Written by: Kenna Hixenbaugh
Yotam Ottolenghi once said, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and what better way to find these treasures than at a flea market. Carlow’s theater group runs a flea market in the auditorium every two years. Each year they alternate from flea markets to book sales. Make sure to mark your calendars for 2024 during the spring semester to get to experience the next one! This past flea market ran through February 11-13 and 18-20 from 8AM-1PM. On Sundays they were open from 9AM-1PM. Most of the items are donated to the theater but some items are from the plays put on at Carlow in the past. Flea markets are a fantastic way to connect with people and find interesting objects. You never know what you might find at a flea market. Items range from clothing, knickknacks, artwork, furniture, and sometimes even antiques. While I attended the flea market at Carlow, I found some unique items.
The first item that caught my eye was a glass mushroom in the corner of the room. As I picked it up, I noticed a sticker on it, and it read made in Italy. It is absolutely crazy what some people get rid of. Then I ventured to the back room and found a bunch of crystals. Some crystals were made into jewelry, and artwork. While others were just crystals alone ranging in size. After I added some crystals to my cart, a piece of artwork stood out to me. It was a lot of wires intricately twisted and placed to form a guitar. Someone dedicated a significant amount of time to creating this piece and there it was for only 8 dollars. I thought of someone very special to me that would love it, so I added it to my cart as well. Then I was shocked to see a brand-new Himalayan circular salt lamp for only 10 dollars. Typically, these lamps cost between 45-70 dollars. What a steal!
Some advantages of going to a flea market are that you can negotiate prices with the seller. Not only can you save money by compromising on a price, but haggling is a fun exercise to practice. Most flea markets have a quantity discount, so the more you buy the less you pay in bulk. The disadvantages are that if you don’t know a lot about the item or brand, sellers may try to overcharge you. If you are unsure, the internet can be of use. There are many scanning apps nowadays that will find the exact item and provide all the information you need to determine if you buy it or not. Nonetheless flea markets are a great way to connect with your community and discover some hidden gems.