While first-timers may find a flea market to be an overwhelming emporium of junk, seasoned bargain hunters know better. The Silver Lake flea market has everything you’d find at a shopping mall, plus the low prices you’d expect to find at a garage sale. As lockdown restrictions are lifted, flea markets will hopefully become a regular occurrence once again across the country, so it’s always good to be prepared whenever you decide to go. So, without further ado, here are some tips to help you have a great time and find great deals at the Silver Lake flea market.
Know Your Available Spaces
When shopping for furniture or large items, be sure to measure the available space in your home. There is nothing worse than discovering that after all the looking around, buying, and carrying that apparent perfect piece of furniture, it won’t fit anywhere. A similar thing happens with clothing. At flea markets, it is not possible to try on clothing when shopping for vintage items. Therefore, measure your body or your clothing beforehand in order to make a purchase decision.
Also, measure the trunk of your car ahead of time. That will prevent a headache later on. If you purchase a larger item, you can ask the vendor to hold it for you until a later date. Then you can continue shopping without wasting time carrying items to your vehicle.
Arrive Extra Early… or Not?
This may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: get to the market as soon as possible in order to snag the best deals. There is a reason why the savviest shoppers, including other dealers, tend to arrive at dawn. Getting up early on a Sunday morning can be difficult, but it is somewhat easier during the summer. Keeping hydrated, bringing a hat or sunscreen, and avoiding becoming too cold or too hot are not conducive to savvy flea market marketing.
Alternatively, you can arrive near the end of the day when the market closes. Despite the fact that a lot of the good stuff may have already been purchased, you may get in for free, saving you money for shopping; more importantly, you may also be able to negotiate a great deal. Weary dealers will have had a very long day and may be willing to negotiate on a specific item to avoid having to pack it up again. This can be especially true for larger, bulkier, or more fragile items.
Don’t Be Shy About Asking About A Price If You’re Unsure
Don’t let the fact that something doesn’t have a price stop you from getting it. We’re aware that it is a natural assumption to make that a product will be overpriced if it is of exceptionally high quality. On the other hand, occasionally you’ll strike it rich and acquire something at an extremely low cost. Also, asking about a price is a great way to start a conversation, which leads us to the next point.
Flea Market Bargaining Advice
Like any other skill, haggling requires practice, but the following tips can be helpful: First, smile, remain cordial and optimistic, and make eye contact with the dealer. There is no cause for embarrassment. Second, be respectful. Most vendors aren’t out to rip you off, so offering a couple of bucks for a well-presented item priced at $40 may seem like a smart move, but you may end up offending the seller and scuttling any further negotiation.
Before submitting an offer on an item, determine how much you are willing to pay and work backward. People do business with other people, so making some small talk with the vendor before making an offer can help to create a friendly environment.
Take Your Time
Unless you’re extremely pressed for time, it’s best to do a few rounds of the stalls before making an initial purchase; nothing is more aggravating than spending all your money on lame items early on, only to find a great deal at the end when your money is gone.
Reputation Can Be Important
Consider spending more with a reputable dealer. Unlike car-boot sales, larger flea markets frequently attract full-time vendors with whom you can verify an item’s provenance or obtain an invoice. If in doubt, walk away. Also, keep an eye out for items that are still in their original packaging. Not only is this cool and retro, but it can also increase the value of the item.
Lots of Bags
Because not all vendors provide bags, or because they may only provide small, flimsy ones, you should bring your own sturdy holders to avoid damage or discomfort when carrying your goods around. Some vendors may hold on to your purchases so you don’t have to carry that heavy vase around all day, but it can be very stressful if you get delayed or can’t locate the stand again.
And Finally, Don’t Forget the Cash
Last but not least, this might be the most common piece of advice for flea markets, and for good reason: cash is king. Despite the fact that many vendors now accept credit cards thanks to platforms such as Square and PayPal, you still have the most leverage when paying with cash. In addition, using cash helps you stick to a budget.
Hopefully, this article will help you navigate the Silver Lake Flea Market and pretty much any other flea make like a boss. Be sure to visit our website to learn more about community events and information throughout the entire area.