Aside from buying the occasional new toothbrush, Nate says he always prefers something old to something new—especially when it comes to decorating. Some of the best places to find old treasures are at flea markets, Nate says, and his two guests couldn't agree more. Marie Moss and Barri Leiner say their favorite places to shop are flea markets, where they find items for their home and their vintage jewelry business, gifts for loved ones and more. Nate talks with Marie and Barri, the owners of M & B Vintage, about their tips for snagging great finds at flea markets.
- Make a wish list before you go. Marie and Barri suggest canvassing your house before a trip to the flea market to see what's missing and what you might need.
- Be polite when bargaining. Marie and Barri say that if you see something you love and feel the price is fair, buy it. If you feel the price is a bit steep, just ask politely, "What's your best price on this?" or "Could you do a little better on this?"
- Look for something frameable. This can be a piece of art, a postcard or other small trinkets that you could easily frame or put in a shadowbox when you get home, Marie and Barri say.
- Look for something you can enjoy as soon as you get home. Items such as table linens won't require as much effort to restore as some other items.
- Look for something that fits in your pocket. "Everybody really should have [a charm bracelet]—it's like a little wearable scrapbook that is the perfect heirloom," Barri says.
- Look for vintage paper goods. Old Valentine cards, postcards or black-and-white photographs are good examples—"little scraps of treasures that you can write a note on and tuck into a gift," Marie says.
- Keep an eye out for gifts for loved ones. Vintage tea cups make excellent candleholders and great gifts, Marie and Barri say. Also think about personalizing the items you buy by getting them engraved with someone's initials. "It's an instant heirloom and it wasn't about hitting 10 malls to find the perfect gift," Marie says.
- Don't pass up something with initials that aren't your own. "We feel like you're buying a piece of history," Barri says.