Thrift shops and flea markets offer an abundance of great bargains. There is a certain strategy to getting the best deals and knowing how to uncover the best bargains for used items.  Here’s a bunch of stuff you can do to increasing your bargaining power.

If you’re heading to an outdoor market, head there when the season opens. Vendors have just arrived full of great new inventory. They will be more hungry for money and willing to deal.  If you’re really set on scoring unique finds, pay attention to timing. Stop by the flea market right as it opens. Closing time equates to some of the best prices at flea markets. This works because sellers have to choose between selling it or lugging it back home.

Don’t overdress. Although dressing in denim jeans and a casual shirt maintains maximum comfort, it also assists you in adhering to your budget. This actually works. Flea market sellers use attire as a gauge of how much they think you can afford to pay. To get the best deals, dress down to keep prices low.

If you see an item and you want a better price, don’t be afraid to speak up. Just open your mouth and ask. Haggling is an accepted protocol at flea markets. If the seller absolutely won’t budge on his price, ask for an additional item to seal the deal. For example you can ask for a lamp to go along with a couch.  Also, pay attention to multiple items that catch your eye. Make sure you ask about group pricing. Sellers often accept a lower price when you take multiple items off their hands at once. Buying in bulk often equates to discounts.

Scared of messes? At flea markets, the messiest sales booths often have the best deals. Hunt through the piles. Dig through the boxes of undesirable trinkets to find your diamond in the rough.  If you can’t find what you want to buy, be sure to mention it to the booth vendors. They must regularly restock merchandise. Knowing that you’re looking for a particular item, the vendors will keep an eye out for you. Sometimes they may have it in their inventory or show you where you missed looking for it in their merchandise display.

If you fall in love with an item you see, don’t profess it. If you don’t you may just happy dance yourself into a more expensive price. Like a seasoned poker pro doesn’t give away their winning hand, you have to tone down your enthusiasm. Instead focus on acquiring your desired item while standing within your budget.

Speaking of bargains, if you want to get pricing for bargain holidays and airfare – check out the post on Saving Money with Open Ended Tickets and also How to Find the Best Car Rental Deals.