Today we're off to First Monday Trade Days to find more products and fixtures for our new store as well as our online shop. Last month we took 18 women to the East Texas flea and spilled the beans on our tips and tricks for navigating large open air markets.
They loved them so much we thought we'd share our top five with you, too!
Tip 1: Transportation is Key
If you have the chance, bring a vehicle that can easily transport large finds back home. Just as important is your personal transportation for finds while navigating markets. We love a traditional upright grocery type cart (you can usually find them at flea markets or online). We also use a fold up wagon often for more unusual shaped items. We found ours for $50 at Costco and it's great for toting kids to sports equipment when not at market. In addition to something on wheels, trade your purse for a large tote bag that can easily hold your small treasures or more breakable finds.
Tip 2: Wear Comfy Fitted Clothing
You never know where a flea market may take you -- and where you might need to try on an amazing Mexican dress! Wear fitted clothing to try things on over your outfit on the fly. There are rarely changing rooms and bathrooms are usually far and few in between. We like to wear leggings and a tank top or tee no matter the weather and then layer as needed. That way when the perfect piece presents itself you're ready to strip down and slip it right on without showing too much skin.
Tip 3: Repeat after us: SHOW
Remember this acronym when preparing for market the night before. S stands for cozy shoes, sunglasses and sunscreen (may seem obvious but these can make or break your day!). W is for water, wheels and wipes (no explanation necessary for these essentials). O is for ones; bring plenty of cash and don't forget ones. Vendors will really appreciate it and you will likely make better deals because they don't see you pull out a $20 for a $2 pair of costume earrings. H is for headgear as most markets have little shade for protection.
Tip 4: Dig, baby, dig
Want to find the best treasures at your next flea? You must not be afraid to dig (remember when we said to pack wipes?)! The real gems are always deep inside a bin or hidden under a pile of blankets or random bike wheels. It never hurts to ask vendors if they have what you're looking for, as well. It's very common for them to have gems hiding under a table, not out yet or behind a stack of records. Some of our favorite costume jewelry pieces were found after sifting through a random box for a few minutes or asking if they had a $5 bin with our name on it somewhere.
Tip 5: Perspective is Everything
It's funny how quickly a $25 turquoise ring can sound expensive at a flea market when there's a pile of $5 junky ones next to it. Yet at a big box store you wouldn't blink if it was $65 -- it would actually be a steal! Keep yourself in check while shopping at a flea to not kick yourself when you get home and realize the deals you left in the dust. We also like to remind people that your money at a flea market is directly supporting a small business and the person you are buying from. When you keep that in mind, you will often not pass up treasures and be so thankful you didn't when you get home and have things you can't find anywhere else in the world.
First Monday Trade Days is today through Sunday sun up until sun down. Our flea markets are around the corner, too! Our Dallas show is April 6th and 7th at Dallas Market Hall and our Houston pop up is April 21st at Silver Street Studios! Buy your tickets now at shopfleastyle.com!