Monday, March 11, 2013

Alameda Flea Market Adventures


The other weekend, two of my friends and I got up at the crack of dawn and headed to Alameda Flea Market. I absolutely love searching through flea markets for high-quality, unique pieces. I mean, why buy expensive, not-even-wood furniture from a major retailer when you can buy, well-made, real good, unique pieces at a fraction of the cost?! Seems like a no-brainer, no?

I was schooled very early on in the ways of flea market shopping by my mother who would take me to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. I always lived in apartments with friends where decorating was limited (hello Ikea), but now that my fiance and I have a place of our own, I get to go wild!

God only knows what I was looking at here.
Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

To be fair, on this particular excursion, my friends and I were on specific missions. I was looking for some centerpieces for my wedding and my friends were both looking for dressers. I had a feeling the Alameda Flea Market would be just the place to score these goodies.

We had a great time sorting through all of the treasures. I scored a small vintage milk glass vase for our kitchen table (if you follow me on Instagram you got a sneak peek here) and three bowls for the wedding centerpieces. My friends both scored as well with one of them getting a barn wood frame and some rustic hooks for her bedroom and the other getting the stunning silver dresser picture below. Check out the photos from our adventures!

Caffeine was 100% necessary for a 6:30am Sunday wake-up.
Ralph Lauren Polo Baseball Cap, Warby Parker Preston Glasses, J.Crew Quilted Vest 
(sold out online but here is a splurge option and here is a save option),
J.Crew Jackie Cardigan, J.Crew Vintage Tee, BDG Jeans, Jack Purcell Sneakers
Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler
Please excuse the lack of manicure, I was in-between nail appointments you see. 
J.Crew Timex Watch, Kiel James Patrick Turk's Head Knot Rope Bracelet (c/o), Brooklyn Stars Bracelet
Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler 




Oh how I wish our apartment was big enough for a farm table :)

Beautiful glass.
Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

I couldn't resist snapping a pic of this. Why don't we have pill parties anymore?


Heading out to a flea market near you? Here's my advice:
  • Stop at the ATM on the way there. While services like Square have enabled more merchants to take cards, the majority of them take cash. Plus, having cash versus a card could help you when negotiating.
  • Get there as early as you can. We arrived just before 8am and when we left around 11am, it was getting really crowded.
  • Arrive caffeinated and full. May I also suggest bringing snacks? At this particular flea market there are a ton of food options but it's always a good idea to keep small snacks on hand to keep you going.
  • Start at the back. Most flea markets charge merchants more for the stations closest to the entrance. The reason being, most people poop out about halfway through. For the best deals, I suggest starting at the back.
  • Don't haggle just to haggle. Now, I admittedly am not great at negotiating. However, if you are going to negotiate, I recommend only doing so when you think it's fair. Many merchants are selling collected or family items and you don't want to insult them. 
  • Bring an SUV or truck, if you can. Most merchants don't deliver or if they do, it costs a fortune (like $75+). If you find a large piece you like, most merchants will hold onto the piece while you go rent a cart from the flea market and pull up the car to the loading zone.

Lindsey browsing for hooks.


My friend scored this dresser for her studio apartment- isn't it amazing?


Vintage hair spray covers- did anyone even know such a thing existed?

I wish I had a use for these awesome crates.


Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

What about you all? Do you all scour flea markets for great pieces and even better deals?

4 comments:

  1. That LOVE light is amazing. I NEED IT! Do you have any idea if it was a shop that created it?!

    Alyssa
    The Glossy Life

    ReplyDelete
  2. I absolutely love flea markets! I would love to go to the Alameda one some day. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sideshow Sign Co in Nashville, TN hand makes marquee letter lights!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for commenting!