Whether you check out your local flea market every weekend because of its fresh produce, good buys in this poor economy, as a vendor to make some extra cash or just to get some fresh air and have a wander, even a place as basic as a flea market has rules and you, as a master of etiquette, need to follow them!
Flea Market Vendors
• If your product is good, it (along with some clever advertising signs) will sell itself. Don’t be that annoying vendor who screams like a carnival barker trying to get people to come over to your stand. Not only will you tick off the vendors with stands next to you who have to listen to you all day, but, more than likely, you will cause customers to take the long way around your booth just to avoid you!
• Don’t pack up early. I have been annoyed time and time again by trips to the flea market to visit my favorite vendor only to find they have packed up a couple of hours early. I eventually took my business elsewhere.
Flea Market Customers
• Part of the fun of some markets is being able to haggle! If you ask a price and the vendor says the amount and it is “firm”, that means there is no room to bargain. But, if the vendor says that they’re “asking” for a certain price, you might just be in luck! If you respond that the stated price might be a little out of your price range and suggest another price, the vendor will either come back with “ok”, “no” or will continue to bargain with you. Guaranteed, if you insult the vendor’s wares in an attempt to get a lower price, your suggested price will always be met with a “no”!
• If someone is looking through a bin/jar of items you want to have a closer look at, wait your turn!
• If you’re eating something , wash your hands before getting your greasy fingers all over the vendors’ goods!
• Flea markets are great places to find vinyl records. What is proper etiquette when shopping for them, though? As records become more rare (and their condition is mint), handling them becomes a touchy subject between vendor and customer. Of course, the vendor doesn’t want to risk any damage to their product, but, you as the customer have every right to inspect before you buy. It is perfectly acceptable to (carefully and respectfully) remove the record from its sleeve and inspect it for any deep scratches. Ideally, the vendor should have a record player there you can test the record out on before you purchase. Light scratches should not affect the playing quality. At the end of the day, if the vendor is taking a hands off approach to your shopping, shop elsewhere!
Further Info: National Flea Market Association
Photo: stock.xchng/Herman Hooyschuur