How to repurpose flea market finds in to meaningful gifts. One of my favorite things to do is send spontaneous gifts to family and friends. However, I have found myself increasingly bothered by the ecological footprint that goes along with shopping in major stores. Aisles full of factory-made uniform objects, devoid of real value, with no story to tell.
I have found a way to send flea market finds in to meaningful gifts without compromising my ethics: by shopping from Los Angeles flea markets and vintage and antique markets. Here I can find vintage gems with a history, with a personality. As I browse, I imagine the people involved in the object’s creation, their life and the people who may have inherited the piece over time.
I match these pieces to the people in my life who matter to me – perhaps some vintage cocktail glasses, or pre-loved porcelain salt and pepper shakers. I always manage to find meaningful and purposeful gifts at the Los Angeles flea markets.
Where to begin flea market shopping in Los Angeles?
➛ I live in Los Angeles, but go wander in your area for estate sales, yard sales and flea markets.
Some of my favourites are:
Topanga Vintage Market @ topanga_vintage_market
Rose Bowl Flea Market @rosebowl_fleamarket
Long Beach Antique Market @longbeachantiquemarket
➛ Be the early bird! As they say, the early bird catches the worm, and that applies especially to markets and estate sales! Remember that the entrance fee for markets is often higher the earlier you go, but it will be quieter, so you will have more chance of bagging a real gem.
➛ Haggle, but not too much! Always ask if the price listed is the seller’s best price but be respectful that these markets may be the seller’s main source of income.
➛ Take cash, just in case. Although most people take venmo or zelle these days, you may come across someone who hasn’t gone digital and has the most exquisite copper pot at a bargain price.
➛ Bring some bags! Take your own shopping bags for the small purchases and try not to park too far away if you plan to browse for large items.
➛ Bring snacks! Some of these markets can be quite big, so you may end up wandering around for hours. Bring a flask of tea and some cookies and treat it like a day out!
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