It's finally flea season and we're all set to spend our Saturdays from now until Labor Day at the market. But even bargains can add up, so take our advice and use these hints to keep your costs down (so you can buy more!).
Since you're after the best price, you want to aim for the later hours of the day when vendors will be most likely to make a deal (to avoid having to pack up their wares). You can still find great stuff all day long and you may wind up with a steal as well.
Many flea market finds are one of a kind, but not necessarily. If you're in the market for common flea market finds like cast iron skillets or worn-in leather bags, it's probably worth a few laps around the market to check the competition before shelling out your cash.
The way to get what you want for the best price is to get the vendor on your team and for that to happen, you have to be nice. This is not an antagonistic encounter. The seller will quote you a price, you'll say how much you love this item (compliments are key) but you can't swing that price. Then you'll offer a fair amount. Don't go insultingly low. Sellers build a little wiggle room into their quotes, but they usually aren't trying to gouge you, so settle on a reasonable (for both of you) price.
Vendors want to sell out their stand before the day is through so if you have your eye on more than one item from a specific seller they'll usually give you a bulk deal.
Consider all costs
Remember, the price you pay is only the first step. Often your flea market finds need to be transported and then refinished or recovered. Those costs add up. A splurge is a splurge, but if you're in the money-saving game, don't forget to add in everything you'll need to spend to get your find up to snuff.
Love everything flea? Check out more of our coverage: