DO's and DON'Ts at the flea market

Sunday, January 15, 2012

This morning, three of us (including blogger I Love to Op Shop) visited one of Melbourne's trash and treasure markets (Bentleigh), Australia's answer to the flea market, or car boot sale.

Image c/o weheartit

Where you'll find every day folk selling their de-cluttered wardrobes and home goods, in amongst small traders, and artists selling their handmade goods.


Tips to seek out the treasure from the trash:

Do get up early. The early bird catches the worm or in this instance, the good stuff at the market. The reality is, nice products at the market can sell quickly, so the earlier the better.

note: we arrived at 7am. 7am on a Sunday folks, that's early isn't it? I have to say, we were not the first to arrive, with buyers already bargaining with vendors that had yet the chance to unpack their cars.
Don't concentrate too much of your time searching for a particular item in mind, otherwise you may find yourself missing out on other treasures.

note: I went to the market today with the intention of buying wine glasses, and found none! I did not however, concentrate too much of time looking for wine glasses, and instead found other little specials along the way.
partake in a little bartering. Sellers will expect a little bartering, but be fair, remember that most sellers are just like you are I, selling items from their houses to make a bit of money. If you think you can knock off a few dollars then ask, but be reasonable and polite.

note: I found a Country Road shrug, which the seller asked $8, I offered $5, she agreed and we were both happy.

Don't take your small children with you! (leave at home with loved ones if possible) If you do take your kids with you, you'll be concentrating too much time on your little ones, and less time on your treasure hunt.

note: 3 of us left our sprogs (4 kids under the age of 4) at home with our partners. This gave us time to shop without distraction, yet we still returned home with; Thomas the Tank Engine books, children's shoes, children's clothes, matchbox cars, and a Bob The Builder hat.. !!

Do go late.. err, OK this contradicts tip one, but, if you're not an early bird, getting to the markets before they are about to close can be a great option to score some bargains. Many stall holders will want to rid their stalls of as much as possible, probably discounting their wares considerably, to prevent having to pack up too much at the end of their tiring day.

Don't forget to change your notes for coinage before you arrive at the market. There is nothing worse than bargaining your potential sale, to find you only have large notes in your wallet, which can be difficult for the seller to change.

Do scan the market more than once if time permits. You may miss things on your first scout around the market, that you'll spot on your second or third round.

Do you have any additional tips for a successful flea market / trash and treasure/ car boot sale visit?

image c/o weheartit

Shopping today:

Top $1 (stained, will dye)
Curtain $5 (to use fabric for clothing)
Shrug $5
Cardigan $3
Jacket $3
Sub-total clothing: $17

Mohair blanket $5
Cars and hat for Jnr RF $1.50

Remaining clothing budget for 2012: $297 - $17 = $280.00



I Love To Op Shop said...

My tip would be not to get too upset when the nice cardi you spot is too small for you but fits your friend perfectly ;-)..... your cardi is out there and will give you the perfect excuse to keep on looking!

My second tip would be go with like minded friends and make time for a coffee & a chat abot it afterwards!

Patti @ NotDeadYet Style said...

Very good tips! I like the one about going late, as I can never rouse myself for the early bird! : >

Unknown said...

I would say that your advice is spot-on! I couldn't agree more, really. Every point in the list makes total sense and I must admit that I've caught myself doing some of the things you suggest without even realizing it. Cool!

Anonymous said...

What flea market did you visit guys?

Unknown said...

Anon - Bentleigh Sunday Market, I should have said before, and now linked in my blog post! Thanks for asking

Heather - thank you for your comment "My tip is 'take a pull along trolley' like what your mum or granny might use for her shopping. Make's life a lot easier, hands free to pick up stuff n' browse, and you don't have to carry everything." Unfortunately I can't seem to publish the comment!

Helga said...

Excellent tips!
Excellent scores!

Anonymous said...

If you REALLY want something, buy it, even if the cost is a bit more than the bargain price you would like. Otherwise, you'll regret it for days. You only get one chance.

Clare said...

How fantastic! What great tips! I found a fantastic weekly market in Launceston Tasmania! We found heaps of great stuff for our wedding! Love a good trash and treasure!

my thrifty closet said...

great tips, sounds like you thrifted some good stuff too. I've learnt my lesson not to take my kids on thrifting trips


Laura said...

Have you tried the Elwood Primary market? It's on the first Saturday of every month during the school year, and I've found some great stuff there!
I'll have to check out Bentleigh now though, it sounds awesome.

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Fantastic tips Erica!!! I'm not an early bird so I usually arrive just over an hour before closing time and NEVER fail to grab last minute bargains - lots of wonderful haggling on multiple items with sellers desperate (and might I say grateful?) to not have to take their wares back home. DEFINITELY a no-go zone for little chilidren - wait til they're a bit older and they'll get the flea market bug too if they have a bit of cash burning a whole in their pockets - then everyone's happy!!!!! xoxox

Carolyn said...

Great tips! I like that you tipped to go both early as well as late...;) but I agree, both have their bonuses! I was going to mention the pull-along trolley too... have you read the book Shabby Chic? She had a whole host of great tips for flea-marketing in her book too.

classifieds manila said...

Thank you very much for sharing this tips, I'm sure that this will help me with my buying and selling.

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