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3 Key Tips: How to Shop a Flea Market

3 Key Tips: How to Shop a Flea Market

This past weekend I went to the Elephant’s Trunk Country Flea Market in New Milford, CT.  Elephant’s Trunk bills itself as one of the largest flea markets in New England.  I’ve been wanting to go for about a hundred years!


flea market

It’s a beautiful day at Elephant’s Trunk.  A treasure trove of antiques, vintage furniture and clothing, found objects…


I’ll tell you more about what we actually bought in a later post, but first wanted to share with you a few quick tips that you might want to keep in mind before you embark on your own flea market adventure:

1) Go late.

Okay, I’m sort of joking here because the first golden rule of successful flea market shopping is to show up early in the morning.  Well, we rolled in at 12:30pm and the whole thing closes at 2!  Oops.

But I think there’s something to be said for our “strategy”.   The vendors were tired at that point and they wanted to move merchandise and call it a day.

I scored this mirror for $5 and basically didn’t even have to negotiate.


I’m going to spraypaint it white and hang it in the baby’s room.


2) Bring cash!  Bring small bills!

Many vendors take credit cards, but they might give you a better deal if you have cash.

Also, the vendors do expect to bargain over everything, so get ready!  It should be a friendly exchange and I always open my negotiation with “is that the best price you can do?”.


My friend Reshma drives a hard bargain. 


3) Bring a cart.

Can you imagine carrying that mirror all over 33 acres in the blazing sun?


We used my snap n’ go carseat wheels as a makeshift cart.  It was pretty big and could hold a lot of stuff, but I think next time I would actually opt for a real cart, as the wheels got stuck in the rough terrain.


There are other things to keep in mind – bring sunscreen!  Bring your own bottle of water!  And my sister-in-law had the brilliant idea of bringing your own tape measure and a  list of things you might need!   But the three tips above I think are the most key and something you may not have thought of before.   Ready to hit the flea market this weekend??


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