Flea market table with dishes, china, plates, bottles, lamps, bottles, and antiques.

If you’re a flea market fiend, you already know plenty of ways to find the best items and the best deals. But for those of us who aren’t as well-versed, here are some tips from the pros.

I’m also including some San Fernando Valley flea markets to check out at the bottom of this article.

  1. It’s a treasure hunt – Consider your trip to the flea market an adventure. There may be some obvious things that stand out for you, but they’re probably pricier and wanted by a lot of people (therefore why they’re on prominent display). Be prepared to dig deep. Some of the best treasures are tucked away in that crate near the back.
  2. ‘Go early on the first day’ – You’ll get the best selection when you beat everyone else to it. Leah French of TheSpruce.com says you should also go back at the end. “Stop by again at the end of the last day to get the biggest discounts.” Just don’t expect haggling to go far early on.
  3. Prep yourself before you wreck yourself – The markets aren’t like a shopping trip to The Grove or Rodeo Drive. Your prep game is very important. Brian Martucci of MoneyCrashers.com says to bring cashdress down (“appear frugal … many vendors are reluctant to entertain offers from decked-out buyers for whom money appears to be no object”), stay hydrated and bring snacks, wear comfy walking shoes, and BYOB (bring your own bags).
  4. Map it out – If there’s a map, grab it. Use it to plan your attack and take notes.
  5. Again, bring cash – Don’t count on there being an ATM or that all vendors will take debit or credit cards.
  6. Ask about the pick-up policy – If it’s a large item, how long will the vendor hold the item for you? 
  7. Think repurposing – Can you repurpose items into something even better? Is it damaged but can be remedied easily? Keep any extra costs or efforts in mind before buying.

Some area flea markets to check out:

If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.

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