Sometimes people use bowls or compotes to display stuff. They don't recognize the glass as valuable. Don't forget to check out the display props. I got a gorgeous etched bowl that one vendor used to hold kitchen gadgets. Tip #4. Bring a Wet Rag and Use It I like to bring a wet dishrag in a baggy and wipe off glass that I'm considering. Then you can check for wear. It's almost impossible to check for wear when the glass is dirty. Always check for damage. Beware of glass with haze, chips, cracks and wear. Run your fingers along the edge to feel for chips and hold plates to the sky to see haze and cracks. Flea markets are Caveat Emptor - Let the Buyer Beware. The onus is on you, the buyer, to check before buying Tip #5. Avoid Repros - Know Something about What You Like Be aware of the patterns that have been reproduced. You don't have to be an expert or know every repro of every pattern, even a general knowledge will help you. That way, when you see the the clunky repro Madrid cake plate made from gluing repro candle holder to a repro plate, you can say "no". Get a good glass reference book and learn about your favorite patterns so you can recognize a fake - if there are any in your patterns. Don't worry too much about fakes because most are easy to spot once you know they exist. A few points to note about the reproductions you are most likely to see:
- Madrid and Cherry Blossom have many pieces reproduced. Learn these patterns carefully if you decide to collect them. I see more pieces of reproduced Madrid, aka Recollection, than all the other reproductions combined.
- Colored Fostoria American is likely a reproduction
- Floral, Adam, Miss America, Mayfair, Avocado, Iris, Florentine, Royal Lace have one or a few pieces reproduced, most often shakers, cookie jars, butter dishes or pitchers
- Sharon has reproduction sugar, creamer, cheese dish and candy dish. Most are easy to spot.
Haggling is your call. I will ask if the dealer can do better if a piece is good but price is marginal. But I have learned to leave a little money on the table. You'll be far more welcome the next time if you leave the dealers a little richer. This video has some tips for flea market shopping. I hope you have fun shopping!