If you are anything like me, you love vintage shopping, especially the Sunday flea markets! Even if I don't buy anything, I just love the hunt and discover old treasures. The Long Beach Antique Flea Market is definitely my local favorite but every now and then I make my way up to the larger Rosebowl Flea market.
If you don't live in the Southern California area, I found a new tool for you to find markets! Introducing the most nifty online Flea & Farmers Market guide. This is not sponsored, just sharing a resource where you can literally find two of my favorite weekend activities, flea and farmers markets! It makes it super easy to search by state and they are constantly updating it with new markets. Considered this your localized list of indoor and outdoor events to scope out the best markets in your neighborhood for the weekend (or weekday!). Side note: San Francisco area, I recommend the Alameda Antique Market. but here is complete list of the Flea Markets in California. Once you find a market you can put to use my tips below, that I have managed to learn over time as an avid flea market shopper...
#1 FINDING TREASURES
Having in mind what you are looking for will help you immensely.
Searching through flea markets can be overwhelming, the crowds, the heat and the surplus of items. I always keep an open mind if I see something not on my list, but I usually try to stick to it. That way I don't end up buying items I don't need. Currently, I am looking for more items to incorporate into the still life's in my watercolor workshops. My current list is: vintage frames, small vases, succulents and old books.
Free your arms and opt for a rolling cart.
I would atleast suggest having a large durable bag to hold your treasures. Even better than a bag would be a rolling cart. This makes it much easier for transporting plants and other large items you don't want flipping over in your bag. It also relives some stress on your arms, park it up and shop each booth. Also, bring a measuring tape if you are buying larger items. You will need to measure inside your car beforehand, if that is where the item is going. That way you can know when you find your treasure if it will fit. Some vendors do offer delivery of items, so don't hesitate to ask.
Find a hidden one dollar treasure.
I never liked to feel rushed when I am shopping. That is why I always try to arrive to the flea market early. Don't fret if not, some of the best deals happen later in the day when vendors don't want to pack things up. Yet be aware, most of the "good stuff" goes quickly in the morning to the collectors. The search is the most thrilling part and I will usually atleast find a $1 item to bring home. I do try to enjoy myself even if I go home empty handed. Grab a drink (most markets i have attended serve beer!) and get a kick out of the vendors eclectic collections from times past.
Below are a few items that will be useful when shopping the market. A cart for your goods, a cute list making notepad, and don't forget travel water to stay hydrated:)