I've taken my vintage hunt beyond the comfort of air conditioned thrift stores to the Hot-as-Hades heat of Florida flea markets and hole-in-the wall thrifts this summer. Many others are staying inside the avoid the heat stroke. That's fine, that means more goodies for us!
If you're brave enough to risk the elements, you'll be rewarded with vintage treasures. Here are some tips for vintage hunting at the flea market!
1. Market Carts Come in Handy
If you're lucky you'll find so many vintage goodies for cheap that you'll need a flea market cart. You won't be able to juggle all those finds in your arms, trust me.
Don't be a fool like me, line those carts. I lost a couple of items last week (2 Demeter perfumes, bargained and got 'em for free, but still!) because they fell out of a bag and the cart had no liner.
2. Cash and Change, You'll Need It
Break out the fanny packs, change purses, and wrislets, you want your cash accessible so you can pay quickly and easily, then move on to more vintage finds. Keep plenty of small bills quarters, nickels, and dimes on hand. Isn't it nice to buy things for nickels and dimes again? Good times...
3. Haggle, It's the Name of the Game
I rarely pay the asking price. Always ask for deals and discounts. Don't be shy, they'll just say "no," if it's no-deal and you just move on to the next score or swallow their price. Don't worry, they almost always say "yes!" They want the sale!
4. Pack Sturdy Boxes, Newspaper, Water, Hand Sanitizer, and Handkerchiefs...
Sturdy boxes and newspaper in your cars to keep your finds safe on the ride home. Water to keep yourself hydrated outside in the heat, hand sanitizer and handkerchiefs 'cause you're going to get sweaty and dirty. (You're not hunting right if you don't get dirty.) If you're hitting multiple fleas, you might want to pack snacks or a lunch, too.
5. Wear Something Comfortable for the Hunt
Dress appropriately for the weather since you're outdoors. Dress in layers in the cooler months, dress in thin clothes in the summer. Wear things you won't mind getting dirty and don't forget sunblock, sunglasses, and hats to protect yourself from the brutal sun.
Bring your camera, bring your friends, and have fun! The flea market is full of unique items (Hello Golden Vagina!) to amuse you, like a wunderkammer outdoor museum of awesome. Just make sure to only bring willing victims with you. Other vintage-nuts will hunt with the same rapture you do and make the trip funner!
What are your flea market hunting tips?