Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

BBA: Flea Market Finds

I love bargains, and I love looking for that hidden gem. Fuji has opened the blogging doors with the following prompt:

Do you ever go to flea markets in search of collectibles? If so, what are some of your favorite flea market purchases? 

Yes. I literally copied that direct from his website.

My story starts back in 1992...
I was a pretty involved card collector as a young teenager, and the 1992 season saw me spend an exponentially higher amount of my (parent's) money than before. I ended up with tons of extras, and eventually I ended up sharing a table with a friend at a local flea market. I spent every penny I made on other cards at the show, I think, but given that it was 1992 I certainly didn't end up with anything amazing. I picked up a bunch of those fake promo cards at some point...

Fast forward to 2009 or so, and I start looking around Georgia for similar setups at the local flea markets. Unfortunately, the Atlanta-area flea markets are almost exclusively professionals selling cheap imported goods, food, storage unit castoffs and thrift store rejects. I searched and searched and the best I ever found was a pile of 1990ish commons in G-VG condition for about $1 each. Yes, it was that bad.

I've had much better luck at antique malls and (to a much lesser extent) thrift stores.

However, I have had some luck at the flea markets around San Francisco:
 This Pinnacle Inside can (still sealed) for 50 cents.
 This box of mostly-2001 singles, which proved to be quite useful in my collection, for about $5 (or $10 - I don't recall anymore!)
 A bunch of Starting Lineups, usually for $1-2 each, or less!
 Bobbleheads for $5 each (and another Pinnacle Inside can for $1) - the RC Cola can came from another place.
And this bobblehead - mint in ugly box for $5. 

I've certainly found a good number of collectibles at the few flea markets I've attended, though my luck with actual cards has been limited!
I'll hopefully follow this up with an awesome post after this or next weekend, as I'll be attending my first Tokyo-area flea markets.
This is someone else's video of the flea market I'll be attending next Sunday. I don't expect to find cards but I should find some nice souvenirs! Menkos and oddballs would be nice, though for the card collection...


  1. Best of luck at the Meiji Park FM... love that Ben Grieve Pinnacle can... brings back memories.

  2. Thanks! I won't be going to the market tomorrow because of the weather, but hopefully the Meiji Jingu market will bring fairer skies.