Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekend: Flea market this Sunday

I am very excited about this weekend: The Elkhorn Antique Flea-market is this Sunday at the Walworth County Fairgrounds. September is the best time for antique hunting at flea-markets. And this market is my favorite: with 500 or more dealers with pre-screened quality antiques, PAVED walkways (I usually have to put knee high mud boots on for most flea-mrket gallivanting), food stands, garden and produce stands mixed in with all the antiques. See the ELKHORN FLEAMARKET WEBSITE for more info.

Here are some great TIPS FOR FLEA-MARKET SHOPPING from one of my favorite blogs HIGH STREET MARKET
(I plan to start my day with a big travel mug of Alterra Coffee for the 6 am drive)

Tip #1 *Leave the house wearing comfy clothes and appropriate shoes! You might be walking on loose gravel (or worse, mud!) and you don't want to be wearing fancy sandals!

Tip #2 *Bring some reusable canvas totes. The vendors at the flea market don't always have plastic bags to package your goods. I like to bring extra bags so I know that everything will be safe, and I will be comfortable carrying everything around. If you really want to go the extra mile, bring a section of the newspaper for safe wrapping.

Tip #3 *Make sure you have ample storage space in your vehicle (and maybe a blanket or two)! You might come home with two small bags, and you might come home with two chairs! Leave room in your car for the unexpected!

Tip #4 *Parking! When you get to the flea market, remember where you parked. You might need to make a couple of trips to the car if you buy a large item!

Tip #5 *Bring plenty of cash. I always bring more than I think I will need (just in case you spot that treasured piece you can't go home without! You don't want to be left with an empty wallet!). Then, separate your cash into different pockets, or sections in your wallet. This helps me stay on track with my spending and also serves as a valuable negotiating tactic! Keep most of your money hidden!

Tip #6 *Be polite to vendors. Say hello and smile. You'd be surprised how far common courtesy will get you.

Tip #7 *Don't get too excited. If you spot something that you are interested in, don't act like you've struck gold! Calmly ask for a price. If you seem overly interested or too excited, vendors may think that they can get more money for the piece!

Tip #8 *When negotiating, do NOT insult the vendor on pricing. Learn from me, I have done this before and it's not a good thing. A good rule of thumb is offer about 25% to 30% less than the asking price. You may need to meet somewhere in the middle.

Tip #9 *Pick it up! If you see that one item that you have to have (you might even trade your husband for it!), pick it up! You are touching it, it's yours until you can make a deal (but still remain calm). If you leave it sitting there while inquiring about a price, some other lucky person may snatch it up!

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