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The Flea Market, a stallholder’s perspective.

3 Nov

As a Hunter Gatherer it can be all too easy to accumulate stuff. When the price for an item is just a couple of coins or even free off the side of the road, its hard to resist taking it home even if it doesn’t fit/is broken and you have absolutely no space for it. I try hard to curb this urge and seem to be constantly recycling things back to my local op shops but like most people there comes a time where you just have to admit that you have too much stuff & need to get rid of a lot of it in one hit. The quickest way to do this is by having a garage sale or a stall at a second-hand market. I prefer the latter. The atmosphere of a market makes for an enjoyable day, listening to live musicians, eating great market food and potentially coming home with a bonus treasure scouted from a fellow stallholder. The downside is the stallholder fee which eats into your sales, we minimised ours by sharing a stall with friends. These fees can vary greatly between markets so check their websites for info.

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The early morning start is not for the faint hearted either, best to pack the car with all your wares the night before and just suck it up. Pack your wares in a way that is easy to unload & plonk straight out for sale – clothes ironed & already hanging on coathangers ready to hang on a clothes rack in 2 seconds flat. Tip: bind the tops of the hangers with an elastic band. Assemble your clothes rack, hang & wheel the whole thing to your stall from your car.

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You need a float of at least $50 in a bum bag or small purse slung across your body.  It should only contain the float for ease of use & you should never put it down anywhere. Have your stallholder fee separate. If you have a pop up marquee or a beach umbrella, take it. A marquee defines your stall & is useful for hanging items from. Often you are sitting in the sun all day, you will be glad for some shelter. A folding chair, water & sunscreen are essential.

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Recently we had a stall at Rozelle markets with friends. We’d been planning it a while which meant we had plenty of time to gather quite a few items to sell. When I say quite a few, I actually mean enough for 6 stalls! I kid you not, we were laughing when we all met up at the market on the morning at how much stuff we had. Luckily we were allocated a stall where we could spread out a bit and we took advantage of every single inch.  Our kids even ran their own toy stall. With hundreds of toys for sale, they managed it like pros. Seasoned Hunter Gathers themselves they knew what prices to sell things for & how to haggle with their buyers. I was so proud! The kids worked hard on their stall all day, virtually unassisted & got to keep the profits from their toy sales.

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As is the way at flea markets, the dealers/permanent stallholders will scout the casual’s stalls as they are trying to set up in the morning picking over the best items in hope of being able to sell them on their own stall. I sold a man a wooden box for $8 only to see it for sale on his stall later for $20. You have to expect this sort of thing and just brush it off. It’s not just the dealers who will pester you whilst you’re trying to assemble your stall in the morning, the early bird hunters (like moi) will also be out in force. There’s no such thing as waiting for a stall to open, these shoppers know that first in gets the best items so be prepared to be mobbed. It’s just another reason to prepare your stock for immediate sale. Sort through everything & place items in tubs/suitcases/ boxes ready to sell. If you’re not selling it then pack it away, this goes especially for your handbag & personal items.

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Its best not to price your items and instead engage directly with your buyer, gauging with them the price and seducing them with the history of your item. People love sentiment and knowing where things originally come from. I made up a stack of these funny signs which generated interest and again got the buyers chatting to us. It’s a good idea to keep a pen & notepad handy to write down your sales so at the end of the day when you’re feeling frazzled you have some sort of sales history.

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It was a fun day and we each come home a little lighter of our wares & a few hundred bucks richer. I tried really hard to buy a stack of stuff and resisted looking at the other stalls til the end of the day. I was stoked to find these awesome cowboy boots for only $10. Like?

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We’re already booked in to sell at another upcoming market, the Narrabeen Car Boot Sale, so come find us & buy all our stuff!

Have you had a garage sale or a stall at a flea market? What are your top tips?

For Sale: 1 x Invisibilty Cloak

21 Sep

Sometimes I think I’m invisible. Not in a super hero kind of way but really truly invisible, like I’m not even here. Cars never give way to me at roundabouts, my kids don’t seem to hear that I’ve already asked them to pick up their dirty socks for the 657th time and wonder why I’m upset, people forget they have met me before, telemarketers keep ringing me even though I’ve yelled words at them not suitable for print. Nobody listens to me, or so I thought. Apparently a number of people are actually reading this blog, commenting even. It seems that one of my lovely Followers thought my blog worthy of an award! The Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you to Mrs D’s Maunderings for nominating The Hunter Gatherers blog. Go check her out, I love her dry wit.

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So now that I’m a celebrity (on the inside of my own eyelids) awards seem to have a flow on effect and I find myself nominated for another accolade – The Seven Things About Me award. Thank you to Edwina from Reretro for naming me as a worthy recipient. Edwina is a fellow Hunter Gatherer so if you love vintage homewares you must take a look at her blog, you can even buy from her collection!

Now part of the rules of these awards are that I have to reveal seven things about myself, so here we go…

1. I do awesome voices when reading story books to my kids.

2. I LOVE being able to pick food from my garden to prepare a meal.

3. I lip read.

4. I love to cook and have a really sweet tooth.

5. I own a vast collection of beauty products.

6. I used to be a dancer.

7. I hate eggs so going out for breakfast at a cafe is a painful experience

These awards encourage Blog exposure, so here are my top Blog recs. Reading the above list validates my choices here. Seek them out, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.

The Beauty Philosopher

The Pink Powder Puff

Whole Larder Love

Raspberri Cupcakes

Indigo Kir Royale

Quiet Vintage Sewing

Ruskin Days

The Teen Hunter Gatherer

29 Nov

I take my kids gathering with me and teach them how to hunt just as my parents taught me. Our teenager over the years has honed her hunting skills and developed a personal style I could only dream of having at her age. She prides herself on not following trends and dressing exactly the same as all her friends, instead wearing what she loves. Op shopping has provided her with not only a cheap outlet to indulge her spending sprees but also a creative melting pot in which to experiment with new looks. I’m proud to introduce our very first guest blogger to give a teenager’s perspective on op shopping.    

When teenagers walk into an op shop, the general reaction is one of embarrassment, dissatisfaction and assumed defunct.  However, people don’t realise that the $200 outfit they are wearing, I duplicated for $20 at the shop they dismissed at first glance. So, I think it is fair to say that it is ignorance that stops teenagers from shopping at op shops, not fashion incompatibility.

Kimbra

Walking into an op shop, the first place I look is the basket of scarfs. They have to be my favourite op shop purchase as they are timeless and versatile. I tie them around denim shorts, a handbag, drape around my neck, or tie around my head (whichever look you’re going for). Also, shoes are always cheap and usually unique, such as sequined, coloured or vintage (just make sure they’re washed before they’re worn!). In terms of clothing, there is a lot of sifting to be done. Floral patterns, stripes and spots veil the $5 denim jeans and $10 maxi dresses, so remain calm and don’t vomit! LOL. Finally, books, music, art and kitchenware are in no shortage; however, due to my sensitive allergies medication is a necessity for the perusal of this section. There can be lots of dust.

Nicole Ritchie

All in all, I think it is important to value that everything you buy second-hand has a history deeper than modern retail. Items seem more original, more important to the community, and more fashionable because they are in a store that is not focused on marketing and trends. When I wear an outfit or read a book I don’t feel guilt; I feel a part of my community. Op shopping and markets have provided me with my style and opened my eyes to shopping outside the boarders of convention.

Angus & Julia Stone

Hello world!

8 May

Welcome to our life. A snippet anyway. I love snippets, little peaks at other possibilities, glimpses of time, a slice of history. History is another favourite concept. I especially love the idea of an object being immersed in history.  Having a past life so to speak. Tumbling through time, past from hand to hand. Its one of the reasons I love buying preloved goods, which is exactly why I created this blog. Here you can follow us on our adventures to the wonderful world of flea markets and op shops. 

Allow me to introduce The Hunter Gatherers. We are a family of 5 from Sydney, Australia. We love nothing more than heading out early on the weekend to our favourite markets. For us it’s a full sensory experience, the atmosphere, the food, the live music, the beautiful surrounds and of course the hunt for treasure. During the week I often visit my local op shops and I have an obsessive urge to scour any I find in my travels, you just never know what you might find in there! Garage sales are more an impulse drive- by possibility and we’re not above reclaiming abandoned items from the side of the road. We give these unwanted items a new life by revamping them with a lick of paint, re-dying faded colours, tailoring or just re-appropriating their use. We don’t have to be precious with them as they didn’t cost us a fortune and we feel good about recycling somebody else’s rubbish in a world obsessed with excess.

Some people wonder why you would want to wear a stranger’s clothes or read a book that’s been thumbed by who knows how many people before you? Some screw up their noses or give a pitying look. That attitude, I think is a fear of germs or the stigma that buying second-hand is only for poor people. Personally it’s never been an issue for me. I’ve grown up surrounded by other people’s things. Dragged around to auction houses, markets and garage sales for a large part of my childhood by my parents who love to collect Australian history. For them it was always about objects – furniture, home wares, art & oddities. In my late teens I began visiting op shops to dress myself, not only was it cheap but cheap enough to take daring risks. Being able to slash a pair of jeans is very liberating and if it didn’t work out then the $5 spent was a lesson learned if nothing else. Finally I realised this was a way I could be free from the constraints of what was on offer in retail shops and wear clothes none of my friends were wearing. I was hooked. Then as I moved out of home, preloved items furnished my house. Other people’s reactions have evolved over the years as buying “vintage” has become mainstream. Now praise & envy glow back at me when I tell someone where I got my fabulous jacket. 

Sound like your kinda fun? Hit the subscribe button to follow us on our Hunting expeditions.

 xxx Bec

 

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