Shifting through junk for hidden treasures is defiantly a favorite past time of mine. I really can't justify purchasing some items at full retail cost and what I love the best is the individuality and story behind the find. I have been swooning to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena for years now but haven't made it yet, however, I was lucky this weekend when Rachel told me the Rose Bowl Flea Market was coming to Ventura! This sounded great to me because I didn't have to drive too far and I could test out the junkie waters. Overall the show was OK, I do think there is better stuff at the larger one, even though I have never been my gut is telling me so, but that is not to say that there wasn't some awesome finds!
Check out some of my tips below for flea market shopping and treasure hunting :) xo
Tip 1: Watch out for redone furniture. They all look amazing, the price seems great, but can you do that yourself? Probably ... with a little paint and a piece of sand paper. Lots of people purchase furniture and re-do it and sell it at a higher price. Simply ask yourself if it is worth the work. I love this table and set up.
Tip 2: Research the market value of your favorite items and check on Ebay. I wasn't going to purchase these today bc of my budget but I wanted them, BAD. I could have dropped a $100 because they each were $8-15. But I didn't because I didn't do my research. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH! Some of these are worth more depending on who they feature...
Tip 3: If you are hunting for something very specific, research the top brand in that category during the time period you are looking for. Bingo. Condition matters. I feel like a fucking Pawn Star right now but whatever lol. You can't buy a random Star Wars figure and expect it to be worth anything, it has to be a Hasbro one ya dig??
Tip 4: Hide money on your body and keep a little in your wallet so you can show the vendor that you "only have this much" Now here is where you can have a lot of fun being creative after you score at the market. Rachel and I found this French redone chair that was in good condition but obviously needs a good makeover to give it some more style. The shape is absolutely magnificent and what I call the "perfect mermaid chair" based on the shell shape back. She haggled him down to $25 when he was asking $50.
Tip 5: Look for hoards of jewelry all thrown together. Usually those piles have a couple of goodies for $1, $2, & $3. I found this necklace for $3 and I am so happy!!! It is perfect for Hawaii and anything Bohemian.
Tip 6: Make sure to watch out for over prized Ebay hipsters who have online stores/ blogs. There is a lot of kids out there jumping at the thought of vintage coming back bla bla, I know some of my friends are doing it, but don't be fooled at the flea market. There are kids there just trying to make a buck and if you can the goods yourself, no need to pay their "retail price." The only time it is worth it is for a one of a kind item that you must have, regardless of the price. So you decide if their finding price is worth it by doing your research.
Hope those were some useful tips for you. Make sure to check out the flea market in Ventura every week, there is some good shit out there. Don't try SB, there isn't much that is good except yard sale hunting and the May Madness sale at the Music Academy.
Here are a couple books if you are interested in the subject matter, they have some great tips for beginners!: