Here are some thoughts about how to improve the quality of your market experience:
- Get there early! If you want the truly unusual or the hard to find, there is no substitute for being there at the crack of dawn. Some of the best things I have found i have taken right from the hands of the dealer as he unpacks his truck.
- Get there late! If what you really want is a great deal, more than a great find, try getting there at the end of the day. Most of the dealers do not want to schlep this stuff home again and wait for the next market, so your opportunity to get a great price is dramatically increased right before they go home.
- Educate yourself. If you know what it is you want specifically, check around so you know the sorts of prices things go for. E Bay is a great resource for this sort of thing. You can see there what people are willing to pay for things that are similar to what you are looking for. So do your homework before you go, and you will do a better job of paying the right price.
- Measure. Be sure of your dimensions before you go. It is amazing how many people do not know how long their Dining Room table is, or the depth of their fireplace mantle. Get these sizes before you leave the house, it will help avoid some costly mistakes.
- If I am looking for something to go in a particular location, whether it's a table or a shelf, I like to bring a picture with me, it helps to refresh my memory and once again avoids me making some big mistakes.
Above all, enjoy the day out and have a great time, it's one of my favorite pastimes.