Satisfaction for now…

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It’s been so long since we were able to go to a flea market. Winter in New England is TERRIBLE for Flea Marketeering and Yard Saleing opportunities. From October through April we are stuck with a scant few indoor markets and whatever auction opportunities arise. Well, that, and the uncertainty of craigslist. But trust me on this one, when someone lists something on craigslist that is usually the only item in their house that they are selling. And they have very little patience for you wandering around their house asking for prices.

I don’t know how it’s possible but there are Flea Markets out there that we just don’t know about. There are also Flea Markets out there that we know (knew) about, but for whatever reason… we forgot about them. The Lancaster Flea Market in Lancaster, MA is just such a Market. Kate had been there a few years back, but for whatever reason, we never got back to it.

As soon as you walk in you are greeted by a life size Stargate from the TV show and movie “Stargate.” I tried to find a picture of it online and was really surprised that there aren’t any pictures of it. But then, I myself didn’t take a picture of it, so I guess that’s something we can all say we’ve shared. If memory serves me correctly, there was a popcorn machine in the middle of the Stargate, not sure if that’s considered canon or not. Maybe the Stargate shows you what you WANT to see. If that’s the case… you know me a little better now than you did before.

Overall the Lancaster Flea Market was standard fare: sports collectibles, old tools, piles of rusty metal things, picture frames, baby stuff, folks quietly standing behind their homemade goods that no one seems remotely interested in (in this case soap, but it’s usually fudge or some kind of sauce). I always wonder how these people ended up at this stage. Like, the wife made something (let’s say custom dog bandanas) and the husband liked it so much that this conversation took place:

Husband: I would pay *$20* for one of these. I think we can get $25 a piece at the flea market, those people will buy ANYTHING.

Wife: You think so?

Husband: YES. Look at ME for instance, last week I bought a sack of 37 doorknobs, and I know *I* would buy this so why wouldn’t everyone else? How much did it cost to make this custom dog bandana?

Wife: $27.

Husband: Excellent! Let’s make 500 of them to start and then next week we’ll look at bringing 1000! I’m going to quit my job! We’re going to be millionaires!

Fast forward to the Flea Market as they consider all of the decisions they’ve made in their life that brought them to this moment. The dog they didn’t want, the kids they didn’t want and now 500 custom dog bandanas that cost them their entire savings and are worth exactly $0.00 in retail value. They know now what a stupid idea it was and they don’t want to be here, but they have to be. They have to at least TRY to recoup some of their investment even if it takes a year’s worth of weekends at the Flea Market. At least they get to spend time with each other. And hey, now they’ve got time to think about that sack of doorknobs.

So did we buy anything? Yeah, of course we did. There’s always SOMETHING to buy if you look hard enough (and broaden your re-sale options).

Met this guy. Took him home with us.

Met this guy. Took him home with us.

Very soon after entering the Market there was a booth jammed chock FULL of ‘80’s era toys and action figures. Transformers, GIJoe, Thundercats, Battle Beasts… you name it, this guy had it. Unfortunately, he knew what he had and it was clearly his business to know. He wasn’t some guy cleaning out the attic or desperately trying to make his rent by liquidating his personal collection. He knew his inventory and his pricing VERY well. That said, he wasn’t OVER priced and he wasn’t EBAY priced. He was appropriately priced for his market. He knew he could get more if he sold on ebay, but he didn’t want to take the time and effort to sell on ebay. These prices in this market seemed to work just fine for him, so it worked for me as well.

Found all 4 pieces of this Vintage Darth Vader's TIE Fighter in one box.

Found all 4 pieces of this Vintage Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter in one box.

In a situation like this I take off my “reseller” hat and put on my “collector” hat. With The Boba Sett ever-present in my mind my first question was whether or not he had any vintage Boba Fett figures. And he did, 2 in fact. However, even with his market appropriate pricing, he was still a little high for my taste on his “good” condition Boba Fett. Even complete (he had his blaster) $15 is still more than I’m willing to pay for a Fett. Fortunately, he did have another that wasn’t QUITE in as good condition and didn’t have a blaster so he was willing to let that go for $5. And so Fett #24 joined the Sett.

Come with me if you want to live.

While I’m not a collector of G1 Transformers, I did and still do love the cassettes. He had a very clean and strikingly mint Buzzsaw (a little too clean now that I look at it, might be a repro) and the 2 dinosaur cassettes Overkill and Slugfest. As a kid I loved the dinosaur cassettes and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to get them for a decent price. Of course, when I got home it occurred to me that I had previously not passed up an opportunity to get them and was now looking at duplicates. Good thing Kate and I ARE willing to take the time and effort to sell on ebay.

Awkward...

Awkward…

Kate picked up a Marx Metal Dollhouse with a few pieces of “unbreakable” plastic furniture. It’s in really nice shape, a few dents here and there, but no rust which is fantastic for an item that came out in the ‘50’s. She also grabbed a few Strawberry Shortcake dolls that, in my opinion, have seen better days. They look a little tattered and dirty, but she’s pretty good at cleaning that kind of stuff up.

Kate says they still smell good. I'll take her word for it.

Kate says they still smell good. I’ll take her word for it.

Whatever we bought, whether it’s good for reselling or not, it was nice to get back to being in that environment. We might make fun of the Flea Market from time to time (all the time) but we really do enjoy it. We love the hunt, the surprise of what might be at the next booth. For us, just going is part of the fun and if we can leave with stuff to keep or resell, even better.

Worst tiny contractor ever. But I guess you get what you pay for.

Worst tiny contractor ever. But I guess you get what you pay for.

We got a little bit of satisfaction for now, but really, spring can’t get here fast enough.

2 Responses

  1. best thing: remove Buzzsaws head and neck peice. Replace “upside down”. You now have a Skeksis.

  2. Niiiiiice.

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