Foraging at the flea market: either you love it or hate it. Each of us should go at least once in our lifetime to a flea market.  An especially ideal time is in September and October when summer has given way to cooler autumn temperatures. Then you can do lots of interesting shopping and find special items: second-hand clothing, vintage decorations for the house, old records, books and stamps. You can find something for your price range for sure!

Unfortunately flea markets are often confusing, especially if you’re trying to find a specific item. You find yourself investing lots of time. And more often than not you spend money on useless items.

Here a few tips to help you find the right things at the right prices at a car boot sale: 

1. Look for the right car boot sale

The term “car boot sale” includes a broad spectrum of markets: from the small flea market that happens every weekend at the town’s main square, to the picturesque marketplace that is held at large city events. Every market attracts a different clientele and offers them products at prices tailored to them. One thing should be clear: know what you need and can afford and look for the right car boot sale in your region.

Porcelain plates and pink vintage lamps at a jumble sale

2. Stay cool and relaxed

If you give the impression of having money burning in your purse, you’ll certainly be identified by the marketeers as an easy catch. Don’t wear your best clothes to the sale and act rather as if you don’t have much to spend. That will make it easier for you to bargain. And don’t come too early to the sale: the later you arrive, the more exhausted are the dealers, and that makes bargaining all the easier. Also important: if you already know what you’re looking for, don’t show your interest all too openly. Give the impression of being uninterested and bored. That way the dealer will try to give you a price that will make it easier for you to purchase.

Relaxed shopper bargains with a dealer at a flea market

3. Buy at the right season

Just like at stores, car boot sales have a seasonal closing. When the seasons change, suddenly the sellers will try to get rid of all that they won’t need for the upcoming seasons. That means there will be good prices, since there are less interested customers. If you already know what you will need, then shop a half year ahead of yourself. You will certainly find reduced ski equipment in the springtime and cheaper accessories for water sports in the fall.

Snorkel and fins - aquatic equipment for the summer

4. Be prepared

Buy the right items at the right price!  If you are looking for a good set of porcelain dishes, then prepare yourself with an online search first. It would certainly disappoint you to have bought old, valuable porcelain at the flea market and then to find out at home that you could have bought the same items at IKEA for £20 less. Inform yourself about a product and its features before you buy it. But don’t show off your wisdom. Sometimes the dealers have no knowledge of the true value of their items. If you give them the impression that an item is very valuable, you’ll regret it when bargaining.

Young lady researching something on her computer

5. Do you really need it?

Most of us have had this experience: You’ve just arrived at the car boot sale and suddenly you want to buy everything, and what’s worse – you have the feeling that actually need it all! But is that really true? Do you need the glass butter dish or the vintage briefcase? Will you really use them at home or did the jolly jumble sale influence your buying mood? Especially women have the tendency to reach in their purses in such a situation. Try your best to control yourself and concentrate on that which you really need.

Used objects and glasses at a flea market
With these tips you should be good and ready for your next car boot sale. Let yourself be inspired by the charming odds and ends you’ll find… And enjoy yourself!