Spring Market Season!
Like a prairie dog, spring pops its head up and ducks back in again for a span of a few weeks. It is during this glorious season that we vintage sellers begin to emerge from our self-imposed hibernation. We’ve been squirreling away treasures over the winter, and diligently working during the cold, dark months to spruce them up for their unveiling at spring markets.
As that season is finally upon us, I want to help you navigate the sales you are bound to come upon while poking around. First of all, the phrase “flea market” has come to serve as a catch-all for any outdoor sales. It is important to understand that there are primarily two types of sales you may find yourself perusing.
1. The spring market/barn sale.
These markets are usually held outdoors, which lends natural beauty to the shopping experience. They are expertly staged, and each piece is chosen to enhance the beauty of the space. Side note: the appeal to many for vintage furniture and accessories is the design and durability. But no fabric or furniture finish lasts forever, so new seat cushions or a coat of paint is often needed. This work has already been done for the shopper at these sales, so these pieces are ready for your home.
2. The flea market, church sale or yard sale.
These sales are also outdoors, but dress appropriately as they are not usually under tents. Merchandise is neatly displayed on tables and the items are sold “as is”. These sales are perfect hunting grounds for do-it -yourselfers or those who don’t mind spending time with a scrub brush. And you can usually get a real deal. You never know what you’ll find, but you may have to comb through some cardboard boxes to see it.
Unspoken rules of the sales:
1. Cash is best
2. No returns
3.Bring your own bag
4.Respectful haggling is expected
5. Events are most often rain or shine
I love the atmosphere of both venues. As a purist and nostalgia nut, I can spend hours at each. The trick is not to dilly dally, however, because the person right behind you might snatch the very item you’re pondering.
And if he does, well, there are many more aisles and booths to explore.