Following these flea market shopping tips is a great way to bag treasures rather than trash. Flea markets are a fantastic way of finding unusual clothes and intriguing items, but it’s very easy to overdo it and spend more than you intended on things you don’t really like. Markets may have bargains, but you still need to spend wisely, or you’ll soon have enough for your own stall! Here are some flea market shopping tips to get the most out of your visit …
1. Don’t Delay Buying
The first of my flea market shopping tips is not to prevaricate if you see something that you really like. Remember that it is a one-off, and you can´t pop back later to find 20 of the same item in the same size. I´m all for reflecting on whether you really like or need something, but think too much and someone else will grab it.
It’s easy to go mad at a flea market and come out with bags full of bargains. To avoid overspending, set yourself a budget and only take that amount of cash. You don’t even have to spend all of it! Fortunately, flea markets don’t usually accept credit cards, but leave your cards at home anyway, so you’re not tempted to withdraw any from the ATM.
3. Just Because It’s Cheap …
Don’t be seduced by the cheap prices. If you keep buying things just because they’re “only a few dollars”, pretty soon you will end up appearing on “Hoarders,” with your house piled high with your flea market purchases! Yes, we all love bargains, but only buy things because you like them, not because they’re cheap.
4. Visit with a Friend
It’s always useful (and fun) to attend flea markets with a friend. You may or may not be able to try things on and look in a mirror, and either way it’s useful to have the opinion of a friend as to whether something suits you. Besides, it’s fun to browse with someone else and look at things together – you may end up buying a great item that you didn’t think would suit you!
5. Try on
Unless you are a very good judge of sizing, it’s always best to try things on if you can. If you can´t try on the item on public, some vendors are happy to let you pop to the restrooms to try it on. A look in the mirror is helpful, so that you can see if the garment looks good on you.
6. Visit Regularly
If your local flea market takes place regularly, then pop in as often as you can. Since the stock is a one-off, you never know what will come in. The more you visit, the better the chance of spotting something great. But remember to follow my tips about not overspending!
7. Take Bags
If the stalls are not run by professional sellers, but people just getting rid of their unwanted possessions, then they are not likely to have a supply of plastic bags. So it’s a good idea to take your own shopping bag for any purchases. Make sure you have a bag with a reasonable capacity!
8. Small Change
If you’ve ever had your own stall or garage sale, you will know how quickly you run out of change. So when you’re planning a trip to a flea market, collect small-denomination notes. The seller will really appreciate it if you can give them the correct amount, whereas they won’t be too happy if you pay for a $3 item with a $50 bill!
Flea market shopping is great fun if you love unusual things, searching out bargains, and wearing clothes that everybody else isn’t wearing. However, it’s easy to go mad and spend too much, simply because the prices are so low. So remember – stick to a budget, and only buy things that you really like! What is your best bargain or favourite flea market purchase?