Back in the Spring, we took a short trip to Brimfield Flea Market. They’re having their last show of the season September 4-9, and in honor of that I thought I’d share some tips I’ve garnered over the years for a successful day of bargain hunting.
Flea markets can be overwhelming, and none more so than Brimfield. But they’re also loads of fun! Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to have a productive, fun-filled day.
There are two schools of thought: get there early or get there late. The early bird gets a better selection, so if you’re looking for something specific, get there early! Really early! As in, ‘you might need a flashlight to see’ early. If you’re more inclined to stroll and just see what you might be interested in, arrive in the afternoon and look for those end-of-the-day bargains.
Bring along a friend who has a truck, or at least an SUV.
Don’t forget some rope and blankies to keep those goodies secure and scratch free. Make sure you wear your most comfortable shoes, and bring a backpack and leave your purse at home. Bring along a tape measure, a floor plan with measurements, and if appropriate, some fabric and/or paint samples. And don’t forget cash. Cash is king and can make the difference between a good buy and a great one.
If you find something that has a can’t be beat price and possesses potential, buy it. Work your magic and paint it, distress it, transform it or whatever. If you’re not happy with it, give it away or resell it and chalk it off as an ‘experiment’.
Make sure you inspect whatever you’re interested in. This will let the seller know that you respect the object and are serious. Don’t be quick to point out any imperfections right away. When you are ready to negotiate, politely point out any flaws in the object which can help you justify requesting a discount.
Bring along a cart if you have one. Something like this would be nice.
Haggle. It’s expected. But do it nicely. Ask the dealer, ‘Is this your best price?’ Or you can also ask, “Is there any way you would consider ‘X’ dollars?’
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. While you may want to be somewhat discriminating, don’t let that stop you from buying something that is a little out of the ordinary and unique. It’s great to get bargains, but always remember…quality is remembered long after price is forgotten. Yes, even for us intrepid bargain hunters.