Over the weekend it was my favourite time of year (no not Christmas but pretty close!) the Sussex Flea Market! It is the largest Flea Mart in the province and a three day event that draws thousands of pickers! Usually I take all of the kids and Josh BUT this year the weather was calling for heavy rains on Saturday, Josh was working Friday and Sunday…well lets be honest, it is pretty picked over by then. I wanted to be there Friday bright and early! Last year I ventured alone with all give kids and the end result was me wanting to pull my hair out and Rosalie screaming for 4-5 hours straight. This year would have some new challenges, no strollers. They were tossed last fall because the littles refuse to get in them and they sat gathering cobwebs. So walking with 5 children, 3 who hated crowds and people, and one mother who just wanted to look…
So this year Charles elected to go with me, Peter babysit all of the girls and my bed friend Lisa coming with us.
The day started bright and early and with a ‘Check Engine’ light on. I desperate phone call to my husband who assured me I was fine and a nervous hours drive to Lisa’s…and low and behold her husband also had vehicle trouble and happened to be home and happened to be a mechanic who specializes in mini vans….can we say stars crossed??? Norm had me up and running (loose gas cap! So simple!!) and we set off.
We had SOOO much fun! Vendor to vendor, laughed at the really creepy stuff, the gross, interesting and over priced. But I was on a mission. I wanted some deals, I wanted milk glass and ironstone (if I could afford it), antique books, quilts, and maybe a few other cute items along the way.
After several hours and some haggling ( I am a softy and hate pushing and haggling…maybe because I have owned businesses for years and hate when people try to haggle with me) and scoring a few amazing deals we headed home, dusty and a bit red and a van full of goodies!!
A few tips, bring warm and cool clothing. We were travelling 1.5 hours away and were not sure what the day would bring, we also brought sun screen and kept reapplying throughout the day. Bring comfy shoes, the amount of walking you may have to do will feel like a horrible long day if your feet are aching. I also had a small pill bottle with ibuprofen, pesto bismol and allergy pills…JUST IN CASE (never needed them!), we also had a couple of bottles of water. So many of the vendors had water for sale but it was nice to start the day with our own an save a few pennies. bring lots of cash and a few smaller bills. Vendors were so glad to see we had smaller bills for items. Bring your own bags or carts. We desperately wished we had borrowed a wagon or cart for the day! We also got there so early that we had excellent parking, so we devised a plan to just walk back to the van to unload.
I found this year because I wasn’t pushing or pulling I wasn’t as exhausted as I typically would get at the end. The thing with flea markets and yard sales you KNOW that you can haggle, it is a culture of asking for a better deal. More often then not (and actually almost every vendor) they will go down a tiny bit…it is says $48, I would offer $35 and they would count $40-45. We went the first day and they weren’t looking to barter too far from the original price but had this been the last day? The last day or near the end of the sale vendors are more likely to drop prices to get rid of it! Now the down side? Be prepared to walk away. I had my budget and I knew what I was willing to pay and I walked away many times. I really wanted an antique washboard…but $40-65 seemed to be the going price, until I saw one for $8…$5 later I had my highly coveted washboard (and a big stupid grin on my face!).
I also snagged something pretty cute for my Cecilia’s 6th birthday!