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Fourth and Flea

Usually July 4th is a big auction or flea market day for me but this year I’m taking it off to spend time with the family. The next big buying day will be Labor Day, so here are my tips for scoring the best deals.

  1. Make a list and try to stick to it. I also know several dealers who buy by color or style. For example today I am only looking for chippy whites or farmhouse rustic. It works and helps to keep you focused.

  2. Arrive early and bring cash. Small bills are best; I try to take nothing bigger then a $20.

  3. BRING A TAPE MEASURE! If you’re looking for big pieces make sure they fit in the car and load them right away. It’s easier then rearranging every trip back to the car.

  4. The bigger the project the less it should cost. A piece may seem like a good deal but it has issues; missing back or drawer pulls, water damage, over all condition. Add in your costs of rehab. Is it worth it? I have made this mistake many times in fact I have apiece right now— does anyone need a 9-foot Victorian mirror? Oh, it weights about 100 lbs.

  5. PULL THE TRIGGER! I see this happen all the time at the shop. If you love it buy it. It won’t be there when you come back.

  6. Ask for a “better price” on a grouping of items. Late in the day sellers often lower prices dramatically, it pays to stay.

  7. The most important thing— BE KIND. Greet the seller when you enter the booth. Be respectful when haggling. Try to keep negative comments to a minimum. Most sellers love their things; they may have been Grandma’s or hand crafted by the seller.

Happy 4th of July and see you at the next sale.

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