With summer sun beating down upon us, flea market season has kicked into high gear. Whether you're a serious bargain hunter decking out an entire space, or a casual weekend browser, here are some tips to make your next flea market trip a success:
-Arrive early for a shot at the best pieces
-Dress down, for better bargaining, and comfortably, to enjoy a long day of shopping.
-Checklist: bring cash (especially small bills), checkbook, tape measure, water bottle, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and a folding cart or backpack to carry your purchases.
-Know your price. If you're looking for a specific item, research the pricing online before you go.
-Look beyond the surface. If you love the shape, you can always have an item refinished, reupholstered, or rewired- but you'll need to factor that into the price.
-Use your cell phone camera to record specific items, vendors, and booth numbers that you may want to revisit later in the day or on your next visit.
-Plan adequate transportation. If you're searching for big items such as furniture, remember that you'll need a large vehicle and a helping hand to bring your purchases home. That tape measure helps to insure that everything will fit inside your car before you plunk down the cash.
-Buy quality pieces. Look for the maker's label under a seat or tabletop or inside the drawers. Feel the weight of a piece. Is it solid wood or veneer finish? Are the joints stable?
-Splurge on unique pieces that you love. If you love it and it's rare, pull the trigger and buy it before someone else does- so long as the quality is good and the price is right.