Our business reminds me a lot of my early days in real estate-the big agents didn’t share their toys which left the rest of us to fend for ourselves and discover the secrets to uncovering the leads.
Much like a room full of new vintage and antique resellers in a classroom learning about HOW to do this business but not WHERE to find your stock.
I was in a class this last January at a large mall I had moved in to and when the question was asked, “ok, so where do these people FIND all this stuff??” All I heard was crickets. A couple of throats cleared and the answer was basically the same you here over and over, antique stores, estate sales, online, yada yada.
Yes, those are great places to find items. But the key to success in this market place is buying at the absolute lowest price you can. And also knowing what sells.
And the bottom feeders will make the most profit. Because like me they go to flea markets, garage sales, and places that after about 15 minutes in, you are dying for a shower and disinfectant wipes.
I’m gonna start telling you. Probably going to make some folks mad but hey, we all have different tastes and theories on what will sell so here goes.
Today I ventured early to the St. Augustine Flea Market just outside of St Augustine Florida at the intersection of I-95 and Highway 207 just south of Jacksonville.
The reviews are fair and I do believe you can score here if you shop it often. Unfortunately I didn’t have that much luck today but that won’t deter me from another visit.
It’s mostly a covered market and yes, there are tacky clothes and tube socks, lots of guns and knives, tools and CDs and bad food.
But, there are a couple of dealers spread around that had some fun items. What I saw today mostly was not so old china, some industrial stuff, older kitchen items, some furniture. One dealer did have quite a bit of shabby painted furniture at good prices but nothing I was dying to haul back to Atlanta. I did score an old enamel basin for a dollar and a pretty old English transfer bowl for ten bucks I need to clean.
I hear there’s a great baker at the back of the market I didn’t find but the vegetables were cheap and beautiful and there were old dudes playing Willie Nelson songs at the various funnel cake places.
In my mind it’s not a REAL flea market unless they have chickens and pigs but one dealer did have chihuahuas. Close enough.
My rating 4 Fleas out of 5. Potential here just have to shop often. Prices pretty good.
I ended up driving back up US 1 through St Augustine and stopped at the St Vincent de Paul Thrift Store just north of the historic area on US 1.
Ok, this is probably the largest SVDP store I’ve been in and it has tons of (mostly recent) furniture and wall art. The do have a HUGE warehouse full of furniture – I saw old upright pianos in good shape for around a hundred bucks. I didn’t find anything but I bet they get some sweet stuff.
My rating 4 Fleas out of 5
I headed up US 1 north past the St Augustine airport and stopped at Graybeards Antiques and Architectural store. It’s a warehouse area just north of the city and the owner used to have a store in North Atlanta. This place is chocked FULL of furniture, doors, mantels, shutters and true antique pieces. And her stuff is not the cheesy stuff. Her old vintage doors alone were giving me the shakes they were so fabulous!
It’s in the same area as Antique Warehouse which is true retail and not for dealers. In fact if I heard one more time that a piece she had came over on a Cunard Line over 80 years ago I was going to lose my mind.
Colleen who owns Graybeards was really helpful and tell her you are a dealer and give her your tax ID and she will work with you. Her shabby green shutters were 30 each were a deal. Her doors started around a hundred but you would die they are so gorgeous. She shops in New York State and knows her stuff.
My rating 5 fleas out of 5
Lastly I headed up US 1 to go home and stopped briefly at Out There Antiques. Definitely a pickers store, it is cluttered dark and wonky. Prices were okay and the possibility of finding something here would be better of you shopped it often. I personally can’t stand shopping in dark stores.
My rating 3 Fleas out of 5. Only stop if you have time but if you pass it you probably won’t miss much.