In most of the country, summer is prime flea market season. However, getting a great deal on something special for your home is less about hitting the right place at the right time and more about knowing how to shop for the best bargains. It's worth it to brush up on the latest vintage trends online to get a sense of what to seek out — like farmhouse crates, silverware, and fabrics — along with their range of price points. That way, once you navigate the stalls, you're prepared to use your money wisely. We hit one of the largest and most respected outposts in the country, Brimfield Antique Flea Market in Massachusetts, to see what stylish picks we could score at a discount. Here are the 10 chicest ones we found on our search, so that you know what to find on your own adventure.
Vintage Pyrex tends to be more expensive at a flea market than what you'd find at the thrift store or estate sale, but the selection is always better — plus, it lasts forever. Expect to pay more than $50 for a set of colorful mixing bowls in great shape, or casserole dishes in brighter patterns. Brown, gold, and green designs are more common, so you can definitely negotiate for a lower price.
The farmhouse trend for all things rustic has put wooden crates in high demand. Expect to pay $20 or more for old crates, with a premium for recognizable brands. Don't forget to kindly haggle for a reasonable price if you plan to buy a few in various sizes.
Majolica, or painted ceramic items often featuring dimensional objects, can be sold for more than $150 each, and older pieces with artful patterns command the most value. If you see majolica with a low double-digit price, swoop it up.
Every year, it seems as though the demand for vintage signs will subside. But, it never does! Vintage and antique signs move fast, so if you see one in mint condition for less than $100, buy it immediately. These signs look great as part of a gallery wall, or could also work on their own in an entryway.
Antique copper cookware, hardware, and architectural elements are rising in price because of the finish's continuing popularity, so be on the lookout for bargains. You can definitely try to score a deal by buying in bulk later in the day, after the initial rush of crowds.
Vintage chairs are tough for a dealer to store and transport, so you can find gorgeous designs for less than you'd see in a store. Though it's hard to put a price range on these, a set of eight midcentury dining chairs can sell for around $200 — that's $25 a piece!
The demand for midcentury barware is still going strong, from novelty martini shakers to beautiful glassware. Coupe-style glasses are in high demand, especially in different colors. Stick to highball glasses, which will go between $4 and $10 each, depending on their age. Gold, amber, smoke gray, and clear glasses tend to be the cheapest options.
Whether it's English transferware or simple gold-banded china, this category is filled with reasonable prices, whether you buy one or a set. Even if you don't plan on using it regularly, it's always nice to have a few charming dessert plates around for dinner parties.
Unlike other purchases, magazines are very easy to carry home. Prices depend not only on the age of the issue and overall condition, but also its subject matter. For instance, anything having to do with Jackie Kennedy or Marilyn Monroe will command higher prices. Pick up a few that have interesting illustrations or photographs for a twist on artwork.
Whether you find it in scraps or in stacks, the flea market is the only in place to find vintage fabric. The most in demand, and therefore more expensive patterns, are anything bold or bohemian. But midcentury florals are much cheaper. Use these fabrics to reupholster furniture or pillows for a quick update.