Alameda Flea Market: Tips

updated Jun 3, 2019
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We’re excited that it’s Alameda Flea Market weekend. It just doesn’t come around often enough for us. What? You’ve never been? Well, we’ve put together a few tips for you…

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• Dress in layers
• Wear comfortable shoes
• Don’t bring your dog — it will have to stay in your car, and it will get too hot (Yes, really. Even if you think you’re just going to run in and run out… no one runs in and runs out. We’re talking 750+ booths)

Bring with you:
• A list of what you’re looking for — including dimensions
• A measuring tape
• Cash — small bills
• Sunblock (and a hat, if you’re a hat person)
• A sweater/jacket
• A bottle of water
• A snack like raisins, a protein bar, string cheese
• A notepad and pen
• Some people bring wheeled carts (which we find awkward and always in our way — but we’re usually only buying a couple of little things)

When you’re there:
• Some people swear it’s best to start at the back and move forward — the booths in the rear aren’t professional dealers, and often prices are cheaper (we don’t do this because we’ve never found anything in the back)
• Some people swear that it’s best to show up as early as possible (we’re no longer early morning people, and we don’t want to pay the higher entrance fee)
• If you’re purchasing something large and/or unwieldy, pay for it and then leave it at the booth. Don’t forget to write down the booth number, and don’t forget to pick it up on your way out (speaking from experience, those wool blankets may not seem heavy, but they will be after you lug ’em around for a couple of hours)
• Generally, if you set something down after looking at it, it’s fair game for another shopper
• Bargaining is acceptable
• Dealers will usually give you a lower price if you buy more than one item from them
• If you’re unsure about an item, write down the booth number and go back for it — but don’t count on it still being there

Related Posts:
• Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire
Come Early – Antiques Faire is a Buyers’ Market (SF Chronicle: 03.19.08)
• Design Board: 40s Finds at the Flea Market