Visited a new flea market this past Sunday! I ventured south to the Long Beach flea market, better known as the Long Beach Antique Market. This was a very good flea market, easy to get to from Los Angeles, with free and easy parking. I got there at around 8:15AM and discovered a busy, bustling scene. The vendors are packed into 20 acres of space near the Long Beach Veterans Stadium. This flea market is touted as being one of the best in the US so I was eager to check it out and find some good stuff. There was plenty of fabulous merchandise, in a wide variety of categories along with vendors showcasing up-cycled goods; that being items that were constructed from vintage or antique pieces that were re-purposed into new things. Many of the vendors displayed their items very nicely and truly created a boutique style presentation. So if you are looking for decorating inspiration and how to put furniture and home decor items together, you will see lots of terrific ideas, color combinations and eclectic mixing of period pieces. Now of course the beauty of a flea market like this is that if you are a collector or decorating your house you can efficiently see a lot of items in a short period of time. And the downside is that you can expect to pay a little more for items that have been carefully selected, cleaned, merchandised and fluffed. For example if you are looking for a mid century dining set, you can see a lot of options at a venue like this at a lot of price points. And of course the same is true no matter what kind of merchandise you are seeking. I found some great jewelry at fair/ bargain prices but also found some jewelry that was very much priced at full retail. I try to keep in mind that the vendors need to make a certain ROI on the time, effort and talent it takes to locate and bring the merchandise to market. And when you think of the superior quality of most vintage items compared to today’s models, (a good example is furniture!) you will really understand why vintage stuff is so popular! So, if you go, research the kind of items you are shopping for in advance and make notes about what you can and should expect to pay. This flea market is a great outing to satisfy your treasure hunting appetite and vintage decorating needs and is a really fun way to spend a Sunday morning. I think this is the best flea market for home decor that I have been to in southern California! When I go again, I definitely plan to get there much earlier, like 6:30AM, as I like to beat the crowds and have a chance to be the first to dig through boxes and bins of jewelry.
Here is a check list of for your trip to the LBAM:
Get there early for the best selection: 6:00 or 6:30AM – they open at 5:30AM with an Early Bird price of $12. After 8:00AM admission is $6. Also, you can save .50 on your admission with a printable coupon available here.
Dress in layers. It’s cool in the early morning hours and as with many California Flea Markets, it gets hot quickly.
Wear sunscreen and a hat.
Bring a cart or backpack to carry around purchases.
Bring plenty of cash. There is an ATM on site near the Ticket window.
Make a list of what you are shopping for and try to do research on line in advance of going so you can get a sense of prices and what you can expect to pay or to help you spot a bargain! Even writing down what era or vibe you like will help you focus and not be overwhelmed by the aisles of good stuff!
Here are a few photos of some of the cool things I saw! Vintage type writers are very popular.
Love these vintage, tin jello or cake molds!
Met a really nice Vintage Jewelry seller, Laird Tyler of Laird Collection! She has a spectacular collection of outstanding vintage jewelry and some home decor. You can get details about this gorgeous Donald Stannard necklace here and see a few more of her pieces over on One Kings Lane here. She’s at the LBAM every month in booth RED 945 and you can also find her at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in booth R20!
This brooch is from Laird too! Signed Vrba, it was one of my favorite pieces I saw today! By the way this piece is huge! Wing span is a least 7 or even 8 inches. To learn more about Vrba, and his magnificent designs, click here.