3 Unwritten Rules about Finding the Best Deals

What I originally had planned for my Sunday was a Volkswandertag and possibly an art walk later in downtown Wiesbaden.  It was a bit ambitious.  But not as daunting a task as the first Sunday of the month Trodel Markt.

My first Flohmarkt was a bit of a disappointment.  I did find a couple of knickknacks but I had lost the desire to beat the early morning rush for first look.  At the mention of this mega event I noticed the gleam of eager eyes in the veteran Flohmarkt goers’ eyes.  I figure that if this experience failed to provide a worthy look into Flohmarkts I would never bother again.

I was looking for a workout this morning and this didn’t disappoint.  The largest flea market I ever had a chance to visit took 3 hours to tour.  This was closer to 5 hours! The lanes of traffic were almost shoulder to shoulder the entire time.  The best part was the wares –ranging from the exotic, historic, useful, decorative, and benign household items.  Thankfully I had a guide to help me find my buyer’s eyes and que me in to some of the unwritten rules.

Beware of your surroundings.

You are going to end up brushing up against people.  Think about how to carry your money that doesn’t make it easy for someone to lift it.  Last week someone in our “finders” group told us about a theft.  The man grabbed her purse out of her cart.  Luckily she confronted him and took it back.  I didn’t have any trouble this visit.  Although there were a couple incidents that sent our Spidey senses off, that didn’t keep us from having a good time.  I had a chuckle with a man who looked into our cart and joked about making good deal.  Looking at what others scored is part of the fun!

Set a price in your mind.

My friend was very firm in her mind about what she was willing to pay… she wouldn’t budge even when the seller came within 50 Euro cents! I on the other hand had no such staying power.  I think that might be the difference between a seasoned goer and myself.  She came with a mental list of things to look for.  I was here to see what could catch my eye.  We ran into others from our group who had a better eye for the value of some wares.  For example these beautiful Maurice Sendark prints that came in plain box.  How many of us had walked by with none the wiser?  Some of the vendors were insistent about the higher value of their wares… but without anything to back it up, the limited edition/ author stamps meant nothing to us.

Love it? Buy it!

There is nothing like a flohmarkt that will reveal to your friends what sets your heart a flutter.  Some of these are once in a lifetime finds. Some of the items you can find in another part of the market.  Possibly even in the next market you decided to visit.  If you find yourself giddy, listen to your heart and buy it.  Too often once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.  At least one in working condition.  Don’t be afraid to ask for a different price – but remember to offer a fair price.

In addition I had to hold to one more rule… the 4 buying rules.  For that reason I walked away from a lovely leather satchel for a camera system and the bust of a unicorn. *sigh* Instead I brought home 2 chess sets and a Scheinerei (A German version of Pass the Pigs! Thanks to the family that hosted us during last year’s obstacles I came to fall in love with the game!).   16 Euros later in finds and 4,50 for a steak sandwich off the grill, we took our achy feet back to the safety of our homes… Where I was promised the siren call of another market in Frankfurt!

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