All Women's Talk

7 Tips for Flea Market Bargains ...

By Alison

In recent months, I’ve become a regular visitor to the monthly flea markets held where I live. On my last visit I picked up some amazing stuff, including a Twenties-style coat for just €10. What a bargain, eh? In fact, I came home with a large shopping bag FULL of goodies for little more than €30. Here are some tips on how to secure your own flea market bargains.

1 Visit Regularly

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The nature of flea markets is that the stalls have such random contents, and you never know what you’ll find. If you make a point of visiting as often as you can, you might just come across the very item that you’ve been looking for. Alternatively, you might find something totally unexpected. The more you go, the more you see.

2 Make Friends

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Get to know the stallholders – if they also attend regularly, they may remember you. If you’re chatty and friendly, and buy regularly, they may hold things back for you, give you a discount for more several purchases, or look out for something that you’ll like.


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3 Go Early

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Obviously, everything on sale is a one-off, so it’s better to go early. That way, you can view more items and have the chance to grab that cute dress or fab bag before someone else does. There’s nothing sadder for the dedicated flea marketeer than seeing the perfect item in someone else’s hands as they pay for it!

4 Strict Budget

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If you really want to get some flea market bargains, then my advice is to take a fixed amount of cash. The reason is that if you take too much cash, or your ATM card, the temptation is to buy something simply because it’s cheap. A bargain is only a bargain if you like it and you’re going to wear it. If it sits at the back of the wardrobe then it isn’t, however little it cost.

5 Don’t Hesitate

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I strongly recommend that on the hunt for your flea market bargains, if you see anything you truly love, then buy it straight away. If you don’t, and go away to think about it, then when you return someone else may have snapped it up. Too late! If you’re not quite sure, then have a walk around the other stalls to have a think. If you want it on the second trip, grab it.

6 Rummage

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Some stalls have boxes with items jumbled up. Have a look through these, as they could yield some interesting finds. Something that the stallholder doesn’t place a high value on could be just what you’re looking for. Even if it’s not in great condition, it may be good for repairing or customising.

7 Small is Beautiful

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Visit all markets in your area, no matter how small. In fact, the smaller markets may well yield more bargains, simply because there is less competition from other buyers. Don’t be disappointed if you only find one or two things, as that’s better than wasting money. I’d rather buy a couple of great items than a bagful of tat. Quality not quantity!

Are there any other dedicated flea marketeers like me here? I’d love to hear about the amazing flea market bargains you’ve found, and the markets in your town or city. Who knows, someone could be visiting who’d love to check them out!

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