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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday is Resource Day: Flea Markets

One of my favorite things to do is to include in my projects, off beat and unusual finds. These can be hard to come by, the large chains are not really a spot where you will find that, and some of the smaller boutiques can get very, very expensive. So, I have a few Antique and Flea markets that I regularly visit for these "treasures". That is today's resource. Most cities will have a regular market, luckily in Los Angeles there are sometimes two or even three to choose from on a given weekend. Recently, when I was in Italy I visited some of my favorites, one of which is the one above in Arezzo, where the whole old town becomes a giant market.

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.


Anonymous said...

I've acquired my favorite finds at flea markets. I found some great saris recently which I'm turning into drapes - per one of your posts. Can't wait to enjoy them.
Thanks for yet another great post.

Fairfax said...

I love flea markets, church jumble sales, yard sales and thrift shops. I have had some incredible luck (last week, 22 pieces of french ivory-handled cutlery for $.40/piece)... You have to have an educated eye to spot some treasures.

DM said...

Your bog is a must read!
You are simply inspiring and truly a master at your craft! I also share a passion for shopping the flea markets for those treasures and interesting finds.
Cheers Mark:)

dm said...

CORRECTION..Your BLOG is a must read!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I so love markets too! I have just returned from Kenya and posted some treasures on my blog today:-)