Old Jaffa Flea Market Tips written by: shroni1 It’s fun to go to old jaffa flea market and bazaars when you travel. What flea market tips can we offer when you’re in some exotic country? Everyone thinks they know the best way to approach the vendors and haggle. You can probably just go with what you think is best on that score, but there are some practical tips we can offer.
The most important old jaffa flea market tip is to watch for pickpockets and practice all your travel safety skills. Flea markets all over the world attract large crowds of locals and tourists alike. Everyone is bumping and jostling, and you’re probably distracted by just looking at everything. Can you think of a better place for pickpockets?
Then we get into the practical tips. Wear comfortable shoes. You’re apt to be walking miles… literally! Bring umbrellas and rain gear. Some markets are under large roofs, some are outdoors. Those outdoor ones won’t usually be cancelled for rain… the vendors are often under tents and awnings, so they’re dry… you might as well try to be in case of rain.
Check opening hours. Some flea markets open at dawn! Serious collectors and buyers get there early for the “real finds”. You don’t have to shake yourself out of your hotel bed that early if all you want to do is browse…. but remember, some markets close by early afternoon, so don’t dawdle in bed for too long.
Bring along cash. Some flea markets have gone a bit upscale, and you may be able to use credit cards, but don’t count on it. If it’s really a flea market, the vendors will want cash. Bring small bills that are easy to get change for. You don’t want to be haggling over that last dollar then hand them the equivalent of a hundred dollar bill! (A note for responsible travel: Haggle, but don’t go for the last dime. Remember that in poor countries, they need the money more than you do.)
Take along a pen and paper. If you don’t speak the local language, and the vendor doesn’t know any English, you can bargain with them by writing the numbers on the paper instead of scratching them on the palm of your hand. Also, if you think you might want to go back for an item, write down the stall number or location so you can find it again.
Don’t count on that great find being there when you return. If it really is “a find”, it may well have been snapped up by someone else. If you see something you just can’t live without, purchase it right then. Just remember that, in most cases, these are the types of places where you won’t be able to return it if you change your mind. Decisions, decisions
Take time to eat and drink. Many flea markets have food stalls… a good way to try some local fare and keep your strength and spirits up.And one old jaffa flea market tip…. if you’ve haggled and found something that you really, really want, …. go for it. It’ll make for a great travel story and a “priceless” souvenir.