Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Top Tips for Flea Market Success.

About a month ago Mum and l drove a couple of hours up the road to the little country town where her Sister lives..... she's just as mad keen on junking as we are, so a trip to all the opshops (the whole 3 of them:-)) was in order. At the salvos l found this fantastic plastic ruby coloured cup from the 50's. It shows the Queens' coronation in 1952. 
The hellebores are pretty much the only thing flowering in the garden at the moment.....SOO can't wait for Spring.
It'd be a stretch to call myself a collector....l'm more an opportunistic finder, however there are things l CAN'T resist if they catch my eye and the price is right....and the odd vintage frock certainly fits that category, most of the ones in these pics cost less than a fiver..They span all the decades from the 50's on, l'm not at all pernickety about which era they're from....Even the one with the big fergie bow from the eighties didn't escape my adulation....haha!! (check it out a few pics below).
You might like the idea l came up with to decorate the coathangers. Using old doilies l layered one over the top of another, by pushing the hanger hook through the centres.  I didn't want to make (new) holes in the doilies so l selected ones that already had (lace) holes in the centre. Beaded milk jug covers were used for the second layer....easy peasy..... and since clearly there wasn't enough going on here..hehe.. l decorated the display with wreaths, pearls, faux flowers and fringed scarf.
Anyway all this talk about treasure hunting got me thinking about sharing a few tips that have helped me and might also help you when heading off to the market..... Here's my top five. 
1. If you see something you LOVE and you can afford it... BUY IT 'cos if you love it, so will someone else and it'll sell.......Having said that don't lose your head with excitement over what you consider a bargain. While it's YOUR option and especially if it's pricey check it out WELL, if it's made of glass or ceramic....give it a ting on the side, a nice ringing sound should mean there's no damage. Also feel the item all over with your hands it's often easier to FEEL damage than see it. Although damage may not matter to you, the price should reflect the quality of the item you're buying. Sometimes the dealer may not even realise that something is damaged, but if it is and it's brought to his attention you may be able to negotiate a new (fairer) price. 
2. The best stuff will always sell early as you know, but l've noticed that private stallholders (who often have the interesting, previously unseen stuff) often come a bit later than the regulars, so timing is key. Things to consider are the weather, daylight savings, and time of the year. (Usually somewhere around 8-8.30 works well in my neck of  the woods). Dealers are earlybirds and are everywhere with their torches and (sometimes) pushiness, often earlier than 5.00am and hang about til 8.00ish, which is hard to compete with, nevertheless just by being that little bit later you can often pick up what they've missed in their haste to make it to the next stall.   

3. If you go to the market a lot, like l do .... it's great if you can foster relationships with the regular stallholders....that way not only does everyone get to enjoy the fun, friendship and positive vibes of the market (which is prob'ly the best thing) you'll also find that when they get to know the type of things you consistently buy, they'll actually source and bring these things along for you to check out, and always give you their best price.

4. l know everyone says you should haggle at the market and that it's generally expected, however l rarely haggle....if l think something's a fair price (and it usually is) then l'm HAPPY to pay it.. Having been a stallholder myself on a number of the pointy end of people haggling over 50 cents and then pulling out a tenner (or worse a fifty) to pay for it, struth you just gotta shake your head. It's important to be FAIR, after all you WANT the stallholders to make money so it's worthwhile them coming back again...If it's a really good price, tip them and make their day :-))

THE fergie bow. 
5.....and lastly in your handbag take a light weight strong (carry) bag...the nylon ones that fold into a little purse work well and if you were super organised you'd also take a piece of bubble wrap,(breakables) a plastic snap lock bag (jewellery/cards), a small packet of tissues and a tape measure.(and any measurements you might need). Dress comfy....especially your shoes. Since l'm always early and don't hang about, l never worry about water, snacks or sunblock but are things to consider if you're  having a big day. Most of all take an open mind for all those possibilities out there.... and HAVE FUN!!
Cute ballerina wool embroidery... 

Beautiful vintage party dresses. rachel ashwell via pinterest. 
Really lovin' these old soda syphons....jeannedarcliving. via pinterest.
In the new Romantic Homes they have a list of the top flea market collectibles at the moment and thought l'd include them for you.
1. Salt Cellars....Apparently formal dining is back
2. Cake Plates...Statement pieces
3. Keys.......Mysterious and romantic?Curtain tie backs
4. Wireware. Egg baskets and crates. For storage.
5. Vintage crate labels....... Decorating books, labelling jars and bottles.
6. Small oil paintings.....Group them or frame and hang them.
7. Ladders.......textile display, or use as bookshelf.
8. Birdhouses.........Use indoors or out.
9. Timepieces.......Useful and old ones add vintage appeal...pull apart and repurpose.
So there you have it....hope this post helps you out a little on your next junking trip:-))
Have a wonderful rest of your week, thanks so much for stopping by.
Til next time,


  1. Hi Bron, that was a fantastic post and really helpful for the new bargain hunters. I too am happy to pay the set price if I think it is fair and reasonable, especially if I know they are worth alot more!

    Love the red coronation glass, and the tips for the pretty hangers.

    Enjoy the rest of the week, Tam x

    1. Thanks Tam. l'm really glad you enjoyed the post, fancy you being a non haggler as well:-))

  2. You always have such beautiful photos ... I wish I could step into them! The dresses look so pretty. Really useful bargain hunter tips too! M x

    1. Thanks for your kind words re: the photos Marina, and glad you liked the junking tips as well.

  3. great photos, great finds, great tips!

    1. Thanks so much Deanne...l bet it's gloriously warm and sunny in Queensland.

  4. Hi dear,beautiful post-love your dresses ♥ and your florentine tray too!!!!!
    Have a nice summer day's!!!

    1. l'm so happy you enjoyed having a squiz at my old frocks Michaela...hope you have a lovely rest of your week.

  5. I want to shop with you! such beautiful things and pretty pictures. You have such a pretty blog.

  6. Thankyou for sharing these tips Bron.
    I often find flea markets quite overwhelming
    so your tips helpful.
    I found the 8.30 prime time fascinating.
    I enjoyed seeing your vintage treasures.
    The colour of the dresses are gorgeous.
    x michelle

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by Shel, l really hope the tips come in useful sometime. Hope you have a lovely rest of your week:-))

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  8. Beautiful photographs and very good tips !!