I have been on a thrifting kick lately, as you know if you follow me on Instagram.
I’m shopping for our Blue Cottage, which is so much fun to decorate, and for my Etsy store, Dagmar’s Home Decor.
L and I made another trip to the Stormville flea market. I had to refrain from buying a big, vintage cupboard that wouldn’t have fit in the car, but I did get this heavy mirror in there.
It was a great steal at $30. I want to paint it white with chalk paint and hang it in our living room.
People often ask me how I find the amazing deals I find. Here are:
5 Tips to Get the Best Deals at a Flea Market
I’m slightly addicted to thrifting – finding a great deal on items at thrift stores, tag sales, and flea markets.
I break for a yard sale, and my husband and son are used to me looking for sale signs and our car coming to a sudden stop on the weekend.
I like to decorate our home with beautiful, eclectic things on a budget and sell others on my Etsy store, and flea markets are full of great deals.
Here are some of my favorite tips to make your flea market visits a success.
1. Find Out If the Flea Market Has Sections for Items You’re Most Interested In
When I go to a flea market, I’m not interested in new merchandise, and sometimes there’s a lot of that. Large flea markets make a point to separate merchants, and that helps you to concentrate on what you’re most interested in.
Park near the selection you are most interested in so you can drop off larger items at your car and go back for more, maximizing your time.
2. Always Haggle
Flea market vendors don’t expect to get full price on their items, and it’s rare that a vendor will not budge if you ask him for a better deal.
If you’ve never haggled, then a flea market is the place to learn that skill!
My tip: start with asking for about 30 percent less – you might be surprised and get a yes. If the vendor doesn’t budge after your first offer, offer a little bit more and then decide if you like the item enough to accept the next offer he makes you.
Always ask if that’s the best he can do – why pay more for an item if you don’t have to?
3. Get Creative
Get creative when it comes to getting the best deal: if there are a few other items you like from the same vendor, ask her for the best price she’ll give you for the whole lot. Vendors want to get rid of their items, so buying in bulk can help to get an amazing steal.
Also, if you just have to have that mirror because you’ve been looking for one just like it for months – tell the vendor! Sometimes your enthusiasm about how her item is what will make her want to give it to you for less.
4. Strike Up a Relationship With Your Favorite Vendors
If you are wowed by all of the items by a certain vendor because her items are just your style, or if you find that you keep buying items from the same booth week after week, it might be a great idea to tell them which items you’re specifically interested in and ask them to look out for them on their buying trips.
I recently gave a “picker” my email address because he offered to be on the lookout for deals on vintage mason jars and linens for me. It’s a win/win for both sides.
5. For the Best Deals, Go Near Closing Time
For the best selection, you’ll have to arrive early – some dedicated shoppers even arrive before opening hours.
But the best deals are to be had an hour or so before closing time. Vendors don’t want to pack up and lug their wares home again, making them more willing to slash prices.
A successful flea market trip is one that sends you home with items you love that you didn’t pay a lot of money for. These are just 5 of my tips to make that happen.
Also, dress for the weather, in comfortable clothes, and keep in mind that you might be lugging some items for a while — so bring a backpack or even a rolling shopping bag.
Happy thrifting! You’re going to have a blast!
Do you have other tips to get the best deals at flea markets?