|Photo credit: ocantiquemarket.com|
Summer time is peak flea marketing season, and we all relish the opportunity to grab an iced coffee, hit the road, and spend a few easy hours browsing the rows for hidden gems and adorable antiques (and if we’re thinking ahead, maybe a few fun holiday gifts we can check off the list super early). Flea markets are fabulous, but they can also be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few suggestions for streamlining the experience this season:
1. Bring a tape measure - Looking for something specific? Know ahead of time what the dimensions of your space are and what you have room for. Toss a tape measure, and maybe even quick diagrams of your rooms, in your bag to avoid purchasing things that won't fit your space properly.
|Photo credit: apartmenttherapy.com|
2. Check for issues – Carefully examine the item to check for torn seams, rust, and cracked or rotting wood. Avoid any problems that could potentially affect usability or break under the slightest pressure. Signs of mold or an insect infestation are important to look out for as well.
3. Look for a label – Know your designers beforehand so you can quickly tell a real find from a knockoff. Eyeball for specific details to get an idea of authenticity, and check in with Google on your smartphone to ensure you’re looking for the right markers.
4. Check the craftsmanship - Dovetailed joints, hand-stitched seams, and solid hard wood are well signs of quality craftsmanship. Know what they look like, and you’ll be able to whether or not an item is worth its price tag.
5. Pay attention to smell – Don't assume you'll be able to get rid of that cigarette smell. Chances are it’s the result of years of use and exposure.
6. Look past the obvious –Don’t be turned off by ugly upholstery or color. If a piece has good bones it might be worth a little refinishing (though be aware of the costs associated with refinishing).
7. Shop early and with a plan - For the best selection of merchandise, it's important to arrive right after the vendors have set up which, for many places, is super early in the morning. It's well worth your effort. Not only will all the stands be clean, organized and fully stocked, but you can browse them unfettered by bustling crowds. When you begin, try to have a general idea of what you're looking for—dining room chairs? Bathroom fixtures? Office furniture? Having a focus will help you to visually cut through the clutter.
|Photo credit: designurlife.com|
8. Don't stay home if it's raining - Even if conditions are less than ideal you should still arrive in the morning, jacket and umbrella in tow. Although fewer sellers will show up on stormy days, those who do turn out will be more apt you cut you a deal.
9. Cash is King - Most dealers don’t take credit cards. Be sure to have cash on hand.
Have any favorite flea market finds? Please share!