How to Get a Bargain at Flea Markets

How to Get a Bargain at Flea Markets
  • Opening Intro -

    Flea markets are found across the country, allowing merchants to shop their wares and making it possible for consumers to find bargains.

    You’re likely to find good prices at most flea markets, but even those prices are subject to negotiation.


The following points will help you get better deals.

1. Search and find. Check online listings, local newspapers and supermarket placed local magazines to find flea markets in your area. The better known ones are not the only place to shop — many small towns hold them, but they are not as widely known.

2. Visit several flea markets in one day. Flea markets are typically open on weekends. Some markets are also open on Thursdays. Choose the day that you want to visit and plan to stop by soon after they open. You may find that you can visit three or four in a day by starting out early and moving on to the next one.

3. Cash speaks volumes. Some merchants accept checks and credit cards, but most do not. Flea markets are dominated by people just like you, individuals that are looking to make a little bit of money on the side. Cash talks and you should carry enough money with you. Make a stop at the local ATM and withdraw the maximum amount of money you are willing to spend.

4. Dress the part. If you go to a flea market in fancy attire, you will find it difficult to negotiate. People that attend flea markets where casual clothes, therefore you should fit in with other shoppers.

5. Meet and greet. The moment you come to a merchant’s table or display, offer your greetings. If you are looking for something specific, then ask the retailer if the item is available. If not, move on. If do see something that you like, then take a good look at it. If you are interested in buying it, then be prepared to negotiate.

6. Ask for a lower price. Flea market prices are rarely set in stone. This means that if a ceiling fan is priced from $25, you might offer $15. Flea market vendors expect that customers will haggle and typically price their items to provide some wiggle room. You may not get the price that you want, but you can usually negotiate a lower price simply by asking.

7. Politely note flaws. Used items are rarely in perfect condition. This also means you have more room to get a lower price by pointing out its flaws. Politely note what is wrong, making a case for a lower price. For instance, the ceiling fan may have a broken cord or a defective switch. You can make the repairs, but a discount can cover the cost of a new switch or cord.

Bargaining Considerations

You stand to lose money if you come across as desperately wanting an item. Hold your ground, show cash in your hand and be willing to walk away. You may also find that vendors are in a better mood to bargain later in the day when they are feeling tired and would rather sell an item instead of packing it away.

See AlsoMaking Money the Flea Market Way


end of post idea


Helpful article? Leave us a quick comment below.
And please give this article a rating and/or share it within your social networks.

facebook linkedin pinterest

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The commission earnings are used to defray our cost of operation.

View our FTC Disclosure for other affiliate information.

Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".