Who doesn’t like a good flea market shopping spree? Show me a person who likes a good deal, and you know they like flea markets. Flea markets are a one-stop shopping center. They have new, used, recycled, and more. You name it, they have it.
Texas is a year-round mild temperature state, so along with mild weather comes flea markets. As a matter of fact, there are over ten Houston flea markets to choose from in that city alone. They all have their own specialties, and certain days that they are open.
How should you prepare for a shopping spree at your favorite flea market? Make a list and stick to it. YOu can quickly get caught up in the rush and buy everything but what you really wanted.
Another important point before shopping. Know the general prices of what it is you are looking for. Also don’t get fooled by knock offs, which are always at flea markets. If you don’t mind knock offs, that’s okay, just don’t pay top dollar for them. Stick to your budget. If you can only afford so much, then wait, you will find what you are looking for.
Learn the art of “haggling”. Don’t be afraid to ask if the vendor will take less. State a number though, not just say less. State a price you are willing to pay, if they say no, that’s okay. Keep searching you may find it at another stall, possibly cheaper. Do the whole flea market, and if that item is still there when you walk by again, ask if they will reconsider. If not, you can always come back next time to see if it’s still there. Remember though, they have to pay booth fees too.
The art of haggling takes special skills. It’s like poker, you have to keep a straight face. If you squeal with excitement over finding that long lost toy from your childhood, then ask the vendor if you can have for half off, it’s going to be a flat no. They know you want it and are willing to pay anything for it, so keep that straight poker face.
Another very important tidbit. Get rid of all your hundreds, fifties, and some twenty-dollar bills, or put them in a different pocket. There is nothing worse than breaking out a wad of big bills and trying to talk a vendor down. It insults them and makes them say “NO” adamantly. Walk away if you have to, separate your bills and just hand them what you will pay. They usually will take it.
Sometimes if you really want something but just don’t want to budge on your price, you can group a bunch of things together. This is fun. Pick out five or six other items that you could use, then put them all together and say, will you take $$$ for all of these. They will either say yes, or counter your offer. You do have to pay attention, so as to not get carried away.
A great approach to haggling is to glance over items on a table, making note of what is there that you could use, and that one thing you must have. Walk over to another table or two. Gather your thoughts and strategy so that you are not impulse buying.
As mentioned earlier, there are many Houston flea markets to practice at. Shopping at flea markets can be rewarding and fun. If you go all the time, certain vendors will start looking for the items you like, and have them waiting for you. Have fun shopping and haggling!