Saturday, 4 June 2011

Hello from Helsinki! Hietsu fleamarketing

I've spent the past two weeks in Finland. Apart from a two-day visit to Pohjanmaa to see my mom, I've stuck to Helsinki, my hometown. There has been a lot of seeing family and friends, and a lot of fleamarketing with my sister. Today we went to Hietalahti fleamarket (aka Hietsu). There are two ways to approach fleamarketing at Hietsu: one is to go super early and find the best (in terms of quality) stuff, and the other is to go later and find real bargains. I am not a morning person so the latter is what I usually end up doing. (I've also figured that going early isn't always necessary for me: my taste seems different compared to many other fleamarketeers and there is plenty of interesting stuff for me to buy later during the day.)

These days there are some professional sellers at Hietsu who sell new stuff, which is always unfortunate for those of us who are looking for someone's old treasures. Some even sell knock-off handbags (even though it is not allowed). For the most part though, the sellers are there to get rid of things (clothes, shoes, trinkets and what have you) they no longer need, and others cater for a wide range of collectors of porcelain, design glass or semi-antiques. Some sellers have hand-crafted jewelry, mittens or rugs. This type of stuff is always a little bit more expensive than what you might normally expect at flea markets, but for collectors or people who appreciate hand-made things, the prices are still reasonable, and often below market value.

Prices for used clothes are way lower at Hietsu than in second hand stores or thrift shops in Helsinki. You can find tops for 50 cents, and shoes, jackets or jeans for a couple of euros. Occasionally you might encounter a seller who thinks that her old t-shirts are worth their weight in gold, but regardless of what kind of seller you are dealing with, you can always try to haggle. Sometimes you'll even meet cool sellers who will give you stuff for free.

This is what I wore today:

The t-shirt is an oldie-but-a-goodie, the skirt is a new thrift find (I bought it yesterday from UFF), the shoes I ordered somewhere online years ago and the second hand earrings are from Etsy.

These are some of the things I found at Hietsu today:

The vintage leather belt was 3 e, the crazy sunglasses 8 e (a little pricey, but they seemed very unique and unworn), the long silver earrings were 12 e, and the other earrings were 1,75 euros together. I did also find some clothes, but I'll save those to another post.


Anonymous said...

Great pictures, hon, and great finds! And GREAT to see pics of you from Helsinki!! I'm really happy you're having such a wonderful time...BUT I am so excited you'll be back in a week! :) oxoxoxox, CR

Anonymous said...

I follow a couple of other bloggers from Finland (Metscan and Feminine Bravery), but this shows me a side neither of them have featured. I love the glasses you found and t-shirt you are wearing. How soon will you be back

Gracey said...

Oh, the flea market looks like so much fun! You look fabulous and I love those shoes. Glad you're having a good time!!

Carolyn said...

You found some cool stuff! I love the glasses, yes, they are unique and interesting. Your remark about people thinking their old tshirts are worth a small fortune made me smile.

metscan said...

Yep, I´m the other one Terri mentioned. I have never gone to a flea market as a buyer and don´t think that I ever will.
However, I have spent many Sundays on Vermo flea market, as a seller, and I must say that the euros received are really earned by hard work.
After a day at Vermo, I am both physically and psychologically all worn out.
Negotiating about the price is, oh so stressing, so I usually place the price as low as possible, to get rid of what I have.
On the way home, I dump the leftovers ( clothes ) to some near UFF container.
This summer I don´t have much clothes or accessories, but there are a bit this and that, I wish to get rid of.
I try to understand the eagerness going to the flea markets as a buyer, but could not do it myself. My goal is to simplify my life by getting rid of things, not adding them.
Therefore I have not written much about this.

IrishRedRose said...

Those sunglasses are fascinating. I think I might even break out the term "steampunk" to describe them. I love the color on the green hoop earrings too! What are they made of? And the skirt is so striking with that mix of black and white sunburst stripes and bright florals. I must say, your taste is every bit as interesting and unique as your ever-thoughtful blog. I can't get over how well you write in a second language! I don't think you realize how amazing your use of English is... :-)