Flea market finds are a fantastic, inexpensive way to update the decor of your apartment and make it all your own. (Have you seen HGTV’s Flea Market Flip?!) But if you’re not a born negotiator, haggling to get the best price on that antique desk you’re just dying to have can be a bit tricky. While you certainly don’t have to be a professional, equipping yourself with a few mental tools before you make the journey to search for flea market finds can make all the difference in the amount you end up spending.
Approach with Confidence
Remember: Flea market vendors are expecting to haggle, so don’t be worried that negotiating a better price will seem rude. The key to getting good prices on your flea market finds is approaching the situation with confidence. If you look like someone who can be taken advantage of, the vendor may do just that.
Look for Discount Opportunities
Before you begin to negotiate, it’s a good idea to take a thorough look at the piece you wish to buy to see if there is any apparent damage that may help you negotiate a lower price. Is the wood chipped or does the pillow have a large stain? These are things you may be able to fix, but shouldn’t have to pay for. Many flea market vendors are also more than happy to give you a discount if you bundle more than one item.
Insulting or upsetting a flea market vendor is a pretty good way to guarantee that he or she won’t be willing to offer you a discount, so maintain a respectful demeanor throughout the negotiation process. To make sure you start off on the right foot, smile and say hello before you begin browsing–establishing a positive relationship will be helpful later on.
Never Be the First to Make an Offer
Even if you are very confident of the worth of your flea market find, never be the first to make an offer, or you may accidentally end up paying more for the item than you or the seller intended. Instead, ask what the price is and go from there. If you agree with the price and love the item, go ahead and buy it! No need to waste your time negotiating.
Dressing too nicely can signal to the vendor that you are able to spend more money, and it may be difficult to negotiate for a lower price. Instead, leave the designer duds at home and opt for a plain t-shirt and jeans that won’t reveal your budget.
Do you shop at flea markets? Share your best tips with us!