Flea markets are great places to find unique gift items, antiques, and rare collectibles. Attenders can usually chat with vendors to get reduced prices on the goods they are purchasing, but a little known fact is that trading or even selling goods is also commonplace. For the best way to barter at a flea market, here are a few tips.
Research Pricing Ahead of Time
Before going to the flea market, it’s a good idea to do a little research. Check out eBay or other online markets to get a realistic price range on the items being sold. Bartering can only be done effectively when both parties are knowledgeable about market, condition, and collect-ability of goods.
Rather than lugging an entire set of dishes, play action set, or antique furniture around the flea market, print out each item. Ensure that the quality, amount, and condition of the item is clearly visible on the printout. A computer-generated printout can be easily carried throughout the flea market and taken out when a suitable vendor is found.
Seek Out Vendors Selling Similar Items
The best way to get the most product in return for goods is to negotiate with a vendor who knows exactly what the items are worth. Browse the flea market until you see someone selling a similar item. Then, approach the stand operator with the printout. Ask the vendor what he or she would be willing to trade for the item in question.
Identify an Object of Interest Before Bartering
Before approaching a vendor, sellers should peruse the booths to see if there is something they’d like to trade for. It doesn’t pay to barter if there is nothing the vendor can give in return. A good practice is to choose an item of slightly lesser value than the items being given in return. This will give the vendor incentive to make the trade.
While bartering often means someone gets a new item in exchange for an item of somewhat equal value, the reality is that it doesn’t always work out this way. Sellers may really want one piece or object and are willing to give up several smaller items totally much more in dollar value in order to get it.
While bartering doesn’t mean a dollar for dollar exchange, it can allow people to get rid of old collectibles while still getting something valuable in return. Bartering, especially in a slow economy, is also a good way to obtain new items for no money. Anytime an individual can “shop” without opening their wallet it’s a great thing.