'Tis the season for the fleas, Flea markets that is. They've got antique stuff, new stuff, dusty stuff and broken stuff. When you've gotten enough stuff you can turn around and resell your stuff at the flea market too.

If you prefer a cheap day, don't take any money, just look around and try to find the most unique or oldest item.

flickr/cc via karen horton
Flea Market Resources (US):
Great Flea Market
Flea Market Directory

Flea Market Resources (Can): 
BestBuys Flea Markets
Flea Markets, Coast to Coast

Here are the shopping basics from the National Flea Market Association for a pleasant shopping experience.

* Coffee. To get the best choices and bargains, be among the first through the doors, which often open by 8 a.m. So get up extra early, grab that java and go!
* Small bills. It's a simple bargaining trick: If offering $13 for something, show them the $13, exactly. Pulling out a $20 bill doesn't work nearly as well.
* Several large canvas bags and some tissue paper. Sellers will be happy to wrap items, but are likely to throw in an additional item if the customer personally does it.
* Water! When the sun is shining, open-air markets get hot quickly. Stay hydrated to keep calm and happy. A wide-brimmed hat helps too.
* A camera. There are many unusual sights at flea markets just begging to be photographed. These photos can make great art displays for your home. Just be sure to ask permission from the vendor first before shooting.

Have you ever heard of Hwy. 127 Corridor Yard sale? It is the longest US roadside sale, ONLY 675 miles long, and covers states from Michigan to Alabama. Very cool! They generally have their sales running in early August. Get your Brochure now!

Before you hop in your car and go withdraw a wad of money, go prepared so you don't have buyer's remorse. 

*Go with a 'grocery' list of what you are looking for, include size, color and any dimensions you will need.  If you are shopping with others, show them the list, too, so more eyes are looking for what you need
*Take a measuring tape 
*Pick up and carry items you think you will buy. The same goes for items that don't have a price. Don't assume items will still be there in 10 minutes.
* Get money in small bills. (Nothing like whipping out a bunch of $20 bills while you are trying to haggle them down).
* Speaking of Haggling- When you haggle, be polite, not everyone is willing to haggle. But don't get caught up and pay more than you set for yourself to pay for it. 

*Take food with you. The flea markets I have been to jack up the prices on the food, an igloo cooler of food will help you save money and allow you to pick up a few more treasures!

If you have been to the 127 Corridor Sale, I an other readers would love to hear your stories and see your pictures. 


  1. finallygettingtoeven.com // Saturday, June 19, 2010 1:54:00 PM  

    I used to do the Hwy 27 corridor yard sale for years. A group of us girls would pile in a (very large truck) and drive through the night to get to the beginning (in georgia) then we would start heading north. We had a blast!

    I haven't gone for the past few years because one thing we noticed was the sales were becoming fewer and farther between. We were told by a lot of the vendors when gas skyrocketed a lot of the out of state vendors stopped coming, then the traffic slowed down which brought less and less sales each year and it was a vicious cycle.

    While there is still a lot of goodies to be found I think the best days of that '400 mile yard sale' is over (which by the way- last year it boasted 620 miles of sales now)

  2. Jonathan // Tuesday, June 22, 2010 3:01:00 PM  

    Bartering is trading goods or services for other goods or services. You use it several times in this article incorrectly. A better word might have been haggling or bargaining.

  3. Dawn // Tuesday, June 22, 2010 3:05:00 PM  

    Thank you for bringing that to my attention... corrected.