Tuesday, August 13, 2013

De Anza Flea Market - Buying or Selling?

I love a good flea market...I mean love.  Growing up in the Bay Area, one flea market that feels like a second home to me is the good ole' De Anza Flea Market in Cupertino.  For as long as I can remember I have looked forward to an early morning on the first Saturday of each month.  My TM and I have gotten up before the sun, grabbed an iced coffee and headed out in search of frugal fab finds. 

I LOVE vintage table cloths!
Not only do I absolutely adore attending this lovely flea, but I have also had the pleasure of being a vendor.  While I love a good garage sales and selling not only my goods but also the great items donated from my Mother In Law in my own front yard, sometimes it just isn't enough.  This past month, knowing my MIL was cleaning out yet another craft room and purging herself, I knew I had to make the trip home, buy a booth and get selling!

This is only 1/3 of the huge circle of boxes we got to go through.
It all started with a drive to the East Bay.  My mom and I loaded up my MIL's boxes in two cars and were giddy with excitement of what on Earth could be in all those boxes.  My MIL has the BEST stuff and I am always ecstatic to get first dibs on all the great craft/party supplies she gets rid of.  Since I like to be super organized, I laid out all boxes in the courtyard of my grandparent's home and started sorting through each one, in hopes of making them easier to sell the next day. 

Loads of new ribbon!
The ladies love their yarn!
New craft supplies always go so fast!
As time flew by we tried our best to sort things out, but soon felt overwhelmed. We did what we could (ribbon, yarn) then had to leave the endless amount of craft supplies mixed up as there was just too much to go through.  I figured it would make for a much more eventful hunt...boy was I right.

After taking three car loads down to our spot at 5:30 AM, quickly unloading (as people started looking through our unpacked boxes...people really have no shame when treasure hunting) I knew it was going to be a busy day.  Since my TM and I were full aware of what we were getting into (we had done this before mind you), we decided to keep the prices low and incentive high.  We decided to make it easy on ourselves; every item $1, 10 items for $5 or 25 for $10.  I wasn't crazy about practically giving away all the amazing stuff we had, but at the end of the day I wanted to get rid of it.  So, I got over it, made a cute sign, tightened my Vera Bradley fanny and got focused.

As the mayhem ensued, we were trapped behind people galore stock piling the treasures on Aisle E.  Women squealing, begging for boxes or bags as items spilled to the ground overflowing from their arms.  My TM and I worked seamlessly together, (as usual) counting, bagging and moving on to the next always keeping communication open and directing traffic to the checkout station (me).

As we kept marrying boxes and moving merchandise around we noticed the crowd kept coming and was not showing signs of stopping.  We even had some heated verbal exchanges over vintage glittered angel wings...who knew?!  We had started at 6 am with more stuff than we ever thought possible to sell.  By noon...we had sold out.  Our once overfilled truck (with two other cars as well) was carrying nothing but empty boxes.  It was unbelievable.  The best part ever?  My usual vendor friends (Lovely Lucy who I get my knobs and hooks from as well as the wonderful Yvonne from whom I get my vintage linens) all wanted items from my booth so I got to trade for what I wanted in their booths!  It was AMAZING!

One of our "down times"...
With a fanny full o' cash and nothing left to sell, I finally got to check out the other booths and see what vintage finds were out there.  Lucky for me, I seemed to be surrounded by cute booths with so much to look at...within seconds I said "later" to my TM and was off!

The booth directly behind me was simply amazing.  A woman and her son had set up small "rooms" within their booth.  Each way you turned felt like you quickly transformed from a garden party, to a bar scene, or ladies lunch and even a powder room.  It was great!  Even as I was crazily selling in my booth I found time to peek over the truck and see what she had.  Her booth was my first stop.

Welcome to the garden party! I love the huge mason like drink dispenser and old glassware. 

Suddenly in a powder room with these vintage perfume bottles, fans and clutches.  Even better, this awesome shelving unit.

Sweetest pink vanity ever!  Made even sweeter with the little tea cuts and vintage pics.

Great idea! Taking an old chair, using the seat as a planter and then just tossing a vintage tea cup on it...is the white rabbit going to race by at any second?!
Once I had spent a sufficient time pouring over each little trinket in her booth and chatting for a bit, I had to get a move on.  I am easily distracted and had a lot more to see.  So, across the way I went into another vintage haven of treasures!

Such a cute way to display/sell old cookie cutters...I have a TON of cookie cutters!
Another great linen on display, those colors are so vibrant!
Someone say vintage aprons?!
After getting lost in a haze of linen I again had to be moving on.  I spotted an old water pump and fell in love.  The red color was just screaming fire fighter to me...I had to have it...but what would I do with it? Suddenly I heard my TH's voice asking where yet another thing was going to go in our house and saw him shaking his head at me...I had to pass it up.  I'm not sure when I got this conscience of mine, but I hate it.

GORG teal tackle box, perfect for makeup or jewelry. That vintage CA plate would make a great tray too!
Soon the sun was far too hot and my iced coffee/adrenaline rush was wearing off.  After a long and crazy day I was ready for a cold shower and a nap.  So, with my bag of traded for knobs and vintage pillow cases/ table cloths, I made my way to the air conditioned car.  It was another great and incredibly profitable flea market.  Until the next one....

Are there any flea markets you love?  Have you been to the De Anza Flea Market?

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