Thursday 15 August 2019

Flea market experiences

How often do you declutter your wardrobe? Yearly sounds about right for me. 

Together with my sister in law, we brought our cleared out wears to the Flea market. In hope to convert them to, as much cash as possible. Within a short frame of 5 months, we tried 2 different flea markets by different organisers. One at Grandlink Square and another at Lucky Plaza.

THE LUGGAGE MARKET (Grandlink Square)
Grandlink Square at Paya Lebar is opposite City Plaza. Their only available slots are every Sunday, which gets sold out really fast! At the snap of your fingers. It is best to follow and be kept updated through their Instagram account (@theluggagemarket). You may also direct message them your interest and they will notify you of the next open date. 

Their indoor space is at $66, and outdoor space with partial or no shade at $56. Both from 11am to 6pm. We opted for the air conditioned indoor space, but being near the entrance, it was quite warm for us. Even so, we think it makes a better choice than being outdoor. A floor mat is given and all you had need to do is to open your luggage on it, or pile your clothes on the mat.

Floor space

We were allocated a corner space, so I guess we got to terrorize a little more space since we had no neighbour to our right. 

Being very ambitious, we wanted our clothes to go at $4 to $5 per piece. It was quite a heart breaker to even let go some of our favourite, good branded and unworn clothes at this price. Idealism and reality differs, our competitors were selling their stash at 3 for $10. We followed suit, and gradually slashed to $1 at the final hour. I like that the organiser stated a term and condition that no clothes should go below $2 per piece before 5pm.

Guess our earnings?

We had a huge pile of clothes, went back with less than half and with an earning of $500. After rental of course. We were over the moon! 

Overall, we find this flea very well organised, with booth space well allocated in advance. There was great music by the organiser, and the only bad was that the place has no drinks and food stalls. You need to bring your lunch along, or send someone out to get food. The sale hour is from 11am to 6pm. We tarried awhile more till 630pm as we wanted to clear as much clothes as we can, and there were still buyers around.

Crowd here seems better than at Grandlink, the demographic is about the same. Mostly foreign domestic foreign workers. The sale hour is between 1pm to 7pm. You may go early at 12 pm to get your table space. First come first serve. There really isn't a best space within, because the crowd moves and keep their eyes at every corner. A square table, size of a mahjong table and 2 stools are given per stall. Rental is at $138 (Sunday), if you book through Shopee.

Huge crowd

The space stated is indoor, air conditioned, but it was a low heat sauna experience for us. Ventilation was bad, it was crowded and suffocating. Highly dangerous should fire hazard occur. For the sake and effort of bringing our clothes all the way down, we stayed on till 7pm. I sent the kids home with the man because everything was just bad. Again we were ambitiously aiming to sell our clothes at 3 for $10, only to get bummed by our neighbour who was going at $2 per piece. At 3pm, some stalls were going at $1 per piece and 50 cents at the last hour. A lady even put up her clothes for free as she did not want to bag them home. 

The term and condition that stated clothes should not be priced below $2 was obviously disregarded. The only control that came was asking us to pack and leave at 7pm sharp. And they turned off the fans. There was still quite some crowd even then.

My perpetually sweaty face

We earned a miserable $58 after rental deduction. To be fair, this batch of clothes was the leftover from Grandlink. And buyers do have high taste too. The plain looking tees, tops, bottoms and dresses did not sell. They do know how to make their dollar value worth.

And of course, if you think of them being foreign domestic workers, you know our less means more to them. It's not charity, but they do have a tough time toiling in a foreign land. So haggle to where your heart leads you to.

Grandlink Square a better choice for us
Now that we have the experience of both flea, I assuredly say we will not be back at Lucky Plaza. I've to say though, our neighbours there were doing really well. Which could be their first sale of their wardrobe clearance. Lucky Plaza's organising was bad and the floor was constantly wet, perhaps from the humidity. Imagine the light coloured clothes being flipped onto the floor and stepped on. Huge sigh! Clothes should have some dignity even till to last its last breath, no?

Grandlink was certainly better for us. In terms of earnings, space, comfort and rental! The kids helped out comfortably here too. Though it ended at 6pm, we were chased only at 630pm. There were still some buyers around and we were hardworking enough to stay on. Oh, and because we are mothers, we had quite a good number of kids clothes sold at Grandlink than at Lucky plaza. Maybe a more motherly crowd there?

Flea Market tips
Here are some flea market tips, regardless where you go:

1. Bring small change. We do get a few $50 bill. 
2. Bring paper/plastic bags for them to put their buys.
3. Pack in your preloved accessories. They love earrings especially. While there will definitely be no table space for display, you may keep them in a box and hand it to them for sift through.
4. Cosmetics, perfumes, loose items etc. are popular items too! Ask and offer if they are keen.
5. Preloved shoes are popular buys too! 
6. Bring a mask. With so many preloved clothes for sale, they are also likely to be collecting dust for some time. The place will be super dusty. 
7. Lunch before you head down. The flea markets we went were crowded and busy, meal time may be a little challenging.
8. There will be haggling. Be prepared to let go of your clothes at $1.
9. Bring water and hydrate well. 
10. Dress comfortably of course!

Flea market is a load of hard work. The packing and the transporting took a toil on us. With that, we are done with flea marketing for a long long while. Till the next time we declutter our wardrobe!

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