MODESTO – How much for those Superman comics?
Three dollars each? How about 10 for $20? What do you think is fair?
There’s something about the art of the flea market haggle – the discovery of something old that feels new and the ensuing back-and-forth over the price.
Sometimes people hold firm and there is no chance of getting any price other than what is posted or quoted. Other times you end up feeling like you hit a home run because you managed to talk your way into what you wanted at a price point that was much more in your ballpark.
It feels good.
It feels right.
Welcome to the world of the flea market haggle.
While garage sales offer the same thrill, the concentration of items that a flea market affords – especially a big one – is unparalleled. And fortunately for those that live in the 209, Modesto has quite a few places you can turn if you’re looking for a steal.
• Crows Landing Flea Market – What are you looking for? Pets? Fruits and vegetables? Quality food? This flea market has all of those things in addition to the junk sales that make the event what it is. The weekend affair attracts hundreds of vendors from throughout Stanislaus County and the surrounding area, and buys can be had on everything from brand new items – some vendors are there to act as resellers – to that old lawnmower part that you just haven’t been able to find for less than $75 at your local repair shop. Many people in the area consider visiting it a Sunday ritual, and most of the vendors are longtime visitors themselves. Just make sure you have plenty of time to browse the booths – this is much more than your average weekend unloading event. 3113 Crows Landing Road. Open Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Take Highway 9 South to the Crows Landing exit and turn right. The flea market will be on your right. 209.538.3363.
• Modesto Livestock Auction and Flea Market – What better way to get farm fresh produce on the weekend than to get it from a place that specializes in selling livestock animals to farmers? It isn’t your standard location for a flea market, but the Modesto Livestock Auction hosts one every weekend and draws plenty of vendors offering up just about everything you can think of. Food is available. Fun is available. Exotic animals are available for the kids to look at. While the event might not draw the same crowds as the Crows Landing event up the street, this flea market is also open on Mondays – the day of the livestock auction – and provides a unique opportunity to see the way that the agricultural business works. Well worth the trip. 1107 S. 7th Street. Take Highway 99 to the Crows Landing exit and head South. Turn left on Hatch Road, and make a slight right onto Morgan Road just before Highway 99. Turn left onto 7th Street and follow the road straight down. The livestock yard will be on the left. 209.522.7762.
• Antique Warehouse – It isn’t a traditional “flea market” but this popular antique store holds monthly parking lot sales when the weather permits that offer buyers a chance to see what other vendors have for sale. Things are naturally going to be a little bit more pricey here than what you’ll find in other places – we’re talking about antiques here – but it’s one of the rare chances that you’ll get to deal directly with the dealers themselves and not a consignment shop that carries the pieces so that the owners themselves don’t have to. 5351 Pirrone Road, Salida. Take Highway 99 to the Kiernan Road exit and turn left. Turn left on Sisk (heading away from the Blue Diamond plant) and continue until you reach Pirrone Road at the stop sign. Turn left. Continue through the neighborhood and into the industrial area and then make a left onto Pirrone Court. The business, and the sale – which takes place on the first Saturday of the month – will then be visible. 209.545.9460.