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Trying The Flea Market For The First Time? Here’s Our Beginners Guide To Getting The Best Goodies

what sells at flea markets

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Hannah Yarrington. Find her on Instagram at @513hny. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

Though summer has come to an end, flea markets are still in full swing and selling lots of cute fall clothes, decor, and other knickknacks. You can also turn it into a fun fall festivity to go with your friends and family and take super aesthetic photos as well. But going to a flea market for the first time can be really intimidating, and it is so easy to get overwhelmed by the people and all the things to look at. So today, we’re going to discuss what you can expect when you go, what sells at flea markets, and ways to make sure you come prepared to make the most out of it.

Check the weather

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When deciding to make the trip to the flea market, nothing is worse than when your excursion is cut short by bad weather. So if rain is approaching, you can plan and dress accordingly and bring umbrellas and waterproof shoes. If the weather is super hot and sunny, bringing water, sunscreen, and even a hat is necessary for outdoor flea markets. I know it’s probably a given to check the weather before you go anywhere, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate the importance of taking your health and safety into account.

What to bring

If you’re just shopping for smaller, easily storable items, a nice big tote bag or basket should be able to do the trick to hold them while you’re still shopping around. But it’s crucial to prepare when you’re looking for more oversized items like furniture or potentially breakable items made out of glass. Most of the time, when buying furniture, the vendor will not have a delivery system set up, and they will expect you to take it home that day. So bring a truck with you or a trailer that you can haul your stuff in. And with glass items, not all vendors will have something to wrap it in, so it’s always good to bring a cloth or cushion for it so you can protect it. And even if you weren’t planning on getting anything big, you never know when you could walk past the most perfect table you have ever seen but have to give it up because you can’t move it. So, just keep that in mind when making your preparations. 

Also, another thing to think about is that not everyone will take credit cards, and it is probably a good idea to bring a good amount of cash just in case.

When to arrive

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Flea markets are unfortunately not an all-day event and start bright and early in the morning, typically around 8 a.m., and close in the early afternoon. And it is a lot less overstimulating when you get there early, so you don’t have to stress about parking and the mass amount of people trying to get in. You also want to give yourself enough time to look around at everything so you don’t feel rushed and overwhelmed.

Popular items

When looking at what sells at flea markets, antique furniture, houseware, and other old collectibles are definitely a significant part, and you can find a lot of hidden gems there. Many people will also sell vintage clothes, shoes, and accessories, so make sure you know your measurements as well before going. Vendors also love to see their art, crafts, and paintings, and you can find the perfect statement pieces for your home. People sell all kinds of unique items at flea markets, and the amount of this you can find is endless.

Know what you want

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Kind of going off what I mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to have a general idea of what you are there for so you can come prepared. Specifically for furniture, knowing the general measurements of how big you want the piece to be can be really vital and help you narrow down your options. It also helps lessen stress if you’re on a mission to find the perfect piece. But if you’re just casually shopping around and not looking for anything in particular, that’s fine, too! You also don’t need to hit up every single stall as well and take things one step at a time.


Now, here’s the thing with haggling. Some vendors are down for it; others will give you a hard no. Sometimes, you can get a really great deal on some things, and it doesn’t hurt to try, but if they tell you no the first time, it’s best to leave it alone and be understanding. Remember that these people have taken much time and effort to gather their things and to always be respectful.

And there are just a few ideas of what sells at flea markets and what to expect when you get there! Have you ever been to a flea market before? What were your best finds? Let us know!

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