It's a shopping trip full of possibilities. You never know what will be waiting for you at the various tables. There's the digging and hunting and bartering, and the idea that you might go home with something really unique or special—at least to you! This is "green" shopping at its best.
My style is somewhat eclectic, so I don't like everything matchy-matchy or new. I like to mix old pieces with new things, or with gently-used pieces. Some need paint, some need nothing at all. The ability to see the possibilities is what makes it great.
Here are a few tips if you are considering going to a flea market.
1. Go early. Be the first one there! This will ensure that you have a chance to see the best stuff.
2. Have an open mind. You need this in order to buy someone else's "junk."
3. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You can barter on price, ask for a special deal if you buy three, ask if the seller will split up a set at the end of the day if it's is still there (most people do NOT want to take stuff home).
4. Make it YOURS. You can paint almost anything so don't let things like an ugly color get in your way. If you love the size and shape of a table but it's not a color you like, buy it and paint it! (The ways in which you can jazz up junk are endless—cover it in fabric, cut it down to size, add a wire screen, hang it on the wall, etc., etc.)
5. Don't think too hard. Remember, this is about finding objects you really like, things you are drawn to, don't worry about where you'll put it or what you'll do with it when you get home. My experience has taught me that if you love it you'll find a use for it!
6. It's not over till it's over. I once bought something from someone who had already bought them from a vendor. I really, really wanted them and just asked if they'd be willing to sell them to me. They did!
7. Have fun. Even if you don't find that "perfect" piece enjoy the weather and the friendly conversations and remember, there's always the next time...
My favorite flea market was scheduled for tomorrow, but I just found out it is postponed until the following weekend....I guess that's just more time to imagine the possibilities!