Flea Market Shopping in May
May is a beautiful month for an antique excursion or flea market shopping. Non-shoppers…Before you click and run, consider this remarkable tidbit. Fleas are not sold at these markets. So where in the world did the name come from? Why would anyone want to shop somewhere that creates visions of hopping little bugs that bite and cause hind-leg scratching in both humans and their furry little pals?
Flea market comes from the French marché aux puces, a name originally given to a market in Paris which specialized in shabby second-hand goods of the kind that might contain fleas. ~ Oxford Dictionary
Now I don’t know about you, but somehow I think a French flea is likely more attractive than one found in one of our southern states. I’m imagining the tiniest scarf and red lipstick. Isn’t it ironic? We shop markets named after France and then we re-style our purchase. It is transformed into something beautiful. It looks as if it came straight from Paris. And of course then we label it shabby-chic. And they say you can’t put lipstick on a flea!
I digress. Rummaging through the internet, I found several options for the month of May. As an incentive to shop local, my blog is dedicated to markets, vintage pickin’s and trade days in southern states. If you are a vendor in any of the following states, be sure to check back often for events, tips, how-to’s and dealer success stories.
Black Out These Calendar Dates in May
For the month of May 2019, I suggest you black out these dates for your shopping trip(s).
- May 9-12 for the Scott Antique Market at the Atlanta Expo Center in Atlanta, Georgia. If you’ve not made plans with Mom yet, you can still salvage the weekend! This trip would make a great Mother’s Day gift.
Thursday 10:45am – 6:00pm
Friday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
$5.00 Admission Per Person
- May 16 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm register for a fun class at Dipsey Doodle Tools Rule Workshop. This workshop teaches the basics of how to use different tools in your antique business. Upcycling without tool know-how, leaves you empty-handed. Your doodads are not safe on a fragile whatnot.
27 Panter Drive
Dahlonega, GA 30533
706-867-4908 for reservations
- On May 17-19 visit the Lakewood 400 Antique Market in Cumming, GA. If this isn’t already on your bucket-list of business and/or fun destinations, then be sure to add it. It is one of the top 10 antique markets in America! If you can’t make it in May, don’t worry. You can experience this historic market on the third weekend of every month except December. In December, the show is held on the first weekend and is filled with gifts, decorations and all things Christmas. Santa loves a list of tchotchkes.
Tickets are $3 for the weekend and children under 12 are free.
1321 Atlanta Highway
Cumming, GA 30040
- This next market is outside the footprint of our region, but because it is super-de-duper and in the month of May, I had to mention it! From May 14-19th head north to the magical wonders of Brimfield, MA for the Brimfield Flea Market and Antique Show.
35 Palmer Road, Brimfield MA 01010
Don’t leave home without a strategic plan.
- Book hotels ahead of time in neighborhoods where dumpster diving may yield a good return on your investment.
- Consider the season and make a list of items your customers need. If it’s freshmen college season, then add a good chest of drawers and a chalkboard. Use your gifted lettering skills to write “Call Your Mom!” on the chalkboard.
- Keep your niche in mind at all times. If your niche is textiles, avoid mystery tours of vintage car parts.
- Be sure to have a loading and transporting plan. Most markets have porters to help you load items into vehicles larger than your iPad mini.
Objective & Task Shopping
- Begin with the end in mind. Create a budget and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Always give reasonable offers so you don’t insult the vendor. He/she may be flea farmers.
- Commit to your purchases. Inspect it from top to bottom and inside/out. If it needs TLC, be committed to do all that will bring it back to its glory and beyond. As the owner of Southern Antiques & Accents, Memorie Martinez says:
“Commit to your furniture when you buy it. Clean it properly, prepare it for painting and paint the whole piece. Customers don’t want unfinished pieces.”
Summer Season Antique and Flea Market Shopping
While shopping in May, keep the summer season in mind. Look for items within your niche that your customers will be looking for this summer. Here are a few ideas
- Picnic baskets
- Fourth of July decor
- Outdoor furniture
- Camping lanterns/gear
- Cast-iron cookware
- Gardening tools
- Garden accents and statues
- Ice cream bowls and scoops
- Vintage tablecloths and napkins
- Glass pitchers for lemonade
- Deviled egg plates
- Desk chairs
- Chest of drawers
- Bedside tables
Antique and flea market shopping is a great way for vendors to do a little sightseeing. Business trips are tax write-offs, so spend a little time seeing the sites around the market. These little excursions can keep the honeymoon stage of your small business alive and well. Sharing stories of where your pieces come from and what they were used for initially add another layer to the love of antiquing.
Finally, one word of caution: if you find a great deal on a bed, but it comes with little bugs, run Forest, run! Those little bullies are neither shabby nor chic!