Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Flea market craze, week 1

Like I mentioned the other day, I managed to book a place at the local self-service flea market. Here is how it goes: you basically rent a rack and some shelf space for a week at a time, put price tags on the stuff you want to sell, and the nice ladies at the till do all the dirty work, i.e. sell your stuff for you. At the end of the week you simply collect your money.

There are huge advantages to the thing: first, you don't have to be there in person. No standing around for hours, hoping that someone will stop and take a look at your old crap. No looking into your purse every few minutes, making sure that you have made more money than you invested. Second, you don't have to deal with bargaining because the prices are set, no questions asked. Last year my sister and I went to sell some of our clothes at one of those Saturday flea markets and mostly ended up arguing with people. I think 40 cents for a print t-shirt, two euros for a wool skirt, or four euros for a 1960s tea dress is not too much to ask, but apparently there are people who only settle for free, or almost free. ("What, you have the nerve to ask 5 euros for these unworn leather boots? I should get them for 20 cents!") At least you save yourself the trouble of getting annoyed at people, because at the self-service flea market they either buy or they don't. It's as simple as that. There is one more benefit to the self-service thing: for the same price, you get a place for an entire week as opposed to a single day at a regular flea market.

There are problems, too. You can't choose your customers. I would certainly feel more comfortable selling a once-loved item of clothing if I knew it was going to have a good future home. I might not be the happiest person around if I ended up seeing my precious tweed jacket a week later on some rude bimbo who clearly doesn't appreciate it. Also, you pretty much have to go in every two days to clear out the huge mess people make. Seriously, a huge portion of flea market goers have no respect for other people's property. One day into my first week at the flea market, my clothes were all over the place, in crunched up piles, rummaged through as if they were dirt. And finally, things can get stolen because these types of places aren't exactly packed with security staff.

Having said all this, I am still happy that I booked the place and got the process going, even though I just spoke to a friend of mine who made 300 euros on Sunday, doing her Clean Up at a traditional flea market. We'll see how it goes with the self-service one. Moneywise I'd settle for a third of what my friend made. I just want to get rid of stuff!

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