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Flea market shopping is a skill perfected by past generations. Knowing how to get what you want at the best price takes experience and more than a little nerve. For those of you still new to the fine art of flea marketing, here are a few tips that will help you make the most of your visit.
• Arrive early.
Crowds are smaller, selection is better and dealers’ stalls are neater when the flea
market first opens.
• Stay as long as you can.
Prices drop near closing time. Eager sellers often cut prices over the course of the day.
• Wear comfy clothes and shoes.
Dressing down makes you feel better, and dressing up will inspire sellers to charge you more.
• Bring cash in small currency.
Few sellers accept checks, and most don’t take plastic. If you tell someone you can’t pay $20 for an item and then flash a $50 bill, the seller will be very upset.
• Bring a few plastic bags.
Not all sellers will have them, and it makes carrying your items easier.
• Always offer less.
The dealer may not accept your offer, but might give you a substantial discount.
• Come back later.
If a dealer stubbornly refuses to give you a deal, come back around closing time. If the item hasn’t sold, the seller might be willing to negotiate.
• Be polite.
There’s a difference between haggling on a price and being just plain rude. If the dealer will not budge on price, respond, “I just can’t afford this item right now, but thanks anyway” and then leave on good terms. If you offend the seller, he or she might not cut you a deal
later, or ever again.
• Don’t pass up an
If you find that item you’ve always wanted, buy it. It may not be there later.
• Have fun.
Don’t feel rushed. Take some time to window shop at each and every stall. You might be surprised at what you discover.—SN