Flea market havens
Visit these shopping happenings for great bargains
want mint Barbie dolls still in the packaging, which can cost $1,000 or more, a flea market is not the place to shop,” Schroy contends. Alternatively, “If you don’t mind one that has been played with, you can find them at flea markets for $5.”
Thoroughly inspect items before you purchase them and avoid badly damaged goods. “Think out the piece,” Schroy advises. “If it’s a chair, examine the places that should be worn, the legs, the seat, etc.” Look at the hardware. Are the screws or nails too new for that 19th century dresser?
Use all your senses. Touch the piece, smell it, look at it, listen to the ping if it’s glass. “I recently bought a fake piece of glass,” admits Schroy. “It matched a piece I had, and it was marked. But it was also dusty. If I had taken the time to clean it off, I would have felt it and realized it was new, not old.” New glass has a greasy, slippery feel.
Bring the right tools. Write down measurements and colors. Take a tape measure and a magnifying glass, advises Rinker. Bring along fresh batteries to test radios and toys. Also, bring small denominations of cash.
Most of all, says Craft, “have fun and buy what you like.”