Friday, July 25, 2014

Flea-ing The Scene

Sunday July 20th, 2014 – Wilmot, WI

   There’s a flea market that’s now a lot farther than it used to be from where I lived, but if I have time on a Sunday I’ll still make the drive. It’s a ski hill in Wilmot, WI which is really close to the Illinois state line, and having a flea market in summer is a great way to make use of their space.

   I discovered it last year, and even though it’s not that great I still go at least a couple of times a month to if nothing else get in an exercise walk. It’s always an enlightening education to soak in the human freak show at any flea market, and I look at my $1 admission as really cheap tuition. 

   My main goal is to scope out a product I think I can sell myself. I realize nothing is easy, but I sure don’t want to be doing what 99% of the vendors are doing. Most of them pack up some kind of truck or trailer with a random collection of useless crap I wouldn’t take for free. Why do that?

   The grunt work alone of setting up and tearing down couldn’t begin to come close to any profit that may possibly be brought in. I can’t believe some of the flat out junk some people put out for sale. What are the chances someone will come along and need a left front fender for a ’67 Buick Wildcat or a pool table with a scratched felt? Wouldn’t it be a lot smarter to just bring pictures?

   If I would happen to be looking for a used pool table, I wouldn’t think to look at a flea market in Wilmot, WI – or anywhere else. But I see people week after week with displays that make my eyes hurt to look at them. It reminds me of my Grandfather and father, and I want to set it ablaze.

   My grandfather, grandmother, father and uncle were all borderline hoarders. They all had a big problem throwing anything away, and then they all died and everyone else had to clean up all of their messes. I vowed I never wanted to be like that, and I intend to keep my word. I’m not going to put anyone through that kind of hell when I croak. I want all my possessions to fit into a bag.

   The reason I go to flea markets is not to buy something for .95 and hope I can sell it for $1.50. I want to see how and what the public buys – if anything. Times are getting tighter by the minute and not many of us have a pocket full of disposable income. I’ll bet the vendors are all hurting.

   Collectibles as a whole are going through the floor. I’ve been wheeling and dealing sports stuff for years, mainly to give me something to do. That business is occupying the bottom of the toilet, along with stamps, coins and especially Beanie Babies. What a waste of time that stupid fad was.

   Come to think of it, they’re all pretty stupid. Sports cards are basically pictures of sweaty men. That may be popular at a bath house somewhere, but as far as contributing to society it really has no lasting value. It’s kind of fun to collect, but when life gets hard who has time for any hobbies?

   My only ‘hobby’ at the moment is trying to pay bills for another month and keep my aging car on the road. Trying to track down a three legged albino porcupine Beanie Baby is a luxury I just can’t indulge myself with right now. And if I could, I wouldn’t go hunting for it at a flea market.

   Still, I enjoy walking in the fresh air and taking in the sights which are many. I have no idea of what I would ever sell, but maybe I’ll think of something. Whatever it is, it won’t be a pool table.

Flea markets can be both entertaining and educational - but finding a real bargain is rare.

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