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Is There a Swap Meet or Flea Market Near You?

  1. Apr 16, 2015 #1
    San Diego has a few, actually; large ones that run every weekend. Last Sunday I came away with some excellent pirate booty, the most exiting of which was a nearly-new back pack for $10. I looked it up online when I got it home and it retails for between $60 and $70. One of the zippers was a bit mangled, so I think it was a return.

    I also got a one gallon wet-dry vac for $2. It really sucks! Very strong. Be great for the car. Also got a 3/8 drive Craftsman torque wrench for $8, and I got a very nice new Glacier Bay bathroom faucette made of stainless steel for $5. (Already installed it and it works beautifully.)

    Point being, the potential bargains are myriad. I'm especially glad for the book vendors, many of whom have a set price of "a buck a book."

    Many years ago I was in Belgium, and was dragged to a famous flea market there (Brussels, maybe?) so I know they exist as regular events outside of California, but I seem to be the only PF person who goes to them. Is there a flea market or swap meet near you, and if so, do you ever go?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2015 #2
    Unfortunately we have a fairly large permanent flea market outside the city, but it's all complete garbage.
  4. Apr 16, 2015 #3


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    The biggest regular flea market in the Chicagoland area is in the parking lot of the All State Arena in Rosemont. It runs every Saturday during mid spring to early fall.

    As for "swap meet", we have our Windy City Pin Traders that meet every 3rd Saturday of the month at a Fuddruckers in Downers Grove. In fact, we will be meeting up this weekend.

  5. Apr 16, 2015 #4
    I'd say 80% of the stuff here is of no interest to anyone, and doesn't sell. On the other hand, one man's junk is another's raw material. For example, the steel in old circular saw blades is perfect for making knives out of, so it's a bargain to someone who makes knives as a hobby to be able to pick up a bunch of rusty old circular saw blades for a quarter each. I've bought junk for pennies now and then mostly because I was interested in a supply of the material it was made from. I think a lot of craftsmen and tinkerers go to flea markets for that reason.
    Do you authentically swap pins? Here there's no difference between a swap meet and what's called a flea market where I grew up. Perhaps back in the day people actually swapped things at swap meets, but no longer.
  6. Apr 17, 2015 #5


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    Yes, at our pin trading day, it is predominantly (i.e. >75%) pin trading. This is a practice that we all "acquired" when we do pin trading on Disney property (i.e. they prohibit buying and selling between guests). There are also trading of vinylmations, Sorcerer to the Magic Kingdom cards (much like Baseball cards), etc.


  7. Apr 17, 2015 #6


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    We've got oodles of flea markets up here in Hogtown, but I've never heard of "specialized" meets like pin trading. Closest I've seen to any kind of specialized meet is a classic car gathering in the lot of the local Canadian Tire every 2nd Saturday.
  8. Apr 17, 2015 #7


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    About an hour's drive from here is the Anderson Jockey Lot. I've driven past it a few times but have never stopped there.

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida has the Swap Shop which began when the Thunderbird Drive-In movie theater started to host a flea market during the day on weekends. It grew and grew and grew. Now they have 14 drive-in movie screens, a car museum, and carnival rides in addition to the flea market.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  9. Apr 18, 2015 #8
    That's probably one of the few authentic "swap meets" in existence, and the origin of the practice is interesting.
    None of the several swap meets around here is dedicated, and there's no swapping I know of. They're flea markets.
    So, everyone whose reported in is remote from each other, and the polygon San Diego, Toronto, Chicago, Wisconsin, Florida is pretty huge. It's probably safe to assume there are regular flea markets in all states.
  10. Apr 19, 2015 #9


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    We have car boot sales here, you can pick up any thing from a vase to a pair of army boots, better still is the charity shop i work at, you can buy a single bed there for 5 quid or kitchen equipment from 10p upwards to 2quid. or a pair of jeans for 3 quid. etc etc.
  11. Apr 19, 2015 #10
    That's funny. Here in the U.S. the trunk of the car is the traditional 'storefront' of black marketeers.
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