Put this in your calendar, the second Sunday of every month, rain or shine. Thousands of people flock to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. Featuring a plethora of unusual vintage finds like clothing, furniture, antiques, plants, and textiles. It's like a treasure hunt, there's everything you never knew you needed. It's also a great place to find inspiration for new designs. The vintage clothing section is the perfect area to spot one-of-a-kind pieces. If you aren't a seasoned shopper, it can be overwhelming so keep in mind what you're looking for. Here are a few pro tips for your next flea market adventure.
- CLEAN OUT YOUR CAR | Before you head out, make sure you empty out your trunk. This helps give you ample space for your treasures. It also enables you to quickly pack everything up without the hassle of moving things around.
- EARLY BIRD | If you get there right when they open, you'll have a wider pick of items for sale. It's less crowded and a great time to make sure you don't miss out on anything! However, vendors may not be as flexible with price or willing to give you a good deal. They have a full day of selling ahead and a lot more foot traffic in the afternoon. Vendors will be more likely to drop their prices late in the day so that they don't have to haul their stuff back with them.
- MEASURE | If you're looking for items to fit a particular place or room, make sure you measure the space and bring the tape and notes with you. The last thing you want is an over-sized coffee table that doesn't fit the living room.
- WHEELS or TOTES | Shop like a pro with all the necessities. I have a collapsible shopping cart that I use for outings like these, it's the best thing to push around the aisles. Plus you don't have to figure out how to lug around any of those bulky or harder to carry items. If you don't have a cart or aren't willing to purchase one, I'd suggest to bring a few of your own tote bags. Some vendors may have plastic bags for you to carry purchased items in, but not all.
- FUEL | Snacks are also high on m necessity list. Shopping can be draining and take up a chunk of your day. Bring a little snack and water to keep your energy up, it'll make you feel better than the alternative of an empty stomach or overpriced unhealthy fair food.
- DRESS APPROPRIATELY | Wear layers and comfy shoes. If you start at the crack of dawn and leave midday, temperatures can vary at outdoor markets. Wear plenty of sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Bring a light sweater or jacket that's easy to tie around your waist when you don't want to wear it anymore. If you're on the hunt for some vintage threads, wear a tight fitting tank or slip to easily try on clothing. Dressing rooms are scarce at most outdoor markets.
- CASH/HAGGLE | A lot of vendors these days are now equipped with square readers to accept credit cards, but many are not. Make sure to have plenty of cash on hand before you arrive. It is easier to haggle and you won't have to pay the price for spiked fees at the local ATM. Vendors are more likely to give you a better price if you are willing to pay cash. Also consider bringing a variety of bills, smaller bills make it easier for bargaining.
Do you have any pro-tips for us? Let us know in the comments! Happy flea xx