Flea Market Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on December 1, 2010

in Everyday Etiquette

everyday fleamarket etiquette

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

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Vinylville July 26, 2011 at 7:19 am

Thanks for providing information about the proper handling of vinyl.

I have a flea market booth but don’t leave the records at the flea market. I haul in crates each weekend. Condition is important to me as well as my customers, so I take every effort to provide the highest quality condition records.

Most customers who are vinyl fans know how to handle records and are a pleasure to do business with. The people with the funnel cake fingers aren’t my customers, frankly.

One addition point I would make is many newbie dealers that have popped up since ebay will improperly clean vinyl to make it “look pretty”. (they’ll take 100% alcohol and a dishrag and apply buttloads of elbow grease to “clean” the record)

I assure you that isn’t a proper record cleaning method.
Always ask a dealer how they clean records!

Again, thanks for providing information about the proper handling of vinyl records.

New & Gently Used Vinyl Records
Vinylville, LA 70507
Jockey Lot Flea Market Booth 500A
3011 I-49

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