bettershelter homes are known for their bohemian coastal chic styling. The man behind that styling has an addiction to flea markets, and he took a moment to tell us how to work it at the flea!
1. Do you have any tips on how to bargain at flea markets?
I think the best tip is to BE NICE. A smile goes a long way! Remember this is how a lot of these people make their money and to be respectful of that. Do your homework and offer a price that does not insult the vendor. Everyone wins.
2. What is your favorite flea market?
I love the Rose Bowl! Even with the internet and eBay, etc. it is amazing what people STILL pull out of Rose Bowl! The granddaddy of them all for sure.
(image via privatelosangelestours.com)
3. Do you have any flea market shopping techniques?
I make a list on my phone of what items I am looking for and then review that list every 20 minutes or so to keep me on track. It is VERY easy to get distracted! I usually drag a cart around with me and I pick stuff up as I buy it, then I don’t have to run around at the end trying to find all my purchases. For larger purchases I have a van to haul stuff back. Bring food. The food at the flea is not very good.
4. What are you usually looking out for when you are browsing?
I am constantly looking for architectural salvage stuff; windows, hardware, anything to add to the homes that will give it charm and authenticity. A lot of our staging furniture comes from the fleas as well. I also have been known to pick up a few personal things for myself as well, my crammed home is evidence of that. Did I mention watches? I have a few of them too.
5. Are there any current popular flea market items/trends?
The whole steampunk industrial trend still pretty strong! After you go to the fleas for a while you will see that different vendors have specific points of view; I have lots of favorites who I can depend on to deliver the goods! My eye is so trained now that I only see what I want to see and I edit everything else out of my brain, it can be overwhelming the first few times.
6. What should we watch out for when buying from flea markets?
Sometimes vendors are selling reproductions; it is OK to ask and typically they will tell you. With furniture you should sit on it and wiggle it slightly to make sure it is structurally sound. Look for hairline cracks on pottery. Other than that, have fun and enjoy the hunt! I certainly do!
(image via baskmagazine.com)
LA Area Flea Markets:
Rose Bowl Flea Market: 2nd Sunday of every month.
Long Beach Antique Market: 3rd Sunday of every month.
Melrose Trading Post: Every Sunday, rain or shine.
The Roadium Open Air Market: Open 7 days a week.
The Ventura Flea Market: Check schedule for dates.
THANK YOU FOR THE TIPS STEVE!