|How to Judge Flea Market Finds|
Is trash day just another day around your house? Well, to me it's like having Christmas delivered right to your curb. Yes, folks, I have to admit that I am a certified trash scavenger. Now don't get me wrong, it's just that I like the title "Trash Hound and Dumpster Diver Matt"; Shari, on the other hand, doesn't go by any of those titles. In fact, she wouldn’t be caught dead rummaging through the trash. But she sure is happy when I show up with the goods! Anyway, I wear my titles proudly, as do many other collectors of fine refuse. I know that with a keen eye and a little imagination, I can usually take one man's trash and turn it into workable treasure. But how do you know if an item is worth bringing home? Here are a few guidelines Shari and I use. These rules can also work at flea markets and garage sales.
Type of find: Wood item
Type of find: Fabric item
Type of find: Ceramic item
Now that you know what to look for, here are some suggestions for the true "trash-to-treasure" fan.
*If you're flea-marketing, make sure you carry cash. Some dealers have charging capabilities, but they may give you a discount for paying with the green.
* Don't forget to ask for a discount--bartering is part of the fun. If you don't ask, it won't happen.
*Have a backpack or even a fishing vest to hold small necessities, and leave your hands free to rummage.
*I also like to carry a tape measure to make sure a piece will fit before getting it back to the house.
*If you are a trash-day scavenger, learn the trash routes. Start in the evening the night before the trash is to be picked up. That's when the vulnerable goodies are set out ... free for the taking!
*Shari and I have a policy of asking the homeowner, if they're available, before we take it from their heap.
*And by all means, be respectful of other people's property. I know I don't want strangers going through my trash and leaving my yard a wreck.
My only other suggestion is to keep clear of Shari and me on trash day. We've got a big ol' van and we're determined enough to bump you right out of the way. They don't call us the pit bulls of decorating for nothing!