Do you like shopping for real bargains? You can find a huge range of good, bad and scarily horrible at flea markets. Sometimes you can even find depression glass! Last week Dave and I went to our local flea market and got a few pieces of glassware including the Manhattan clear depression glass candle holder shown in the photo. The flea market vendors vary week to week and this time one man had tables full of junk. We found a few goodies lurking in the middle of the junk. How can you have a successful flea market trip? 1. Don't Dress Up This one is easy! Flea markets don't have fleas (we hope!) but they aren't clean either. Don't wear your best clothes and do wear comfortable shoes. I wouldn't wear sandals either since the ground can be damp or dusty. 2. Bring Your Own Packing Vendors may have bags or newspaper but do you want to trust your treasure to icky newspaper and ratty bags? Instead bring some of those reusable cloth bags you would take grocery shopping. Bring some clean paper or bubble wrap. If you don't have bubble bags then clean unused newsprint will work. Buy a small box and take sheets with you. If you are a serious flea marketer or garage sale aficionado then try the bubble bags sold at Staples, Bubblefast or StaplesIndustrial. (I got mine at StaplesIndustrial.com.) You can see one in the video. 3. Bring a Wet Washcloth Almost everything will be dusty. Can you tell dusty from hazy or grunge from wear? I can't. A good trick is to bring a wet washcloth in a baggy with you. Towelettes will work as long as they don't have any lotion or oil in them. When you find glass you like check it carefully and wipe some of the dirt off. Then recheck for wear after the glass is dry. I got a pretty Fostoria Lido plate last week that had a few scratches on it that were impossible to see with the dirt. Yes, I forgot my own advice and didn't bring a washcloth! Last tip is to look carefully at clear glass. You'll find more good buys in clear glass than in colored. Here is a video we took of the glassware we found, before it was cleaned up and then after. Yes, flea markets can be dirty!
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