The other weekend my friend Stephanie and I sold at the Alameda Flea Market again. Whenever I tell friends I’m doing the Flea, people always go, “Oooh fun!” And while it IS lots of fun, I have to say it is also boat loads of work! It all starts with sorting and loading up allllll the things you want to sell. Clothing, furniture, knick knacks. Furniture and lamps will bring you the most coin, but it takes up the most space in the van. Also, figuring out how to display everything is really important. You want an eye catching, fun display with lots of levels so people can browse everything easily. A messy pile is never fun! Thankfully my sweet pal Rusty lent us her folding tables (which was a HUGE help!) and I even schlepped a book shelf type dealie with me to display my shoes and handbags. The trick is, you don’t want to have TOOO many staging items, because you need room for all the stuff you’re selling!
Sellers have to get there early—it’s still dark outside. Early bird sellers are allowed in at 6am, and they wander around with miner-style head lamps and little flashlights. Unloading everything at 5:30am (when you’re all bleary eyed) is tough, but Steph and I always manage to have fun. There she is down there, look how cute she is! AND she’s preggo. She’s a super woman, doing the crazy Flea while pregnant!
My favorite part is early on, when the crowd’s start building. I love chit chatting with shoppers. I have to confess I’m not experienced enough to be a hard nosed seller. Our prices were really decent, but I always worry I’m charging too much. When I wander around all the other vintage sellers are charging SO much more….but people still love to haggle ya down. You really have to price things for a good $10-20 more than what you really want. “It’s $45. But I can do $30.” “Um, how about $25?” Sigh.
Steph and I always end up browsing each others goodies (she has a huge vintage collection) and last time we kept saying, “What? You’re selling THIS??” So this time we were really good about saying, “You’re selling that? Good! You’ll get some bucks for it!” We make sure we take turns taking little breaks so we can grab a snack, run to the bathroom, and just browse all the great stuff everyone is selling. As I wander around it’s always soooo tempting to shop. But that defeats the purpose of trying to make some money, right? Still, it’s hard to resist….
Nope. I didn’t buy any suitcases! I held strong….and frankly I have plenty. But that round white one sure was cuuuute!
The consistent comment we got throughout the day was, “Wow! You guys have such cool stuff. Your booth is one of the most colorful here!” Which I loved hearing….
We met a ton of great shoppers and sold some really cool things to some really great people. That’s one of the best things! Seeing people discover something they love, or buying something that fits them PERFECTLY. It’s so great. Of all the customers that day, my second-favorite was this awesome little 10 year old girl who fell in love with an orange, mod raincoat. Her mama bought it for her and she was sooo thrilled! It was so so cute. Oh, and my favorite customer? This cutie. Hee.
By far our most popular item was my Magnum P.I. tv tray. It’s kind of beat up and rusty on one side, but Tom Selleck’s face is in pristine condition. It’s hilarious! I love to imagine some Uber Fan eating on it but taking great care not to disturb The Tom. I decided I didn’t really want to sell it after all, so I tacked a “sold” sign on it. And friends, if I had a dollar for every person who asked me about it, I’d be a rich lady! Magnum became our little good luck charm—breaking hearts all day long!
By the end of the day we are always BEAT. Your hands are filthy, your face is dusty, and your feet are achey from standing around for 11 hours. And then you have to load it all up again! That’s my least favorite part. I always want the packing fairy to come by and load everything up for me into the car. I swear, as much as you sell, it always seems like you’re coming home with just as much stuff! But as hard as it is, Stephanie and I always have a blast…..and ya know, the end result is always pretty satisfying.