How to be Successful at a Flea Market | The Gossip Darling

How to be Successful at a Flea Market

8:00:00 AM


Hello loves!! I'm so excited to share this post! My family and I are obsessed with watching HGTV shows. Please tell me we are not the only ones! Like legit, we can watch marathon episodes of Property Brothers, House Hunters, and House Hunters International. And you know what happens as soon as you watch it? You start tearing down walls and thinking you can redo a house after a quick stop to Home Depot! Lol. 

My current favorite show is the inspiration behind today's post... Flea Market Flip. I love Lara Spencer! It's been years and years since I've last attended a really good flea market. I think the last time was about 10 years ago in a Greek village. I tried going to the Long Island City flea market in Queens after seeing it on Flea Market Flip but I can honestly say it was a waste of time. There were soooo few vendors and it mostly included food. It definitely wasn't worth the time for me. 

In a recent episode, my Mom and I saw the Elephant's Trunk Country Flea Market as the show destination. It looked huge on TV. Should we go? Umm...YES! After a short hour and a half drive...we were there! It was amazing and definitely worth every mile I drove! Since its been years since my last flea market excursion, I was a little behind on the tips and tricks.

After getting lots of dirt on me and spending a few hours in the sun, I thought I would share a few tips with you. Here we go! 

1. Go Early! I arrived around 9:30am and the place was packed! I definitely should have been there earlier. (It was a Sunday. I thought people would be sleeping in!) The main parking lot was completely full so I parked right across the street. It was a $5.00 fee but totally worth it. Police officers were there to direct traffic and everyone was super nice. The police even helped me by stopping traffic so my SUV could squeeze over a lane and get into the parking lot! Soooo nice!! 

2. Have Patience! Between loads of cars in the parking lot, walking, standing in line to get in (there's a $2 entrance fee) and dealing with large crowds, you must have patience! Plus, everyone is really nice so don't be that one mean person. 

3. Dress Appropriately! I definitely wasn't dressed appropriately. Hahaha. I was wearing skinny jeans and flip flops. Umm...the market in literally in a field where there's a ton of dirt and you will get covered! I promise your pedicure will be a nice shade of brown from the dirt. Also, once I made my chair purchase, I carried it across the field and across the street to my car, so my jeans were covered in dirt! Here's what I should have worn: loose clothing so I can easily carry things, clothing I didn't care if they got dirty, and older sneakers.

4. Get Ready to Negotiate! Most times at a flea market you can try to negotiate prices with the vendors. Be respectful about it though. Don't offer $30 for a $100 item. I saved $10 on my purchase. Each chair was $30 and I offered $50 for both chairs. It was a deal! PS-bring cash with you and make sure to have 10s, 5s, and singles. I couldn't offer the vendor $50 for the chairs and then hand her three $20s and ask for change back. Just looks bad...

5. What to Bring with You…
  • Sunscreen- Especially during the summer months, I recommend bringing sunscreen. I was out in the sun for over two hours and the sun was on me the entire time. Not one bit of shade!   
  • Floppy Hat- I love hats. They are so much fun! They also offer extra protection from the Sun.
  • Sunglasses- I wear my sunglasses all year round. I'm obsessed with protecting my skin. (I think you can tell by now, right?)
  • Cash- Most of vendors do accept credit cards but I personally think it makes it harder to negotiate the price. I prefer bringing cash with me. Plus, you have to potentially pay for parking and the $2 entrance, which are cash only.
  • Water- It was soooo hot the day I visited the market. Easily 90 degrees out! Water was very much needed.
  • Big bag or cart- If you're on a mission to make a lot of purchases, it makes it easily to bring a cart or big bag with you so you can throw your purchases in the bag and not have to keep making trips to the car. Also, your car probably won't be parked near by, so constant trips to the car means you're losing out on valuable shopping time. Remember, most of these items are one of a kind so when you miss out...you miss out.  
  • Snacks- I always carry snacks with me. This market offered food but not all do. Make sure to bring your own food. I personally can't focus when I'm hungry!
  • Phone with camera- I saw loads of people taking photos of potential purchases. They were sending the pictures to friends or family members and asking for their opinions, or they were shopping for someone else and asking whether they should make the purchase, or they were trying to remember items they liked so they can think about it and then come back. Sometimes it's best to take a photo, walk away, and think about it before you make an impulsive purchase. It's also good to walk away and think about it if you're on a budget. It's a risk though! Just be prepared that it may not be there when you come back for it.
Here are some pics of the fun and some of the beauties I found...

The parking lot. Loadsssss of people.
The front entrance. Please make sure to have $2 for the entrance fee. I gave exactly $2. (Try not to give them a $20 bill)
Mom and I finally arrive! Taking a selfie before we start!

Adorable little girl selling watermelon for $1. How cute! Of course you have to stop by and buy some. Plus, in the heat, it's perfect.
Cute blankets for sale
I was obsessed with this. Remember when libraries had these?
Love love love this small table. The color is amazing too.



I almost bought this! I was going to store my blankets in it and put it at the foot of my bed. What do you think?
I have 3 nieces and they would love to play with this stove and the matching cooking set!
Perfect for storing mini towels and other toiletries in the bathroom.
Another feminine vintage looking piece I loved!

Another trunk I wanted for storing blankets. I don't have enough blankets for all of these trunks...
I saw these and instantly thought these would be great as wedding centerpieces. Just add some wild flowers and they are perfect for a DIY wedding.


I still watch Murder, She Wrote... I picture Jessica Fletcher typing away on this.

Small Acts Change the World. Sooo true.





My grandmother used to sew on one of these bad boys. Classic.


My best friend's favorite flower. Sunflowers are such a friendly flower
The chairs I bought! I'm going to sand them down and spray paint them a different color. (Future blog post)
Up close shot!
I'm now obsessed with attending flea markets. I'm on the hunt for some good ones. Please let me know if you know of any good ones!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend!



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