Fabulous Finds At A Flea MarketFlea market is the name given to a group of vendors who gather to sell their wares at low prices. Also known as a swap meet, the flea market is popular around the world wherever people live. Great values on antiques and collectibles are one of the biggest draws, but everything from clothing to fresh fruits and vegetables find their way to flea market stalls.
However, some people attribute the current type of flea market to a man who worked both as an antique dealer and as an auctioneer. In 1956, he was the first person to combine a sale of items, in this case antiques, with an outdoor auction. While this may have led to the flea market we know today, somewhere along the line it became less about antique dealers and more about common people selling whatever they could to make extra cash. In Australia, these gatherings are fondly known as trash and treasure markets.
It is true that among the many treasures at bargain prices, there is also some junk. However, a flea market is the best example of the adage -- one man's trash is another man's treasure. Occasionally, a buyer walks away with what turns out to be a highly valuable object after having paid pennies on the dollar to purchase the item. Understandably, the thrill of the hunt may be the biggest attraction for most customers.
In the United States, more than one thousand flea markets take place annually, and they generate more than $30 billion in revenue. Moreover, the flea market of today has grown to include food vendors, live music and other forms of free entertainment. Spending a whole day at a swap meet is fun for the whole family. Consequently, more than 150 million people attend a flea market each year, bringing business to the nearly 2.25 million sellers who have signed up.
Due to the huge success of the flea market industry, The National Flea Market Association (NFMA) was started to safeguard and monitor the best interests of both the vendors and the public. The NFMA encourages high standards and policies, which helps foster public trust. Furthermore, every flea market adds to the local, state and federal coffers by paying taxes on the property space they use, as well as on food, and they also pay sale and user fees.
Thanks to the wide appeal of the flea market, a quarterly magazine called Flea Market Style is devoted to every aspect of a flea market. In addition, they publish a special edition once per year entitled Flea Market Style Weddings. This is a fabulous way to recycle products instead of throwing them away when they are still usable, which makes a flea market an extraordinarily fun way to go green.