Endless stalls of invaluable heirlooms, modern gadgets and vintage clothing await you at a flea market but it’s so easy to miss out on these really treasured items. You could end up spending hours in one market stall and then have to speed through the rest, or you could get lost, wandering around in circles visiting the same stalls endlessly. It’s important to plan for the ultimate flea market shopping experience, and here are some ways to get the most out of your day.
12 tips for flea market shopping
1. Get a map
It’s not unheard of to get lost at a flea market which means missing out on some really great stalls so try source a map of the market ahead of time and plan your route accordingly. Get a feel for the market’s layout because most markets will generally place similar stalls in the same vicinity so you can decide where to go first. If you’re really diligent you can take note of the stalls you enjoyed or where you purchased items for a return visit another time.
2. Get there early
It’s always best to get to a market before the crowds arrive and while the stalls are still full and you can broswe the stalls and view the mehandise. Once your shopping is done you can enjoy the live enetrtainment or a bite to eat.
3. Make a day of it
A day at the flea market is a fantastic experience for the whole family so, rather than rushing through the stalls, make a day of it. Get in early for breakfast, take your time perusing the stalls while the children enjoy the fresh air and fun kids activities on offer. There are usually great discounts at the end of the day, so if you stick around, you’re bound to get some great deals.
4. Check out the entertainment
Flea markets often provide local musicians and entertainers with a really worthwhile platform to break into a new audience. It’s always encouraging to support the local talent and you might tap into an artist you’d never heard of before. Enhance your shopping experience with the day’s entertainment!
5. Take cash
Although there may be ATMs on site, the queues could be long and these portable ATMs often run out of cash. Added to this, some sellers won’t accept debit or credit cards so it’s worth taking cash – particularly smaller bills – to the market. Be sure to keep this in a secure bag which isn’t easily evident.
6. Wear comfortable shoes
Flea market shopping is not the time to break into your latest pair of high heels. Opt for a comfortable pair of walking shoes as you don’t want your market experience cut short because of painful feet.
7. Ask about pick-up policies
If you buy a big item, make sure you ask the seller about the pick-up policy. If you can only collect it in a day or two, make sure they will hold the item for you.
8. Choose your haggles
Don’t waste your, or the seller’s time haggling over a price if you’re actually not serious about buying. If you really do love the item and feel it’s somewhat overpriced, then a market is certainly the place to negotiate a price. Don’t be scared to try out your haggling skills but be courteous about it.
9. Go with an open mind
A flea market is not a retail store so don’t expect to find exactly what you want in mint condition. A market is the perfect place to find items with real potential so go in thinking of ways to re-purpose interesting finds, rather than passing them by. Cosmetic repairs are easy fixes so do some haggling and come away with a great bargain.
10. Don’t miss a good opportunity
If you find something you really love, it’s fine to take some time to consider whether it’s worth the price and haggle for the best deal, but if it’s something you really want, don’t walk away. Chances are, there will be a few people who visit the stall later and snatch it up.
11. Take a collapsible cart
If you’re going to take this market shopping seriously, then it’s worth taking a collapsible cart – or similar trolley device - with you. This frees up your hands, allowing you to browse easily and also means you won’t have aching arms carrying items just one hour in.
12. Check whether the market is pet friendly
If you couldn’t consider market shopping without your four-legged friend, then just check ahead if the market allows for pets. Many do cater for pets – on a lead – but make sure you clean up after your beloved pup.
A fantastic place to do all of the above is Montana Family Market in Pretoria. Situated on the corner of Enkeldoorn Avenue and Sefako Makgatho Drive, Pretoria, just across from Kolonnade Mall, Montana Family Market is a diverse shopping experience promising family fun. Pop in for a quick shop and bite to eat or stay for a full day of family fun at one of Pretoria’s best markets.