Tips for Flea Market Shoppers
1. Wear layers or close fitting garments and bring socks if you're a germ-o-phobe.
Most booths will allow you to try things on, depending on your own level of comfortability. A pair of shorts or leggings and a close fitting tank or tee are your best bets without having to strip down to your undies to estimate the best fit. Also, if you want to try on boots and shoes, consider bringing a pair of lightweight socks if you're not already wearing some. And if you're really anxious about trying things on, bring a tape measurer and know your measurements. Remember, tag sizes on vintage clothing are nothing like modern sizing!
2. Don't make fun of what people are selling (and if you must, at least, not until you walk away).
Everybody has different styles and tastes, especially when it comes to fashion. Just because you wouldn't wear a bubblegum pink bodysuit doesn't mean some other gal might not rock it. Making fun of items in front of sellers is poor taste (it sort of offends me, since we go to great lengths to curate our items and find things that are on-trend and fit our aesthetic). Be open-minded! It's okay to giggle, but also, you never know about an item until you try it on!
3. Be reasonable.
Many sellers are willing to bargain with you on prices, but remember that this is more than just a hobby for most of us: we're trying to make a living. If items are not tagged, there is more wiggle room to barter with the sellers, but if they are tagged, a reasonable low bid is not more than $5-$10 (depending on the price of the item).
4. Smile. Say hello. Make eye contact.
Sellers may spend hours sitting in a booth, sometimes in bad weather, sometimes despite bad sales. Sometimes we're just desperate for a little human contact or an opportunity to talk about things we love! Don't be shy. Most sellers are not going to push you to buy something you don't want. I even keep a little candy dish out for anyone who wanders through! And here's a secret: I am much more likely to give you a discount or special treatment if you're nice. ;)
5. Reusable bags are everyone's friend.
We keep a stash of recyclable paper bags to pack up your items, but if you are planning on going to a flea market and buying stuff, consider bringing a reusable bag or two (or at the very least, carry a big tote as your purse!). It saves us money on packaging and saves the planet too.
Any other tips from seasoned buyers/sellers? Leave them in the comments and we'll add them to the post!
See you out there!