Flea Markets, Boon or Bust?
I went to the biggest flea market in the DC area this weekend. Over 600 vendors. It’s a flea market for antique dealers. Many of these vendors don’t have a true shop, they just travel to different flea markets to sell their wares.
I go there a couple times a year, trying to get inspired and see what I can pick up that needs loving. That’s where I got my Prohibition Liquor Cabinet, as well as the painted night stands. I’d been watching Flea Market Flip on HGTV lately, and was itching to do something different. Change something.
Bummer on the loot!
I was more than a little disappointed this time. There were very few pieces I could give love to. Most of the stuff was high end, high dollar, already fixed pieces. It wasn’t the time for a diy goddess to find her way.
- A lot more jewelry than usual. I don’t like jewelry, and know nothing about it.
- At least two vendors had exclusively fur coats. Yeah, it’s winter, but seriously?
- Only one slot machine was discovered under $1000. $1000!
- A lot of mid century stuff, but nothing that needed the love I had to offer.
- Very odd vinyl record collections.
- Antiques out the wazoo. Great! But they were refinished, refurbished, restored, anything but the broken soul I wanted to love.
A lot of stuff I thought was overpriced. One wood frame, had a price tag of $895? For a window frame, without the glass? It could have said $95, but I asked my friend, and he saw the same numbers I did.
Most vendors at flea markets expect you to haggle. Some would be insulted if you don’t. The reason I take my friend is because I SO SUCK at haggling. That’s his job. But I did see a lot of vendors who weren’t haggling. Maybe it was their first show. Maybe they have a no haggle policy. Maybe they price the bare minimum they will take. Who knows? I just thought it was a little odd.
But let me tell you I did find a few items I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Places I Visited
At Furniture Made Anew, I bought this awesome ambrosia side table. It was already repurposed, from antique sewing machine legs. And the pedal still works. I can blog and get a calf workout at the same time. It is a close knit group of people, with the kids involved in the repurposing of reclaimed wood and antique parts. They want to breathe new life into furniture.
Antiques on the Go is two women who have a shop that deals with mostly vintage and new pieces. Not to much in the way of true antiques. But they did not give me any bs, like a lot of antique dealers do. They told me if they knew anything about the piece or not. They learn from books, other dealers, the internet, and eventually most will start to get a “feel” for things. A great couple of ladies I bought a few things for my kitchen.
At The Vintage Market Place, I was able to grab some wood crates. I see ideas for repurposing these things all over Pinterest and figured it was my turn to jump on the band wagon. These ladies have very discriminating tastes in what they purchase. Most antique dealers will buy just about anything, from estate sales, flea markets, other dealers, storage units for sale. But not these ladies. They look specifically for things that can be repurposed. They don’t buy something just to buy it. They either see a vision, or think they will find a customer who sees a vision. I loved that about this particular vendor.
I don’t know what I will do with everything I bought at the flea market, but I will definitely keep you posted. And I might have to find some new flea markets to scavenge next time around.