Flea Market Impressions
April 27th, 2006

Among my biggest weaknesses are flea markets. Having a special spot in my heart reserved for all things antique, flea markets are a perfect and oftentimes underrated place to find little treasures. May it be old china, original hand crafted glasses, silverware or everything kitchen-related – that’s what I usually keep an eye out for and I’m often rewarded by finding something special. In my past years in Regensburg antique-loving friends introduced me to the field of old porcelain/china and silverware; while -at the time- it sort of felt like boot camp (for everything trashy I reached out I basically got hand slapped), I became more and more confident in keeping apart cheap fakes from the not so obvious gems.

Flea market impressions

Although Munich is generally much larger in size than Regensburg and offers a broader variety of different flea markets, for some reason I do prefer going back to Regensburg. This is where I had some of my best finds in the past. Perhaps with one annual exception: The flea market at Theresienwiese, which takes place on the first Saturday of Munich’s spring funfair every year. It’s the very same location Munich’s famous Oktoberfest aka “d’Wies’n” is kicked off every September. The copious area is overlooked by Bavaria, a huge bronze statue symbolizing the female patron of Bavaria and was packed with hundreds of different stalls last Saturday. Perfectly blue sky added to the whole experience and put me immediately into major shopping mood. Yippee…

Flea market impressions

Inside Bavaria, she’s roughly 20m tall, a staircase of 66 steps lead from the hollow of the knee up to the top, i.e. her crown!

Flea market impressions

The Ferris wheel at the spring festival also offers a pretty decent scenic view on the city…for the vertigo-free that is.

Flea market impressions

While my better half as an insurmountable aversion against flea markets, he yet is sometimes quite astounded at some of the beauties I get hold of. This time I was pretty conservative though: All in all I spent less than 30 EUR. Wow, that’s a first! Best finds included: A beautiful silver-coated little pepper mill and four pretty old Anglophone cookbooks – The Cooking of Provincial France by M.F.K.Fisher (1968) – More Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan (1978) – The Settlement Cook Book by Mrs. Simon Kander (1946) – Tante Marie’s French Pastry (from 1954).

Flea market finds

In case your new to this whole shopping experience, here are my top 10 thoughts on fleamarkets (in no particular order):

Always have enough change on hand and a huge comfortable carry bag.

Almost a no brainer, but don’t go there with your LV bag or Gucci sunglasses – chances are, there will be an immediate mark up of a 100%.

Make up your mind what you are looking for in advance – otherwise you might just get carried away. I know what I’m speaking of…

Don’t just settle for what’s on the price tag, always negotiate. Hey, it’s a flea market, if a vendor isn’t willing to haggle a bit – at least a tiny little bit – I wouldn’t buy from him or her at all.

Look out for less professionally looking stands, there’s a higher possibility for better bargains. Professional vendors know their stuff and their actual value.

If you are new to a specific area (e.g. old china, silverware,…) ask many vendors for their prices, the product’s origin, its age and more and perhaps make a mental note of any engravings. That way you’ll get to know important details about a product group, which can be useful in future price negotiations. But again, watch out, not every vendor is telling the truth…

Inspect items closely for small flaws, another good reason to ask for a lower price (despite the fact that the damages my even add to the overall appearance).

Don’t be discouraged by a dirty or worn out looking product (if the price is right!), curd soap and a bit of work can do amazing things…

Be prepared to meet grumpy, typically professional, vendors: If you ask for a specific price and find it unacceptably high, some vendors take it [apparently] personal and might get a tad rude, telling you, that you don’t have a clue about things’ real value, bla bla bla…, – yeah, uh hu, whatever!

Be an early bird. Either go there very early in the opening hours, when people start building up their stand (to snatch rare finds) or on the contrary very late, when people already pack up (best bargains).

A few more impressions…

Interesting people were spotted…

???

Flea market impressions

…interesting dogs, too…

Flea market impressions

…Munich-related…

Flea market impressions

…cheesy pictures…

Flea market impressions

…kitchy, old records and tons of enamel kitchen thingies…

Flea market impressions

…and finally met with Mickey Mouse and Mr. Teddy Bear!

Flea market impressions

Flea market impressions

Comments

Apr 27th,
2006

Meg

Apr 27th,
2006

Apr 27th,
2006

Ann May

Apr 27th,
2006

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2006

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2006

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