12 May, 2010

Shop: The Rose Bowl Flea Market

This past Sunday was the Rose Bowl flea market. As most know, it is the one thing I always look forward to each month. I woke up Sunday morning to a grey sky and a large smile appeared on my face. Hot sunny days are never ideal conditions for the Rose Bowl because of the black top that reflects the heat and the sun. I picked up my Coffee Bean on the way and arrived at 8:30am. I usually go over to the clothing section first because I like feeling that I am getting early glances at the selections of clothing. I have a method when shopping at the Rose Bowl:
* I never go to the vendors that also have stores (i.e. American Vintage). I will just go to their store another day.
* Depending on my mood, I tend to avoid any vendors that just have rows and rows of compacted clothing racks. I definitely have to be in the mood to dig through them.
* I stay far away from the vendors that have piles of clothes on the ground. Gives me anxiety.
* My ideal vendors are the ones that have accessible racks that I can actually see the pieces and is manageable to browse around.

I have my favorite vendors. The girls whose tent this is are among my favorites. They always have great pieces, but early in the morning they don't bargain and are overpriced for vintage. This is something first time flea marketers need to be careful of especially at the Rose Bowl. For some reason vendors think it's okay to overcharge for their vintage because it's the Rose Bowl flea market; well it's not. For example, I found a pair of vintage Cole Haan leather Oxfords that I needed to have. (I use "needed" loosely). Now, seeing as Oxfords are very in right now I could find a brand new pair for anywhere between $40 to $200 depending on the make. These girls were trying to sell them to me for $35; crazy! I told them I'd give them $25 and they refused me and so I walked away. Bargaining skills are key at the flea market. EVERYTHING is negotiable. I went back at the end of the day when I was done perusing the furniture section and offered them $25 again and went home with my new vintage oxfords!

I also scored a great summer skirt, another army jacket, two vintage tees for the boyfriend and an entertainment table for our spare bedroom. I don't always come home with this much stuff. There are times when I come home with just a shirt and sometimes even empty handed, but I never come home a sad girl. I love walking around and just observing all the different people, chatting with different friends that join me, running into people, and even "window" shopping. It is so therapeutic for me.
Flea marketing is definitely a skill though and lucky for me I have had great teachers. It's funny to think back and remember how overwhelmed I was on my first trip. I got so disappointed when I didn't find anything. Now I embrace the abundance and love the experience (even if I come home empty handed).

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