Flea markets can be a fun way to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather while grabbing some great deals on hard-to-find treasures. To help guests at North Beach Plantation to work the Myrtle Beach flea markets like a pro, we’ve put together the following tips.
The first rule of flea-market forays — be prepared! Flea markets involve a lot of walking and a lot of shopping, often without many of the conveniences of the mall. If you plan to make a day of it, you should plan ahead of time. Bring along a small, wheeled cart so you can carry your purchases as you go, and bring your own paper or bubble wrap for fragile items. You can also bring your own water or drinks. There are concession stands at most flea markets, but they are likely to have long lines and high prices, and there is no restriction on bringing your own items in with you — so save your money for the shopping!
If possible, you should also familiarize yourself with the layout of the market before you go. Some markets are completely random when it comes to vendor placement, but many will have some form of organization, even if it’s only to put the vendors who sell antiques or more valuable items indoors. Get an idea of which areas you want to prioritize so you can head straight there when you arrive.
On the day of the sale, dress appropriately for the weather. You may be outside for a good part of the day, and even if you are indoors, there may not be any form of climate control. So make sure you will be warm or cool enough, and bring a jacket during the cooler months in case the weather changes. Most importantly, wear comfortable shoes. Shoes that have good support and are already broken in are ideal. You will be doing a lot of walking and standing, and your feet will thank you.
It’s a good idea to arrive early, and be sure to take plenty of cash, including lots of small bills. Many flea market vendors will not accept credit cards. You should carry your money in your front pocket, or in a bag that crosses over your shoulder and hangs in front of your body.
Flea market items are often sold on an as-is basis with no returns, so check the condition of items before you buy. Don’t be shy about using the flashlight on your phone to see an item clearly if necessary. Make sure things that are sold as being in working condition actually work and that items that appear to need repair are actually fixable. On the other hand, don’t let a few nicks and scratches or a decade of tarnish scare you away from an amazing deal. Some furniture polish and elbow grease might reveal a real treasure hiding underneath!
And if you see an item you just can’t live without — buy it! Don’t assume it will still be there if you wait and come back later. If you love it, chances are that someone else will, too, so take the opportunity to claim your prize while you have it. There won’t be many discounts or lowered prices early in the day, but if the price on a must-have item is higher than you want to pay, haggle before you walk away. Vendors assume that buyers will dicker over price, and they often price higher with that expectation in mind. So chances are good that you can talk the vendor down a little, even at the start of the day. However, only do this if you’re serious about buying.
With these tips in mind, you can make your weekend visit to North Beach Plantation even more memorable by scoring some great deals on one-of-a-kind items.