your own safety! Okay - I may be a little paranoid - but there are literally hordes of people at some of the more popular flea markets I've been to, and you can never be too careful about your personal belongings. Plus, I think everyone's guilty of dropping money while pulling it out of their pocket, at least once.
4. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, and avoid wearing clothing or footwear that you wouldn't want to get dirty at an outdoor market.
5. For the love of God, be polite! I understand the urge to run to your favorite table to try to get an item before someone else, but you should never resort to pushing anyone out of your way. Just remain cautious and courteous at all times, and never forget to say "excuse me".
6. Bring a reusable shopping bag. You'll be glad you won't have to make so many trips back to the car.
7. Stay late. Even if you don't arrive early enough to find that special something, it may still be worth your time to hang around. While vendors are packing up, they'll often offer you a sweet deal on something just so they won't have to haul it back home.
I hope you've found these tips helpful! Do you have any advice on flea-market shopping that you'd like to share?