One of my favorite things about LA is the production of the Flea Markets here. Every Sunday, people of all different types gather to show off local artisans and merchants and it is no joke, they are huge! After visiting the Rose Bowl Flea Market, one of the largest and the Melrose Trading Post I have acquired some skills to help tackle a flea market because it can be very overwhelming if you are not prepared. Keep reading to find out some tips...
1. Where comfortable shoes
Regardless of how big the venue is, make sure you wear shoes that are comfortable for walking and browsing. The first time I visited the Rose Bowl Flea Market I had no idea how big it was and how much walking I would be doing. Luckily I went prepared and wore converse so we were able to cover a lot of ground. I am one of those people that feel the need to see every vendor, so I don't want a couple forming blisters to cut my visit short.
2. Have Cash
Make sure to hit up the ATM prior to getting there, in the event that there isn't one nearby, its great to be prepared and have cash ahead of time. If you have never been to a flea market, the way they operate is that they are kept up and running by admission fees. This fee is usually a small amount such as $3 or so (unless its a big one like the Rose Bowl Flea Market, which is $8) to get into the venue, anything purchased goes to the vendor. Now most vendors take apple pay or have the square app that accepts credit cards, which is great for not having to have cash other than for the small admission fee. However, its always good to play it safe in the case that the vendor only takes cash.
3. Go in Closed Minded
Like said, going into a flea market can be very overwhelming. There is so much to see, where do you even start? Make the decision before hand whether you are just going in to walk around and browse or if you are hoping got come out with a find. Sometimes its nice to get out of the house and just enjoy a Sunday looking at all the cool things and enjoying the live music and food trucks. However, if you plan on going in hoping to come out not so empty handed, know what you are looking for. Whether you are looking for some dainty gold jewelry pieces, old vintage furniture, a Rolling Stones tee, or a cowhide rug deciding this before hand wil make things a little less overwhelming. One thing that always comes to mind when browsing is that one mans trash is another mans treasure. Try to see things in a different way then what they already are and how could you repurpose it.
4. Bring a bag
Whether you have already made up your mind that you plan to come out with something cool, remember to bring a bag just in case. This will make browsing so much easier and you won't have to worry about your new treasure getting in the way of hunting for more. Even if you have already decided that you don't plan on spending money, in the case that you find something you absolutely love and have to have (happens to me almost every time) you will be prepared.
This is something that many people don't do because they may not be comfortable doing it or they don't know that they can do this. One thing to note is that these people make their own prices and they are almost always negotiable. However, keep in mind that many are artisans, so you always want to be fair as they are selling a talent they have. As for the others, they spend their spare time finding things that are going to go to waste and sell them. This is a place to find a good deal on those things, this may be a good time to try out those negotiating skills, but remember to stay fair.
What are your favorite Flea Market finds? Let us know in the comments below!