Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cowabunga! A real flea market

I had posted recently that I really wanted to visit a 'real' flea market.  Not one just selling dollar store type stuff or new 'imported' items.  Linda and I decided to make the trip to the Webster Flea Market located in Webster, a small town just over an hour's drive from Tampa.  Duane couldn't make it to this one due to family obligations so we hope to go back when all three of us can go together.  Webster is only open on Mondays.  This tradition goes way back -- something to do with laws about not selling goods on Sundays.  It's also a huge farmer's market.  Basically, it's two markets in one.  You need to figure out which section you're interested in shopping because this baby is huge. After checking several info sites on the Internet, we realized that the section we would hit is called the The Westside (also referred to as the 'best side') because this area is where you'll find antiques, collectibles and used items.  The best deals aren't in the covered areas -- although there are some really nice things there -- the bargains are in the outside slots that cover a huge area.  Linda and I tried to hit as many of these areas as we could and, believe me, our dogs were barking by the time we took a mid-morning break and ate cinnamon rolls.

By that time, I had made a purchase.  I came across a table with a nice piece of matte white pottery in perfect condition in an unusual shape.  Nothing like it in my collection.  There was no price on it so I asked the girl running the table and when she gave me the price, I decided to haggle.  Haggling is something I've never really done but I understood that the dealers there expected it and were willing to negotiate.  I asked if she would accept a lower price and she did.  I was a very happy camper.  I've learned that it never hurts to ask about a 'better' or 'lower' price as long as you're friendly and don't insult the seller.  No problem there.

After our stop for a snack (I should mention that this market sells tons of food -- just about anything you can think of), we started hoofing it up and down rows again.  This time Linda came across a piece of 1920's Noritake china.  She's a serious collector but only buys what she really likes.  She was able to get the seller down a bit on the price although it was still an expensive item.   A beautiful piece in excellent condition.

By this time we had been there several hours and we were tired, hungry and really wanted to sit down.  On our way in from where we parked, there had been a vendor in the field with a nice selection of Bakelite bangle bracelets.  I own one Bakelite bracelet in butterscotch and two pins/brooches -- one is red and the other butterscotch.  I've found that I wear the bangle so much that I was interested in buying at least one more in another color.  Luckily, this lady was still set up when we headed back her way.  I looked at/tried on quite a few of her bangles and ended up purchasing two of them.  One is cherry red and the other is called an 'end of day' piece because it was the last piece manufactured that particular day so it caught pieces of previous colors as it was made.  The main color is kind of a pumpkin shade with spots of red, green, etc.  Love both of these.  They look great together, worn separately or worn with my butterscotch bangle which is thicker and has a carved design.

After my bangle(s) purchase, we were starving and ended up having pizza in one of the inside eateries at the market.  The weather was perfect for this type of activity because we had a cool front come through the night before.  It was breezy the entire day but the sun was shining and a light jacket or windbreaker did the trick.  No sweating -- always nice in Florida.  We knew that we wouldn't have that many more Mondays that might be nice cool days so we jumped on this one when the weather changed.  We discussed how there was no way that we could handle this market in the summer here.  

I have no idea how much actual walking we did but Linda and I both reached for the Tylenol when we got home.  The rows of tables were not close together, either, so we constantly walked back and forth across parts of the field to see tables on the opposite side.  Except for two fairly short times we stopped to eat a snack and then lunch, we were walking continuously and we still didn't see the entire Westside of the market.  Maybe we'll get lucky and have another cool Monday before spring ends and Duane can go with us.


  1. What an eventful day at the "flea market." Thanks for sharing the snapshots of what you bought. Best regards.

  2. My pleasure, James. If you're ever in the area on a Monday, I suggest checking it out!