i get really nervous about requested lists!! but i love them! this one's for you @zoe. These are 2 very different animals but i'll give some thoughts on both, i hope it doesn't suck.
  1. the giant once-a-month flea markets are pretty worth it, but before daybreak isnt always a must
    The Rose Bowl flea in LA and the Alameda Antiques Faire here in SF are giant wonderlands. If you want a deal on like, perfectly rusted queen size iron bedframe by all means go at 5AM. i like stroll in in the afternoon, a few hours before closing when they want to leave and give random deals so they dont have to pack up as much stuff. Bring an old lady cart w wheels. So much easier. At Alameda you can rent a shopping cart! also good. Who wants to be bogged down in the hot sun?
  2. act like you DGAF
    i mean, not to the point of being rude. But if you are casual and seemingly half-interested you can usually get them to budge. ex: 'so how much is this needle point nude portrait?' 'it's 40' 'huh. eh, thats ok#k' 'BUT i CAN DO BETTER? 25?' '20 and i'll take it' AND SCENE. ps it doesnt always go that way but you should always TRY! they can only say no, which leads me to the next point:
  3. if they say NO WAY to negotiation on something with an astronomical price, they don't want to sell it
    they have some kind of emotional attachment. so i usually walk away because those people are weird. and maybe hoarders. except sometimes...(next point)
  4. bring small bills if you can
    they'll have an ATM - usually with a long line. Also if you bring fives and singles its easier to be like, oh its $30? i only have 23 will you take it? (flea market only. they usually don't fuck around with prices at thrifts)
  5. if you are in love i think it's worth it
    We all love a deal. We all wanna feel like we got a real treasure for 50 cents and an eyelash flutter. But I am not so much of a hardass that I won't just throw down because I LOVE IT. Things I think are Worth It (within reason) : a great coat, art (the weirder the better), enamelware, chairs
  6. go to the one a leeeetle further out from the city
    this works for both actually. i mean, it'll be cheaper and way less picked over and less crowded.
  7. only go to the flea / thrift with a friend with similar browsing / hunting style (and ideally a different shoe + dress size 😎)
    this is self-explanatory. its just the worst thing ever and not fun or fruitful to have to worry about someone else's fun and timetable you know?
  8. best thrift stores (in order of favoriteness)
    Savers (ALWAYS GREAT and clean and organized), Thrift Town, St Vincent de Paul, Red White and Blue, Goodwill, Salvation Army.
  9. estatesales.net
    estate sales are like the thrift and flea market combined. for these i DO advocate going as early- espesh if you get to see a preview online and see specific things you want (online preview: important. you wanna know, before you drive 30 mins at 8 AM on a saurday if its just dirty old saws and sewing notions. altho maybe you want that and then lucky you). if i like a sale (prices + organization) i sign up for their email blasts abt upcoming sales