How to Get Killer Deals at the Flea Market

by Tracy · 0 comments

The flea market isn’t for everyone, but if you make an effort, you can’t beat flea markets for finding one-of-a-kind items at a steal. If you’ve got the keen eye necessary from separating the real treasures from the junk, you can make out like a bandit at the flea market, if you follow these simple tips.

Haggling over prices is the best part about shopping at the flea market! Negotiating prices isn’t a normal part of our culture, so don’t worry if you find the idea intimidating at first. Just take a deep breath and know that flea market dealers expect you to counter their offer. The worst they can do is say no, right? So don’t be afraid to haggle – you might even start to like it!

Vary the times that you go to the market.  Getting their early means that you have the widest selection, however as the day draws to a close, vendors will be increasingly motivated to sell their goods before the day is done. All flea markets have their own culture and character, so after a few visits you’ll be able to see if you need to get their fast before it’s all gone or if it will pay off for you to go later in the day at that particular market.

Wear casual, comfortable clothing. You want to look like a regular person, not an interior decorator for wealthy clients. Don’t dress too down though, vendors are like everyone else and will respond better to people they can identify with.

If you have a smart phone, bring it with you to discreetly do price comparisons so that you’ll know if you are being ripped off or not. Be especially wary about buying electronics or appliances that are not a brand name that you are familiar with.

If you are prone to impulse buys, bring a friend or family member with you to help talk you down and help you think about things more clearly. You might love something, but if you don’t have a place or use for it, it’s better to leave it for the next person to enjoy.

As I mentioned above, the listed price isn’t usually set in stone. Go ahead and make a counter-offer, being sure to point out in little flaws in the item or that you can get similar cheaper someplace else.  Don’t be insulting, keep a friendly demeanor and be willing to meet halfway. If you’ve never haggled before, listen in on other people doing it or bring a friend that is experienced to show you the way.

Don’t let yourself fall in love! There will always be another item, so keep your cool and you’ll be in a better position to negotiate. Let the dealer know that you are interested, but definitely give off the vibe that you are in the “considering it” phase, not “have to have it!”.

You can get great deals on one-of-a-kind items at the flea market, if you don’t mind poking around and negotiating. Look at it as an adventure so that no matter if you find that perfect object or not, you’ll still have tons of fun.

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