Flea or thrift? Flea or thrift? Don’t make me choose!Posted: April 13, 2014
Yesterday ManRay and I did a marathon of shopping starting at the Golden Nugget Flea Market in Lambertville NJ. I haven’t been there since last summer and was surprised by how much the market has changed. At one time it was considered the preeminent antiques market on the East Coast.
Now it’s dominated by yard sale dreck with only a minority of dealers who specialize in vintage goods. Over half of the 150+ tables were empty even though it was sunny and nearly 80 degrees. Last I heard the market was up for sale. 😦
The one HUGE reason I keep going back to the Golden Nugget is the great vintage stuff that I know I won’t find anywhere else (unless I shopped at estate sales). I fell in love with these old ribbons. Got a fantastic deal on them, too.
These old maple syrup tins would never make it to a thrift store shelf. They’d get tossed in a dumpster first. I liked that they’ve got maple syrup recipes on the sides. You’ll have to wait until next winter to see them!
It was still Christmas at a couple tables. We’ve been so traumatized by snow it might be June before we are brave enough to put our shovels and salt away.
I got this little sewing kit for pocket change. It has a mirror inside, too.
Flea market shopping is an intensely social experience. You can’t buy anything without dealing with a dealer, and dickering is mostly part of the deal. (Confession: I never dicker on any item that costs $10 or less. I think it’s cheap in a really bad way. Who wants to be a petty cheapskate?) I don’t feel comfortable “window shopping” or touching objects because dealers will start a sales pitch. (I know how it works–I do exactly the same thing when I’m the dealer!)
Thrift shopping, on the other hand, lets you shop relatively unobserved and there’s no disputing the price. You can fill a cart, walk around with stuff for an hour, and then decide at leisure what makes the final cut before you hit the checkout.
I grabbed this springtime-y paint-by-number of sweetpeas. Too bad I didn’t have it last weekend for Sage Farm!
I didn’t see any dishes I liked at the Golden Nugget. But I hit the jackpot at the thrift store.
Final score? Another vintage Japanese scarf for my collection in a bright, Springy green.
What do you prefer–flea or thrift?