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5 Tips For a Successful Antique store and Flea Market Shopping Trip Away From Home

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You need to have a plan to have a successful flea market or antique store shopping trip when you are short on time and in an unfamiliar town. Read my best tips for success.

Old handmade basket with flowers

Recently my family made a super quick weekend trip 500 miles away from our home. On Sunday afternoon we found that we had a few available hours to so some flea market and antique store shopping. The shops in the area were only open from 1-5 pm. I knew to make this work I would need some sort of plan, so this is what I came up with.

My 5 best tips to make the most of a quick antique store and flea market shopping trip 500 miles from home.

Make a list of the shops in the area.

First do a search to find out if there are any antiques stores and flea markets in the area. Then find out which ones are open and what time. Next use the google maps app to find out where they are and plan out the best route to take.

This little bit of planning will keep you from waisting time driving back and forth across an unfamiliar town looking for the stores in the area.

Choose where you shop wisely.

The first flea market that we went to was huge and from the outside it looked like it might be really good.

It didn’t take long after we got inside to determine it was not the place for us to be. It would haven taken all day to dig through the junk, so that we might find something we wanted to buy.

Now I love a good junk shop, but it does need some sort of organization. We quickly decided to move on in hopes that the next store on the list would be a better place for us to shop.

Have a good idea of what you are looking for.

I know what the things are that I always look for while I’m out at antique stores and flea markets. I’m always on the lookout for vintage items that can be used for  farmhouse decor for my home and my booth.  My daughter had also given me a list of things she wanted me to be on the lookout for her.

After the first good flea market that we went to I had a pretty good idea of which of those things I might find in this area. This helped me to narrow my list down so that I could shop more efficiently.

I also knew that I couldn’t bring any large furniture items home with me so I tried to keep my self from getting distracted by the beautiful antique furniture pieces.

Vintage blue and white pitcher and bowl

Keep moving!

If you want to visit as many antique stores and flea markets as possible in a short amount of time. Keep moving, don’t linger around just looking at things that you know you can’t buy.

I love a good slow leisurely antique shopping day, but when you are in a time crunch don’t linger. Look quickly and keep moving.

Make decisions quickly.

Don’t decide to think about it and come back if you decide you want it. If you think you might want the item pick it up right then. Chances are if you decide you want it later you will waste a lot of  time going back and trying to find it again in an unfamiliar shop.

If you pick something up that you later decide you don’t want you can always tell the cashier at the check out counter and they will be happy to return it where it goes for you. This will also keep you from forgetting to go back and pick something up that you really did want.

Several old handmade baskets.

I hope these tips for a quick shopping day when you are miles away from home and want to see as many of the antique stores and flea markets in the area as possible will be helpful to you if you ever find yourself with this opportunity to shop.

This plan did work out well and my shopping trip turned out pretty good.  You can watch my video if you want to see my favorite things that I purchased on this shopping trip.

On Monday morning we got up and headed back south.  It was another long day of driving but we had an uneventful and safe trip and for that I am very thankful.

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antique baskets from antique shopping trip

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