I’m no flea-market fanatic. I’m not a member of the sizable demographic that banks on gleefully strutting away with chandeliers and antique candelabras from these places. I saw a chandelier booth at the flea market I wound up at the other day, off to the side of table upon table staffed by surly vendors hawking Pez dispensers; beat-up coin purses; dusty, broken-handled coffee pots; back issues of obscure Central European magazines. Hustlers heaped rumpled old clothing onto oversized card tables and stood back, watching hyped-up Manhattanites tear their way through. “It’s vintage, it’s vintage,” they barked.
Sizable demographics need to be tapped into.
My dad is gradually de-cluttering his suburban house. That’s sure to take some sweet time. There’s the clutter that should be thrown out vs. the pieces (my inheritance) that can be reused – after they’re each sold off to the highest bidder. The basement alone is home to a saleable stockpile. Just call it vintage, they’ll bite. Say hello to my unborn daughter’s hoity-toity college fund.
Enough with all the gently used merchandise I donate to charity. What am I, a saint? The Goodwill Industries outposts I’ve been to appear to have clutter/surplus problems of their own.
I donated approximately 15 books to my local library last year. By the following weekend, my donations sat on a cart by the library’s front door, getting peddled out for a profit (theirs, not mine). Those books could have been added to the family flea market inventory that everyone else in the family has yet to learn of.
The second-to-last time I was back home, I found a ceramic bowl that had been boxed up in my childhood bedroom and handed it over to a friend before we left for lunch – free of charge. It’s vintage! You think Pier 1 still carries that model in stock?