If you are like me & tend to believe that one man's trash is another man's treasure, then I have a few fave shopping haunts to share with you......
2nd Sunday of every month, rain or shine: The Rose Bowl Flea Market
It's at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, just like the name implies. Parking is free, but they have steadily upped the admission price. I think we're up to $8 per adult now!! It's fun, though, despite the entrance fees. No pets allowed, but we often see smuggled in dogs -- I just don't have the balls yet to try it! Concessions are costly, as is the beer, so if you are pinching pennies, you may want to pack some H2O & snacks of your own, but I love me the frozen lemonade on those hot shopping days! There are areas of new items for sale, but mostly, it's old antiques of every variety. And, if you need some great (new) "Persian" style rugs, hand-made in various places in the Middle-East, there is a "rug guy" there to visit.....you can find a huge area rug for MUCH less than retail. Trust me, we have shopped these babies around.....what would have cost us far beyond $3500, we paid maybe a third!
You can find anything from cell phone accessories, to clothing, to Spanish clay tiles, to plants, to edible items, jewelry, handbags, belts, candles & soap.......then, you have your antique toys, vintage clothing, furnishings, etc. TOO much to name! Plan to be there for at least 2-3 hours & wear comfy shoes!! A recent score: Rustic teak coffee table for $140 which we have seen similar items at local shops like Jackalope Pottery for nearly $600 !!!
The general admission begins at 9am. If you get there earlier, be prepared to pay far more than $8 just to walk in the door!
3rd Sunday of every month: Swap Meet at Glendale College (GCC) in Glendale
This one has free admission, but you will pay $2 to park, which is a deal right there! It's a small group of vendors & if you are prepared to dig through the junk a little, you can really score BIG & pay next to nothing for those items you just found! I have scored a bunch of home decor items for prices so low, you would not believe me if I told you! And, yes, there is a lot of junk......but amongst the junk, we find many gems.
If you get hungry, it's the "Roach Coach" for food or drink. I recommend you eat before you arrive unless you like that sort of thing. And, yes, you can bring your pooch along for the shopping trip!
1st Sunday of every month: Swap Meet at PCC (Pasadena Community College) in Pasadena
Another one with free admission, although I have not been there lately -- it may have changed. And, you will need to supply a couple of bucks to park the car. This one is pretty large, so again, wear those comfy walking shoes! You will see mostly antiques & some "junk"......but when you find your treasures, the vendors often have GOOD pricing!
There is not much here in the way of concessions, but you won't starve to death if you go on an empty stomach. They do have some food & drink offerings for sale. Just nothing fancy.
For all of these events, I recommend bringing what I call a "Granny cart" -- it might look lame, but you won't be alone pushing one around filled to the brim with treasures, I promise! My man even modified ours to add a pair of drink holders -- it's fabulous! And, by all means, be prepared to haggle on pricing! Unlike a retail store, nothing is set in stone!!
Stay tuned for more on this subject, but there are 3 of MY local faves in this category.....Happy shopping!