Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Come with me!

Come with me
and we will see
what there might be
at the Big Flea!


First off, we need the proper equipment.

Granny Carts Are Go!

I've had that Granny Cart for almost six years now.  I bought it at a yard sale right after I got my first booth.  It's indispensable for the Big Flea.  I'm not one to be lugging loads out of the big-ass building across the big-ass parking lot to dump them in the van.  With the cart, I don't usually have to (although there have been a couple of times that became necessary).  

I love this cart because the front wheels rotate.  A lot of carts have their front wheels on a fixed axle, which makes them harder to turn when loaded.  I can wheel and spin on a dime with this baby!   The liner is about trashed, but still has a little life left in it.  I got this one cheap, so I'm not going to replace it until I find another cheap one.  If this one totally goes, I'll go back to using a trash bag like I did before.  I had a Spider-Man liner one time, but it wasn't very sturdy.  It didn't even make it through two Big Fleas.  A liner is a necessity, because it keeps stuff from falling through the gaps in the cart bottom.

By the way, that's not the only Granny Cart I own.  I actually have three.  Yes, I know what that means.  Make of it what you will.

 We've arrived at our starting point!  Even though there are antique sellers all over the whole Big Flea, they get their own special section at Labor Day and New Year's.  Many of the sellers that come for the Antiques Section only come for those shows.  

I've been doing this long enough now that I know who I'm going to hit here as I'm going in.  Many of them are in the same spot show after show.  I've also learned that if I wait until the last day, there are lots of bargains.  Several dealers have tables of great stuff cheap, usually to get rid of it.  They may start out as $5 tables on the first day, but by the last day, they're $1 tables.  My kind of tables.

One of all time favorite sellers only comes for the New Year's Antique Section.  They take out a dozen or more tables that all end up as dollar tables by the end.

I got a little worried as I was going in this section yesterday, because it was early in the day and sellers were already tearing down.  That's usually a sign that it's been a bad sow for them, and they're cutting their losses and heading out.  It turned out that there were still plenty of bargains to browse.

I always work this section three times.  Once when I get there to get the must haves and case the joint.  A second time right after that to pick up stuff that wasn't quite a must have.  And a third time before I leave to get the stuff I earmarked to get after I finished the other section, if I had money left.

On my last trip, I scooped up some prizes from one table and the dealer looked at me and said, "I guess it pays to wait until the end."  I could only grin at him.  It's all about strategy, sometimes.

There are always so many interesting things to see in this section, as well.  I learn a lot from checking things out here.

I think the expression on her face would indicate that the stockings are not particularly effective.  She certainly doesn't look as if her legs are being eased.

Uhm, I have no words for that one.

I've got no clue that this thing is, but I loved it!  Sadly, it was $150.  It probably would have been too much for the Granny Cart anyway.

There were lots of lovely (and pricey) icons all over the place.  One of my favorite things to do at the Big Flea is look at icons.

Naked Dennis the Menace doll!  I love his little molded on undies.

Sweet, sweet handmade doll furniture.  ($395 worth of it!)

Uh oh!
 I think I may be in trouble....

Now that we're done in the Antique Wing for the moment, it's time to head out and check the rest of the Big Flea.  But first we've got to do something about this cart.

Even more so than Mazda, the Granny Cart requires lots of packing and repacking to effectively use all the space.  I got some odd-shaped items this time (also some heavier items), which made careful packing both tricky and essential.

There's a little eating area outside the Antique Section, and I like to wheel the cart in there, get some fries, and unpack the whole thing.

 Then it all gets carefully repacked in the cart.

Keith has pointed out that this little exercise usually brings some stares and pointing (and sometimes laughter) from other people in the area.  Haters gonna hate, I guess.  My shopping and packing skills have been known to reduce other mortals to piques of jealousy.

With everything all squared away, we head out into the regular part of the flea market, which is always a wonderous smorgasbord of banana boxes, socks, sheets, Avon, Hallmark ornaments, fudge, music, movies, antiques, vintage, toys, junk, comic books, and anything else you can imagine.  I cruise every aisle and check everyone out, looking for last day deals the whole time.  There are also several regular stops I make in this section too, but they are not always in the same locations each time.

Picture taking is a lot harder in this part.  The aisles are narrower and the crowds are larger, so I kind of gave it up for the most part.  

 I stood by this sign for the longest time, but no one gave me any money.

Finally, all the booths have been seen, wonderful finds have been purchased, and the Granny Cart is full (and then some).

And from the back.

Anyone can fill the cart.  It takes true gusto to start tying stuff on the cart!

It's time to have the end of the Big Flea ice cream cone.


It's also time to look at my feet.


I love the Big Flea.  I've grown up with the Big Flea.  Booth or not, I don't see myself ever giving up the Big Flea.  When I'm 97 and in my wheelchair, my niece and nephew (or their kids) will be pushing me through the Big Flea.

So, that's the story.  What do you see in the Granny Cart?  I'll have the finds tomorrow or Thursday.


What's in the tub of stuff from the Sidewalk Sale?


Donna Wilkes said...

We have nothing that even comes close to this! We have giant fairs but not at these prices. Can't wait to see what is in the granny cart.

Melissa said...

The same folks who put on your Labor Day flea market put on our Thanksgiving flea market here at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis (www.stewartpromotions.com). They do a show twice a year at the fairgrounds. We also have the Greater Indianapolis Garage Sale in January each year at the fairgrounds. This is the 40th year for it (http://www.familyevents.com/indianapolis-garage-sale). I'm always able to buy lots of great stuff at these events. They're fun because they're during parts of the year where junk buying can be few and far between.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Good one Eddie. Love that grannie cart. Wheels that rotate, bonus.

Shara said...

The Big Flea sounds super fun! We have the World's Largest Yardsale at the fairgrounds, but I don't even go because it is just crazy with people. I take that day to go hit the regular sales and find stuff. In the sidewalk bin I see Tiki's!

Theresa in St Louis said...

I believe that heavy $150 contraption is an antique barn/hay pulley. Beautiful piece of old equipment. So glad to see that you are up to the challenge of the Big Flea. I doubt most of us could have made the many circuits that you did that day!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

This is awesome and I would love the big flea! I'm jealous of you granny cart because the front wheels swivel,mine does not and it can be a pain int he arse! Can't wait to see you finds. What's in the granny cart: a big cast iron skillet and a bunch of bags. Now whats in the yardsale bin: fish, milk glass vase, tiki mug, wooden thingies and at least one brass thing and plaque.