Yesterday was the much anticipated Flea Market in Ocean Grove. We contracted for a booth at the end of the winter and were anxiously awaiting the big day with HIGH hopes of selling a LOT of our stuff that has been stored in bins in our garage. Stuff from way back when, stuff from the Point Pleasant Antique Emporium and of course more stuff. Those of you who really know us, know what I’m talking about.
Last week I spent all day Tuesday pricing and repacking items in the several bins that now inhabited the living room of our tiny cottage. The forecast was not promising, showers were predicted – so we packed plastic sheets to cover the merchandise in case of a shower, brought along ponchos and counted on being able to duck into Jim and Susan’s tent if the rains came. We were fortunate enough to have Jim and Susan next to us – it’s good to have a friendly neighbor at an all day Flea Market.
We got up at the ungodly (for us) hour of 5:45am and took quick showers and began the tedious process of getting the “stuff” over to the Flea Market. First trip for Peter is to schlep 3 large very heavy tables and a bookcase to the spot. Then back again to the house to make a trip with the bins. Miraculously we got all the bins in the car and I went along on this trip to start to set up. Sounds like things are going according to Hoyle (so how many of you know what that phrase means?). We unloaded the bins and believe me it took both of us to carry some of them. Peter went back for a third trip and by the way it is now 7am and the official end of set up time. When I arrived at the site, I was both horrified and amazed because MOST of the vendors were already set up, tents up, merchandise out!!! Not an auspicious beginning for me. While Peter went back to get the two small tables we were going to sell and the wind-up Victrola which was meant to attract the crowds, I started to set up. What a freaking, yes a freaking nightmare. When I repacked on Tuesday I was sure I had put the items going in the bookcase in one bin, stuff for the tables in another and so on and so forth to make it easy to unpack. WHAT I didn’t do was remember where the tablecloths were so I could place the items out. So off to a very bad start and it only got worse as more and more people kept coming into the booth and of course they couldn’t move, there were bins open everywhere, newspaper all over and things just jumbled on the tables. You gotta get up MUCH earlier if you are going to attempt to do a flea market properly. So ALL of my OCD impulses were in full force – nothing was right, the items weren’t placed correctly (what is correctly in a flea market??) and many of the things Peter brought in at the last moment were not priced. This is living hell for someone like me!!
When I tell you that it was almost 10am before the booth really looked like a booth, I don’t think I’m exaggerating!! Meantime, while I’m scowling and cursing to myself, next door Susan is being the perfect salesperson; “Oh and that color is you” and she was selling sweaters like HOT CAKES (no pun intended) in the early morning heat. Little did we know that by noon we would be literally baking.
The sun shone brightly all day and the temperature rose into the 90′s! We had no shade, so we kept drinking water to stay hydrated. By noon, I had to walk home and get out of the clothes I was in because they were too tight, too dark and I was drenched. I left Peter in charge, walked slowly home due to the intense heat and the fact that both hips and my right knee were killing me. A quick cold shower and a change of clothes and I headed back. In order to be able to tolerate the heat, I had put on a halter top and Bermuda shorts which only succeeded in providing the scorching sun more flesh to cook.
It turned out to be a very LONG day and quite frankly, not all that profitable. The crowds seemed to be bottom fishing! It was so hot, nobody had any energy except the Italian Ice vendors and the fresh-squeezed lemonade vendors did a bang up business. By 4pm we were so wrung out from standing in the heat, that I could hardly pack up the “stuff” which I so dearly wanted to leave on the field and walk away. If it weren’t for Jim and Susan’s help we would have never gotten out of there. If it took 3 trips to bring it, it took 3 trips to get it back! We arrived home tired, dirty and not hungry and not richer enough to probably justify the effort BUT thankful to be home to take a shower – as Susan said, “There’s not enough soap to get me clean”.
Now that’s my rather pessimistic report of the day, but I know Susan and Jim had a good day – despite the heat, between her salesmanship and extremely low pricing, she managed to move a lot of “merch” as they say in the biz.
I took my camera along but had zero interest in taking any pictures not even of our booth. BUT…. my fellow blogger and experienced photographer and reporter, Paul has some super photos so please check out the link posted above this to see some colorful shots of an Ocean Grove Day. Please note that as I write this it is still HOT here – hence the scorching orange sun color ink lol.
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