Step One: The List & Preparation.
During the week Ed compiles a master list of flea markets in his local area. If you ask me, he arranges it by GPS and neighborhood. Ed says, "Community Yard Sales take precedence over singles; as there are power in numbers. " He obtains the listings mostly online, from Craigslist, local papers, and searching Google for keywords like "Flea Market Baltimore 5/14/11." Prepare by having bottled water, snacks, and a full tank of gas. He explains, "You don't want to lose valuable time stopping for gas or coffee."
|How does he jump out of the car so quick ?|
By the time we pull up, Ed has already jumped out of the car and is mostly done shopping before I even get out of it. I'm not sure how he does that, it must be his "Wonder Twin Powers" shape of, a firefly where he can zoom so fast. I noticed that often times he's double parked in front of the house itself, with car running and keys in ignition. Ed says, "The roadblock prevents others from pulling in front of the house --they ay have to park further away, so those few minutes may get me a valuable find." In Ed's circles, he often sees three to four other professional junkers, so his goal is to stay a step ahead of them at all times.
|Giant Art Glass Vase, obtained for $6, marked $12 first thing in the morning.|
I'm one of those that thinks first thing in the morning, you have to pay the price listed. Maybe this stems from the fact that I myself have had flea markets before and mark my items for fair prices so if my first customer offers me $10 on an item I know is worth $100 and marked it $50, I'd be offended. Ed has told me this is not the case. Ed says, "Even if the item is worth it, don't immediately offer to pay the price listed. Lots of people will cut deals if you are buying a lot of things from them, and many up their prices 50% higher just to have wiggle room. People watch those professional flea market shows on tv now, and realize it's all about the dickering." I suppose Ed is right, because he obtained this art glass vase marked $12 for half price while she was still unpacking--meanwhile I paid full price for a fan I bought from her.
|Ed makes small talk while people are unpacking.|
|Mix mosh of things for sale. I love the mirror!|
|Box lots of figures, $3.00.|
Step Five: Box Lots
If an item is $1.00, you don't have much wiggle room, but if you start assembling a small pile of merchandise, you can ask for a "box lot discount." Ed says, " The more you buy the more you save. If you have 15 dollar items, ask them would they do $10, they will say no but now you can offer $12. Three dollars saved is one gallon of gas (well, almost...)"
|Don't put an email address as it could end up in your spam folder!|
*If you collect things, have some pre-printed mini cards (simply made on the computer or hand written) with a list of things you collect and your phone number. If they come across these things or talk to their friends who have them, they may call you in the future.
*Don't assume because it's raining that the flea market is cancelled, this may turn out better for you if they open their garage or home to have it in, less people will come (assuming it's cancelled!) If it's in the garage, maybe that old tool on the wall can be for sale!
*Leave your number if you find that special something that is way out of your budget. If it doesn't sell by the end of the day, tell them to call you and you'll buy it for a fair price.