Friday, May 25, 2012

10 Flea Market tips from Angie and Lindsay

After a trip to Bloomington IL this weekend, we decided it would be fun to write a little guide to flea market shopping.  We 've been going to flea markets for a long time so we've learned a few tricks that we wish we'd known in the beginning.

  1. Go REALLY early.  This picture I took was well after we'd gotten there and bought a bunch of things.  As you can see, the sun is coming up.  My mom always says, "The early bird gets the vanity!" 
    2. Wear tennis shoes.  Most flea markets are on dirt or gravel roads.  You will really regret wearing a pair of flip flops while trying to navigate a flea market, especially if you find a great piece of furniture that you have to carry to your truck or van.  See my mom below?  She has on tennis shoes and loose, comfy clothing.

   3. Bring a van or a truck!  There is nothing worse than spotting a really cool piece and realizing that you have no way of getting it home.  Every once in a while, you can offer a dealer extra money to deliver a large item for you but you definitely shouldn't count on it.  This is a picture of our junk from the weekend piled into the minivan.  To the right is a picture of my mom driving the truck with some goodies in the back!  

4. Just about everything at a flea market is negotiable.  We pretty much never pay what's on the tags.  Dealers will almost always accept a reasonable offer.  We like to point out a particular item and ask, "what's your best price on this?"  The last thing they want to do is go home with everything they just loaded and unloaded, so chances are, you'll get a great deal if you ask.  This cubby piece pictured below was a little more than we wanted to pay so we found a few more things in the dealer's booth and made a package deal.  

5. Be willing to look past dirt, bugs, and minor imperfections.  We have learned to look at the "bones" of a piece rather than the finish or the layers of grime covering it.  Sometimes really cute pieces have been painted hideous colors or have mud daubers in them.  The door pictured below was really yucky before we cleaned it.
 6. Bring a friend!  My mom and I always go as a team and call each other periodically to make sure that what we've bought will fit in our vehicle.  We also bring a tape measure if we don't have an open truck just to make sure that each piece will fit into the back of the van.
This is a little piece I found in Bloomington.
7. Bring cash!  It's very rare that you can pay with anything else.
8. Bring a little notebook so you don't forget what you bought.  I cannot even begin to count all the times we've been driving away from a flea market and been in a panic about whether or not we forgot something.  My mom has a red cart that she pushes around too.  It helps her to not leave anything behind.  I prefer to go without a cart.  It just slows me down!
Here's the cart!
9. Sniff everything.  Yeah, I know it looks a little weird, but you've gotta see if things smell like mold or smoke.  We have ended up with musty dressers and moth ball infused armoires in the past that just could not be cleaned.  People tell us all the time about tricks they use to get the smell out, but to be honest, we have never found anything that truly works.  I even sniffed the hat box in the picture below.
10. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities!  While my mom was in Texas, she saw Tori Spelling (See below) and while we were in Bloomington, we saw Mike from American Pickers.

This Monday is Gypsy Caravan so get your tennis shoes, your cash, and your pickup trucks ready!  We'll see you there!

One of our Gypsy Caravan booths.  It was busy!!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hello! I know this is kind of off topic but
    I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment
    form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having
    problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

    my blog post ...

  3. Hey there! I've been reading your site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

    Look at my weblog; army fatigue cargo pants

  4. Ӏt's a pity you don't haѵe а donate button!
    I'd definitely donate to this excellent blog! I guess for now i'll settle for book-maгκing аnd aԁdіng your RSЅ feed to mу Goоglе аccount.
    І look forwaгd to fresh upԁates аnd wіll sharе thiѕ blog wіth mу Faсebook group.
    Talk sоon!

    Alѕο viѕit my ѕіtе

  5. Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme. Bless you

    Look into my web page :: coupons for huggies

  6. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but
    your sites really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road. Cheers

    Check out my website vera wang wedding shoes flats
    my web site - vera wang lavender label shoes

  7. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit
    more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and
    everything. However think of if you added some great images or videos to give your
    posts more, "pop"! Your content is excellent but with
    images and videos, this site could definitely be one of the best
    in its niche. Great blog!

    Feel free to surf to my web blog;
    My website: Http://Www.Worldofgreentea.Com/

  8. Good day! I could have sworn I've been to this site before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it's new to me.
    Anyhow, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking back often!

    My web site: Addiction To Methadone

  9. Hello I am so happy I found your webpage, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Bing for
    something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to
    say many thanks for a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I
    have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back
    to read more, Please do keep up the great work.

    Also visit my homepage ... Green Tea Tablets
    my website :: Green Diet Tea

  10. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that
    automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    My blog post how much are vera wang shoes

  11. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however I'd figured I'd
    ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe
    guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each
    other. If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an email.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

    My web-site: How To Get Off Methadone

  12. Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website
    with us so I came to look it over. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting
    this to my followers! Wonderful blog and fantastic style
    and design.

    my weblog; Dark Spot Corrector

  13. Wonderful blog! Do you have any helρful hіnts for aѕpігing writеrѕ?
    I'm planning to start my own website soon but I'm
    a little loѕt оn evеrуthіng.

    Woulԁ уou adviѕе ѕtartіng with a fгee platform
    like Wordpress or go for a paid оptiοn?
    Theгe are so manу choices out there thаt I'm completely confused .. Any tips? Thanks a lot!

    Look into my website ... Refill Cartridges

  14. When Ι іnitiallу commented I cliсked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox anԁ now each time a comment iѕ aԁԁed I get thгee emаilѕ wіth the sаme commеnt.

    Is there anу way you cаn remove
    me frοm that ѕervice? Cheers!

    Here is my webρage; Where To Get Electronic Cigarettes
    My webpage :: E Cigarette To Quit Smoking

  15. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my
    myspace group? There's a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thank you

    Visit my weblog: 7th grade math
    My web page > math worksheets for 7th Grade

  16. Great post but I was wondering if you could write
    a litte more on this topic? I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Bless you!

    my site; Breakfast Catering Ideas