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It’s About Time!
published on March 8, 2017

The change in Eastern Daylight Savings Time is just days away when we move the clocks ahead an hour to gain that long sought after extra hour of  daylight.

With the official start of Spring coming shortly thereafter, Monday, March 20th, it’s time to prepare for what many people regard as one of their most fun and favorite Spring activities that they’ve waited for throughout this long winter, Spring Flea Markets. But backing up just a bit,  a lot of people may feel that overall in our area at least it really hasn’t been a long winter, and certainly not the seasonal one we may have expected. But winter is still here and just to play it safe maybe we should cross our fingers knowing that March is a funny weather month that throws us surprises now and then.
That being said, we can use whatever time we have indoors until we can enjoy the slightly warmer temperatures and extra daylight to plan a flea market adventure. While there are umpteen reasons why many of us enjoy flea markets (a love affair with nostalgia about antique markets being a huge one) the whimsical nature of the activity, the chance to explore,inspect,and imagine, the interest that comes with hearing the story about an object of our curiosity, and don’t forget, the grand opportunity to people watch that’s spontaneous theater of a sort might lead this long list.
Whether flea marketing in the city or slightly outside of it we’d like to offer just a few well meaning tips that probably most seasoned marketeers  would give a nod and maybe a knowing smile:
  • Have A Game Plan – Sure, finding a flea market while traveling the city or riding down a highway could be spontaneous . But having a notion     about really how much you can afford to spend, want vs need, where your going to put or store it, and who and when you may give that certain find you discovered  are important considerations. It’s easy to be  overcome with exuberance and enthusiasm and act in the spur of the moment lest someone else eye your treasure at the same time. Think from the back end and take a  moment to consider before you buy how you’ll be feeling about your purchase after 2 or 3 days. Thinking as well as feeling helps you strike a balance. If marketeering with your housemate or partner be sure to find out how they may feel about it.
  • Plan Ahead  -If your planning ahead including plans for transportation from as well as to is always a good idea, especially for a larger than expected purchase. If you don’t have a car it’s always good to have a friend who does. For shorter distances a folding shopping cart can work nicely, again depending on what you have a mind to buy. Taking a few reusable bags along from the supermarket is a great idea since they can handle small to moderate amounts of weight.
  • Dress for the Occasion – Many markets start early in the morning and some go on until the later part of the afternoon. Take a pullover or sweater if the weather changes and dress for comfort not necessarily for style. Many markets are ” come as you are” and don’t forget the vendors may be taking a keen interest in you as the purchaser as well as your interest in bargaining with them.
  • Barter – for the most part is understood as an integral part of flea markets  and some people find it enjoyable. But bartering nicely is likely to be appreciated. While there are no hard/fast rules so to speak, bargaining within 20 % of the asking price some say is a reasonable way to begin. Keep in mind that the vendors work hard at what they do and while the markets are enjoyable for us the respect for their trade while landing a good bargain could help create a win/win encounter. Couldn’t imagine loading that car or truck up with everything I didn’t sell at the end of the day, Whew!
  • Bring along Cash – In an age of technology more and more vendors at flea markets are succumbing to the practicality of plastic. But cash still talks as any traveler even a short distance one knows. It can make a big difference even with a small purchase and who really wants to pay those card fees anyway?  When travelling with cash it may be a good idea to have a few denominations available that you can draw on. It could be the tipping point in driving home a really good bargain and having a good story to tell about your flea market find in the times to come!

Whether browsing for something to accentuate your digs,  adding something vintage to your wardrobe or buying an out of the ordinary “just because” gift, flea markets are a fun, low cost way to celebrate Spring’s arrival!

It’s About Time!