If you like finding rare treasures, unique ambiguous artifacts and vintage steals then flea markets and yard sales are probably like a big tent circus or local carnival for you.
Full of excitement, adrenalin and the pride of finding an exceptional deal you wish for a moment of uninhibitedness to throw back your head, pound your fists on your chest and let out a George of the Jungle yell. Don’t worry as this reaction is completely normal. Extreme Coupon rogues have their celebratory dances, so why not you when locating an exceptional find?
Browsing antique markets and lifting piles of relics from times gone by and your eyes translate to you that you might have landed on a gem. Recognizing the significance of your fin is the first step to conquering the bazaar market of bargaining, trading, locally grown or made and used goods.
by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell / Photo: CICO Books
It’s like the chorus I learned way back,
Make new friends, But keep the old
Some are silver, The others gold.
Now let’s relocate those old and gold friends!
Cross Every T and Dot the I’s:
Just like a trip to the grocery store you prepare a list of the essentials, or the shoes sizes of your toddlers make a list of the things you are hoping to score on your flea market trip.
While last minute jotted lists are often better than running up and down each isle ten times before remember half the things you need, only to go home and realize you forgot the eggs.
So while you compile a list of home furniture or décor pieces bare in mind where you want the desired objects to hang or sit. Measure the capacity you have for the new to you wall art. I’ve been too eager to purchase a beautiful unearthed item that I willed the item to be the size I needed and bought the item. No returns. No exchanges. When I arrived home I found there was no fit. I was left with no returns. No exchanges. Left with an unfitting, undersized wall hanging.
So armed with a list of specific requirements slip a measuring tape on your belt, refill your gas tank and drive to the destination of pre-owned sales.
Short of spitting on the piece you wish to acquire you need to see if it fits. Does it mesh with your personality? Will it hold up to your family of five? Will it even last the ride home? If you find yourself covetously eyeing a set of green wooden chairs, sit in them. A ladder? Stand on it. A pitcher? Fill it with water. You may not have an opportunity to assess every inch of the product but emotions and gold never end well.
The Three R’s:
Ask yourself: Can this be Repurposed? Reused? And is it Recyclable? To find the value in older and used household furniture and décor you need to know whether it has the endurance of a cat. Nine lives save the cat, not the firefighter who rescues Mittens from the tree. Likewise it should be nine repurposing uses-give or take- that will save the piece from the junk pile. If you can recycle or find upcycling potential than you have found a bargain worth tweeting about.
So whether you are scouring the web on Craigslist, Ebay or browsing your local papers, there is a world out there waiting to sell their stuff.
It’s true. One mans junk is another man’s treasure. Finding that treasure at the end of the rainbow, giving it a second chance at life in the home and accepting it into your family is a joy worth repeating. With that you can toss out your furniture catalog of new friends and embrace the old.