Catch Flea Market Fever!

Tue, Aug 11, 2015 @ 08:08 AM Dawn M. Smith Home Decorating Ideas, Military Life

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Flea market mania continues to cross the country and will see a bump of activity as the summer fades and cooler temps draw crowds outdoors again. The spring usually kicks off the season, but there are plenty of late summer and fall purchases to be made.  

When the economic downturn began eight to ten years ago, the resurgence of flea markets, rummage sales, and the like reclaimed heyday status. However, there is a huge contingent of people who never thought they went out of style. Just look at the popularity of Lara Spencer and her HGTV hit, Flea Market Flip. In her books dedicated to flea market style, she makes the transformations look so easy!

But even Lara will tell you there are tricks of the trade for selecting your sites and excavating for troves of surprises.

Tried and True Shopping Tips

  • Go early, carry cash, hydrate, and wear sunscreen.
  • Wear comfy shoes and bring snacks, but be prepared to buy a local delicacy!
  • Think port-a-potties and bring hand sanitizer and wipes.
  • Tape measures and handy tote bags are a must. Heavily consider a rolling tote.
  • Go with your gut and buy it after a good haggle session. It won’t be there later.

Use these directories, resources, and treasure maps to fill an afternoon or girls’ getaway weekend!

  • Flea Market Insiders Ashley and Nicholas put together Flea Market: Top 20 Flea Markets in the US. Their blog is well done. It’s easy to read and visually appealing. Their attitude leans toward the buyer who shops for the love of the item instead of resale opportunities. Even more brilliant for those of us stationed in Europe are their travel guides for markets throughout the continent. Perfect!
  • Erin Huffstetler is a frugal living expert at About Money. She complied a list of the longest yard sales in the U.S. It’s a detailed directory of rummage style sales with dates, websites, and other useful details about the events. Make sure to scroll through to find the upcoming fall events.
  • Flea Market Décor’s online magazine has many inspirational photo posts and how-to articles to give flea market finds new life. It also complies a nationwide directory of flea market events.
  • The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles isn’t exactly all flea market oriented, but there is some crossover appeal to investigate in their Antique Events Schedule.
  • The 127 Corridor Sale. Keep this one on your planner for your to-do list next year, as it always begins the first Thursday in August through the following Sunday. This mammoth collection is affectionately known as “The World’s Longest Yard Sale.” Beginning in Addison, Michigan, the nearly 700-mile stretch of Highway 127 is loaded with yard sale finds and antiques. The fun finally ends in Gadsden, Alabama. Its popularity has probably peaked since it has been featured in many magazines and TV shows, but diehard fans attend each year and return with trailers and trucks of goodness. From my research, it seems as though the World’s Longest Yard Sale should be tackled by investing in a chunk of the map convenient and easy to navigate from your home. The picking can become tedious and overwhelming if you attempt to cover too many miles.

Keep a PCS detour in mind; there just might be a flea market too good for your military family to pass up, just in time to fill those blank spaces in your new home! A quick check of local Chambers of Commerce is a good place to start for community sales.This fall, don’t forget about your own neighborhood and military base sales. Community sales draw large crowds and are an easy way to earn Christmas cash. Yes, I said Christmas!

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photo credit: Vintage Wood Soft Drink Crates and Modern Foam Beer Cooler via photopin