Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Flea Market Season

Spring has sprung in Minnesota and that means it is time for Flea Markets!  This was our first trip this year and it was to Pioneer Power Days in Le Sueur, MN. 

Here are a few of our unwritten rules for success at a flea market.

1.  Plan your trip
Try to attend the flea market on the first day, the best items sell early!  But, if you can't attend the first day all hope is not lost, the last day of the flea market is the best day to barter.  Vendors start thinking about packing everything back up again (especially large items!) and they are more likely to make a deal. 

2.  Have a game plan
We go to the flea market with certain items in mind, sometimes we have a list of items customers are looking for or Marie might be ready to do a store flip and we have a theme in mind.
This trip our focus was on finding unconventional planters and rusty items for light fixtures. 

3.  Never pay full price. 
Always barter! If you're like me, this is hard!  But Marie is a pro!  Be friendly and polite.  Not everyone is ready to make a deal, so don't be discouraged.  Try, try again!

4.  Be prepared!  
We always shop with a notebook and a bag/cart to carry smaller items. But, when you purchase larger items or a lot of items you will probably want to leave your stuff there to pick up at the end of the day. This is where the notebook comes in handy!  Write down what you purchased and where it is located, then you'll be sure you didn't leave anything behind.  Some vendors will allow you to consolidate your items at their spot, this always makes pick up easier. 

5.  Think outside of the box. 
Try to imagine unique ways to use items. I was searching high and low for a new light fixture. I found several items, including one I'm still regretting not buying, but none where exactly the right size for the location. 

(I desperately wanted to turn this into a light!  It had roosters on it!)

6.  Have fun!
There's plenty of people watching, crazy things for sale and yummy food at flea markets. It's always more fun to share these things with a friend!

(That's Marie's hand pointing at a hard boiled egg and spam fried in Pronto Pup batter!!)

7.  Be good at puzzles. 
Fitting everything into your vehicle at the end of the day is always a challenge. So, either be ready to patiently rearrange your vehicle until everything fits or know your limits.  If you buy more items than will fit into your vehicle be ready to make multiple trips to retrieve your items!

8.  Follow through with your plan. 
It's easy to get overwhelmed when you get home with your haul, so make a plan for when and what you'll be doing with your treasures.  Also, this helps when your significant other sees you drive up with a heap of old rusty stuff!
We made a plan to shop for plants the next day and spent part of Sunday's shop hours planting all of the planters we purchased. 

All of these planters are now available for purchase at the shop, just in time for Mother's Day!  

Planters range in price between $16 and $65!

Written by Mel. :)