This regular feature is a joint venture between myself and Diann from The Thrifty Groove.
I share my adventures at the Farmers Market, and Diann shares her adventures at the Flea Market.
Wow! Four Markets in four days plumb wore me out!
I did the Wyandotte Market on Thursday, Lots of people who wanted to look and touch and tell me how lovely everything was, but not a lot of buyers.
The local high school has a stand there and they were selling the neatest flower arrangements, in pumpkins. They grow the flowers and the pumpkins themselves, and do all the work themselves. Check out Diann's Blog here to see the one we got for her.
It is kind of a joint effort between the botany classes the horticulture class, and the FFA club. They have a greenhouse, where one group of kids starts all the plants in the spring, then they have an outdoor garden that volunteer kids take care of all summer. Apparently all summer they had different vegetables from their garden at the market. I thought it was great to see them there and wish more areas had groups like this.
Sales were low, it was a disappointing day.
Friday was my first time at the Taylor Market. It is nice because we can drive our vehicles right in. It makes it much easier if I can tie down my tent to the back of my truck.
I got exposed to a bit of the market politics at this market, and got to hear some of the market gossip. I think that by going to all of the markets each week, I am being accepted as a member of the vendor family. There is a group of about ten vendors who travel around to each of the same markets each week. Now, I'm one of that group.
I had a good day at the Taylor market, definitely selling enough to make it worth going and even worth paying the $10.00 fee.
Saturday was the Flat Rock Market. It was cold and windy, and at 12:45 there had only been 47 customers, so a couple of the vendors decided to pack up and go. The marketmaster officially gave us permission to leave at 2:00, and by 1:55 everyone was gone.
I had two repeat customers who bought some things, so I made enough to buy lunch and pick up some supplies on the way home, and had just enough left over to pay the $10.00 fee at Redford on Sunday. Good thing this market is free, or It wouldn't have been worth going.
Sunday at Redford was windy and cold, but there was enough of an "after church" crowd to at least make a decent day in sales. Not as good as I did at Taylor, but about as much as Wyandotte and Flat Rock combined.
I had an interesting experience with one customer.
She stood and touched and looked at all of my products, then she picked up a salt scrub and slipped it into her purse. she then proceeded to buy about $15 worth of things and pay with a $20. I was in a quandary. I saw her take it, do I call her on it, and lose the sale of the other items? Do I wait until she is all done paying, then demand that she pay for the salt scrub?
The sad thing is, had she told me she would buy the $15 worth of stuff if I threw in a salt scrub I would have done it without hesitation.
I finally just let it go, but made sure and alerted all the other vendors, so they could be aware of what she had done.
I made a little over half what I had hoped to make for the weekend. The vendors who have been doing this for a few years say that October is like that. If it is a warm weekend in October you do well, if it is a cold weekend in October, you don't.
And to top things off, this was the opening weekend of deer season, a high holy holiday for many Michiganders, so attendance was down a bit because of that.
My new product this week was my dry rubs.
I had three types: Farmers Blend, for white meat, Ranchers Blend, for red meat, and Hunters Blend, for wild game. I almost sold out of Farmers Blend, and sold a few packet each of the others.
So I had Bear markets two days and Bull markets two days. Over all the weekend was successful, but not as successful as I had hoped.
Better luck next week!
I told you that I was just to whupped last night to do a market report. Now I am refreshed so, on with the report!
Okay, I first have to say, the place was huge, the parking lot was full and yours truly found a vacant parking spot 2 cars from the entrance!! Woohoo! I took that as a very good sign! On to Flea market Heaven!
My mom and I took the princess with us and of course a wagon. Even if I didn't have the princess with us, I would still take the wagon! It was a cold and windy day but, the sellers were out in full force as were the shoppers. It is always a good sign to see people walking around with purchases. Makes you think there might be some good deals to be found.
Trying to figure out where to start was the hardest part of this thrifting adventure! This Swap Meet/Flea Market was held at a local race track. The race tract itself had 4 tiers of vendors all the way around. And then next to the race tract was the huge "pit crew area" and a huge field. This entire area was filled to the max with sellers.
We decided to walk all the way to the very back row in the field and work our way up to the race track.
When you go to these huge mega Flea Market special events, you have your budget, mine was $30.00 and you don't want to buy a bunch of things right away because what if there are even better deals to come! Well, I actually bought several things immediately. LOL But, they were Christmas presents and exactly what I was looking for and at a great price!
Some sellers were selling at antique mall prices and others were ready to wheel and deal. And of course, there were all those in between.
Okay, so I have already purchased three items and spent $3.00 of my $30.00. I saw so many gorgeous things but, most of them were out of my price range. Especially the "antique sellers". They offered no wiggle room for haggling. So, I generally just walked right past those sellers.
I really like to stop at the stalls that have bunches of old odds and ends and then look through for little treasures. A lot of these are manned by gentlemen who are there basically to sell there old tools or fishing gear or whatever. But, they often have a few pretties mixed in. They don't really care about these things and just want to get rid of them. They probably bought them in a large lot from somewhere else. These are some of the best places to search and haggle!
I stopped at one such stall. He had lots of old knives, license plates, rifles etc. I spotted these pretty plates.
These little plates were completely dirty and stacked under some old spark plugs. No prices of course. I asked how much for the two plates. He looked at them and said, "I dunno. how about .50 cents for them?" so, I bought both of them for .25 cents each. The purple one was something I was actually looking for to use in our little bathroom. so, here it is now.
A few pretty tea accessories I found at various vendors for under a $1.00 each.
I wish I could make out the makers mark on this piece.
This was just a pretty little set that I wanted for my dresser.
There were these guys, a slew of them working this one huge area and they were too much fun! First off, they had a ton of amazing stuff. antique chairs, tables, lawn items, chandies, lamps, you name it! But, everything was just as they got it. Some stuff was broken and most things needed to be repaired. These guys clean out old houses in Detroit. My nephew did this as a summer job as well. They go into old abandon homes that someone has contracted them for and clear them out. Generally everything goes into a dumpster but, some people are smart and haul it away to resell.
These guys were calling out to people and seriously wheeling and dealing their hearts out! They paid nothing for this stuff and basically brought it straight from the old homes. So, everything was profit for them and they wanted it gone! OMG! If I had room and some more money, I would have easily filled up my truck from these guys!!!
They had milk crates of different type of dishes, glassware and doodads lined up all over the place. I started looking through the various milk crates and started pulling things out that I might want. I asked one of the guys what the prices were. He looked at me and the stuff I was pulling and said, "Oh lucky you! You're just in time for 'pretty lady discount hour'! so, I'm going to let you fill up a milk crate for $15.00. Regardless of what is in it!" I looked at him and said, "Really? Don't you think I am prettier than that?" LOL He just laughed and said, "Now you know I gotta reduce it! You know how to work me don't ya?" So, I got a milk crate crammed with stuff for $10.00 and then the second one for $5.00 crammed full! I bought the bulk of my treasures from these guys.
I haven't had time to go through everything and take pictures yet. But, I did get these things pulled out.
There is actually 6 of these glasses but, one is still in a crate somewhere.
I also got this pretty milkglass lamp. I need to find a hurricane shade for it. I bought it for my dresser.
I will be showing your guys lots more stuff later. We didn't even get to the race track part of this huge sale. I got several other Christmas presents and lots of pretty things. Oh, and I only spent just under $22.00 of my $30.00 budget! Woohoo!!
It started to rain so the vendors were packing stuff up. the wind had really kicked up and so many of the sellers lost tables worth of antiques when the wind literally upended their tables and everything crashed to the ground. I felt so bad for them. They lost a lot of merchandise!
I just started a new giveaway for a $60.00 CSN Stores!! Head over here to enter!
Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.