Flea Market Finds

Published July 20, 2012

Maybe Martha was right. You never know what you may stumble across at a flea market sale. Just like the old saying, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”, you should never underestimate a flea market.

These markets often have remarkable, old pieces of furniture, home accessories and other fantastic finds that only need a little T.L.C.

The trick is to be able to see how to transform the old, run-down buffet or chair  and bring it back to life.

Here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years from some seasoned “Flea Market” veterans that I can share with you.

Firstly, get to the flea market as early as you can. This way you are entitled to the best selection and you may be able to avoid the crowds. Another tip is to return near the end of the day to get those last-minute bargains. Vendors are more than eager to part with their items as the day lingers on.

Secondly, always walk around the flea market first before buying anything. Browse a few aisles and make a quick comeback for the “must-have” item. Be careful however, about waiting too long. The good things go quickly and you don’t want to lose that item you have your heart set on.

Never pay full price. Always ask, “is this the best price?”, before you purchase anything. This is a good strategy to get the best results. Negotiate the sale of more than one item. Many vendors will offer larger discounts for several items purchased at one visit.

Be sure to inspect your items carefully. There’s a reason why they are at the flea market. Check for flaws in the paint and cracks in the construction. Loose joints, rusting and poorly constructed frames on furniture will end up costing you in the long run. Weigh the pros vs. the cons of the purchase. Will the cost involved in restoring the product outweigh the benefits? This is a question you must ask yourself for each purchase.

Lastly,one of the most important things to do when you are browsing the flea market is to visualize an alternative use for your item. Planters may become coffee tables and old doors make wonderful headboards for beds. This is the beauty of a flea market. Reinventing the use of an old item is very rewarding.

In the end, you are left with a very unique, one-of-a-kind item that no one else has and that you took the time to make it your own.

Nothing beats that.