It didn’t occur to me to ask. Other vendors have never objected and in fact, most seem flattered.
Here’s the story–I was talking to an older gentleman (one of the professional vendors) about a vintage tin bank he had. He quoted me a price of $45. I said, “Hmmmmm. Let me take a picture and think about it.” So I took a photo of the bank and two seconds later he said angrily: “WAIT. Did you just take a picture of that? You should ask first. That’s just rude. This is my private booth. You should ask.”
I was so stunned (and frankly a little afraid) that I just walked away. I should have asked permission, but it didn’t occur to me that a seller of vintage items that were splayed out at a public, open air flea market would be troubled by me taking a photo of one of the items. No other seller has. Ever. Lesson learned.
(The ironic thing is that I have never bought anything from this man because he is always pricey. Turns out the bank I was interested in at $45 is listed online for $20 to $30. In the future I will just pass by his “booth.”)
Another interaction–I was looking a set of hand-painted bowls (8 small, 1 large) and the price tag said $5 for the set! Jeez, these were fabulous. Two seconds later a woman sidled up beside me and started expressing an interest in them too. Thankfully I already had my mitts on them and told the vendor I’d buy them. The other buyer turned to me and said, “You got a great deal on those.” Don’t I know it!! Later I found this same buyer watching me at another vendor’s booth seeing what I picked up. Our eyes met and she quickly turned away. I thought that was interesting!
Some of them have an interesting imprint on the bottom which so far I have no been able to assign to any particular maker or country. Need to do more research before I list them.
Best interaction–I enjoy chatting with the vendors and Toni (a petite white-haired woman) was just a sweetheart. I bought a mini brass abacus from her and we spun that transaction out gabbing for 10 minutes. She noted that the two newbie fellas set up across the way from her were likely not going to come back again. The thing was they had lots (and lots) of really good, interesting items (sterling silver bits, quality jewelry, vintage stamp albums, etc), but all priced at antique store prices. That won’t work at a flea market. Even with haggling. Apparently so far that morning all of the potential customers (myself included) had walked away without buying.
Other things I bought…
My first purchase was a vintage sterling silver cross with amethyst cabochons and a ring of tiny marcasites around the center stone. I bought this because the details are so finely done.
I bought this handmade pot signed “HR ’71” for its slightly bulbous shape, interesting glaze and bit of age.
This very old fountain pen in its original box was a stellar find. The handle is mother of pearl and the nib might be made of real gold! The seller (who was herself a senior citizen) mentioned it had belonged to her grandmother. Most of her items were newer jewelry and I almost missed this amidst the flotsam and jetsam!
Over the months I have bought several things from this one vendor. Most of his stuff is vintage to antique and priced to sell. I really liked this MCM brass owl candleholder and for $3 I couldn’t lose. I’m kicking myself for not staying longer at his tables, but his area had gotten super busy.
This 1919 children’s book “Little Sunny Stories” was a charmer. I bought it for the cover! It’s in rough condition and likely not worth anything (The seller specialized in books and ephemera so he knows his stuff.) but it was only $2.
I liked this older, small framed Madonna print (Greek? Russian?) but I should have negotiated more on the price.
Overall it was a lovely 90 minutes. I spent $63 total, came home exhilarated and already have some of these items listed in my Etsy store.
Looking forward to next month’s flea market!