The Alameda Point Antiques Faire or as its usually called The Alameda Flea Market is by far the largest flea market in the San Francisco bay area.
Regardless of which flea market you are going to, there are few tips that are very useful when going to a huge flea market like this.
1. Crowds. Be prepared for crowds, that means lots of slow walking behind slow shoppers. As well as long waits at the bathroom and to get food. My word of advice, show up with a few snacks and water. Otherwise you might end up feeling very cheated halfway through the day after waiting in countless lines.
2. Dress Appropriately. If you live in the bay area then you know to dress in layers. Depending on where you are and what the weather forecast is make sure you are ready to be outside. Wear good shoes, you will be standing all day!
3. The List. This can either make or break your flea market experience; at least for me. When I show up without a list, I spend the first couple of hours walking around looking at things aimlessly. If I do actually make a purchase its usually something random. Then when I get home I always remember the stuff that I actually wanted for a project at home. Bringing a list will save you so much time! I’ve spent wasted flea market trips because I was so overwhelmed and spent most of the day trying to remember the things I needed.
4. Purchasing. This is a flea market! That means that haggling is completely acceptable. If you ask how much the price of an item is and the seller says $50. Try pausing with a look of concern or say, “Really?”and that can be enought to take some money off the price. If you feel brave, come back with a counter offer and see what happens. Many times the prices are negotiable, especially if you are getting a few items you can try and get a group price for them.
ALSO: Remember once you’ve made your purchase you will have to carry around your purchase for an extended amount of time. Bringing a little cart has saved sore arms and backs the last few visits, otherwise at least bring a durable bag that won’t bust in the middle of your trip.
The Fruits of my most recent Flea Market trip:
I’m really excited to make candles out of the cups and I have a few idea’s brewing for the buttons and crystals.