You can find just about anything at a flea market, but there are certain items you’ll never regret walking away with. Check out our favorite flea market finds below to make the most out of your next trip.
Antiques and Solid Wood Furniture
Finding authentic antiques at the flea market can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. And if you find one, it’s definitely worth purchasing. Nothing will add charm to your home like an antique. Otherwise, solid wood pieces are a much better choice than veneers. Solid wood furniture tends to be durable, and if the piece is not exactly what you are looking for, then why not try upcycling to give it a new lease of life.
While it may be difficult to find complete sets of china at the flea market, you can find valuable single pieces at a bargain price; mix and match for an eclectic, chic look for your table. Or use them to decorate a wall in your dining room or kitchen. Or begin a collection of your favourite discoveries to display around your home.
Sourcing your tableware second hand will always make your table look layered and unique. Vintage silver flatware and serving utensils have so much character, and you’ll find great values at the flea market compared to the polished versions you’ll find online. Simply break out the polish at home. Finding a matching set may be difficult at a flea market. Try mixing and matching to bring lots of character to your dining table.
Linens are often an untapped market at the flea market. Look for elderly ladies with boxes full of vintage tablecloths, napkins and placemats where you can spend a considerable amount of time digging for gold. Just be sure to look for rips or signs of staining and discoloration, which won’t likely wash out.
A cast skillet can last decades if properly cared for or restored, so don’t let a spot of rust deter you, particularly if it was made by one of the classic cast iron cookware manufacturers like Wagner, Lodge and Griswold (or Griswold brands like Iron Mountain, Victor and ERIE). Walk away if it’s cracked, dented or pockmarked. Otherwise snap it up.
Italian flea markets are packed to the brim with Louis Vuitton bags and they are also a staple at flea markets around the world. A lived-in leather bag only get better with time, so don’t pass up a good deal. Take the time to decipher the genuine brands from the fakes that creep their way into people’s possessions.
Flea markets offer old, hardy wooden toys, vintage cars, collectible legos, train sets and other toys made of plastics and metals that are easy to clean. Chances are, you know a kid who would appreciate one. And you can snap them up at a bargain price. Look for old classics like yoyos, leggo and beanie babies that may be worth a lot of money.
There’s no better place than the flea market for frames of all sizes. Whether you’re looking for a classic style or modern picture frame, flea markets are the place to look. Most can be painted over and personalised, while larger frames look great on a wall just by themselves. Picture frames can make great gifts for friends and family also.
Jewellery can be snapped up at such a bargain at the flea market. The trick here is not to look for value, but for pieces you love. Flea markets are full of interesting, unique pieces of costume jewellery. If you happen to find a precious stone, don’t leave it behind. And a lapel pin is the perfect choice when shopping for a gift for your grandmother!
Knives are one of the best deals you’ll find at the flea market. With a little steel wool and a sharpening stone, you can easily find a knife or two that will become your kitchen favorite. Keep your eyes peeled for bigger knives like kitchen cleavers and Santoku, Japanese Style Knives, that may be pretty expensive brand new. Take the time to ensure they are of good quality and you could bag yourself a bargain.
Flea markets are one of the best places to find, hidden, unused, antiques and quality items. Some may be in need of TLC while others are in near perfect condition. Whichever flea market you decide to go to, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for these essential items.
What items do you keep your eyes out for when you head down to the flea market? Let me know in the comments below.