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Flea strategies: 10 tips for going to market

Posted 10:31am on Thursday, May. 30, 2013

We’ve all been to flea markets, so we think we know the drill. But in case you haven’t been in a while, consider these 10 tips to make your trip a fruitful one.

• Bring cash. Most markets don’t accommodate credit cards — though many newer ones will — and it is easier to bargain with cash in hand. Plus, some charge for parking or admission.

• Go early. Most markets are not climate-controlled. Many, like Canton, are outdoors and brutal in the summer.

• Shop late. Sundays are typically the best days to find a deal. You can get some items half-price.

• Park close. You may be carrying a dresser for blocks or acres.

• Have a plan, and ask yourself: How will I get it home? Where will it fit? Is it practical? Is it on my list of wants?

• Bargain, don’t insult. Most vendors expect to haggle, but keep in mind many of these people are using this as a second source of income.

• Be friendly. Talk to the vendor and share your interest; you may get a good deal or an item not on display.

• Don’t wear expensive clothing or jewelry. You’ll be an easy mark!

• Bring a friend. You cover more ground that way and have someone to help you load and carry.

• Stay focused. Have a list with what you are looking for or a budget to stick to.

— Joanna Cattanach, Special to DFW.com

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