The bustle and explosion of color that is a flea market is really easy to get lost in, even if you're an experienced shopper who knows how much he or she will pay for an item. Honing in on good deals can be more difficult than it might sound, especially if you have little experience fending off the distractions that make a flea market go 'round. Need some advice, or just a little encouragement to get you going? This article might be able to help.
Ignore the flashy signs for things you don't want or need. Neon colors run rampant at flea markets, because everyone is trying to outshine the other stalls with their attention-grabbing advertising. However, if a flashy sign isn't advertising something you're interested in, walk on by. Don't let the shininess draw you in! Resist, and keep your focus on your goal, whether or not it turns out to be less flashy than the things you pass on the way there.
Don't make eye contact with vendors you're not interested in buying from. Once someone catches your eye, it's much more difficult to smile politely and walk on by. In North American culture, once someone has your attention, you really have to give to them unless you want to be extremely rude, so just don't give irrelevant vendors your attention! Keep your eyes straight ahead, or on someone with you (a pet, a child, or a friend), and don't give the searching vendors the satisfaction of finding your eye contact.
Study the floor plan ahead of time -- you don't want to get lost and wander around, running into deceptive deals and plenty of items you absolutely don't need. Many flea markets have a map at the front, or little handout flyers, to point you towards the stalls you're interested in. (At those that don't, you'll just have to wing it!) If you at least look this over before you head inside, you'll have more of an idea of where to go and won't wander aimlessly.
Once you reach the stall you were aiming for, focus on the items you're interested in. It's just as easy to get drawn towards brightly-colored items you don't need, even once you've reached your goal, as it is to enter a stall you weren't planning to shop. Keep your focus on the things you do want, and haggle deals for those, not for the rest of the merchandise.
Flea markets are great, and so are garage sales! Come share in our love of garage sales at our home page.