Paris Flea Market – What to Buy & How

What to Buy at the Paris Flea Market

What can one expect to find at the Paris Flea Market? In short, everything under the sun! Ok, maybe not EVERYTHING, but close to it. From fine 18th century French furniture to Mid-Century Modern pieces to lighting, rugs, artwork, sculptures, vintage linens and even Chanel, the Paris Flea Market has so much to offer antiques hunters. With all these options, how do you know what to buy at the Paris Flea Market? My answer is to let your heart – along with an Antiques Diva Guide – guide you! Meandering through the vast markets which make up Les Puces is overwhelming. Getting there, knowing where to start, and navigating the specific sections of the market to find exactly what you’re looking for is our specialty. That’s why we’re thrilled to be the only official approved Tour Guide of the Paris Flea Markets Paul Bert Serpette!

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How Do You Shop?

Everyone shops differently and that’s why we custom plan all of our tours based on your needs. Some clients prefer to browse, looking for that perfect piece, soaking in all the Parisian shopping experience has to offer. Others treat flea marketing like a hunt—looking to score as much game as possible in the least amount of time! We love doing it both ways! Our Guides get a high from seamlessly maneuvering down hidden alleyways, getting you to the perfect dealer, and then translating & negotiating on your behalf. But the process of shopping flea markets is so much more than just buying pretty things.

the narrow alleys of Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette with The Antiques Diva & Co

The Antiques Diva & Co is the only official tour guide of the Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette

It’s about knowledge, which is power. Knowing what pieces are available and what’s in high demand allows our Diva Guides to pinpoint what a good piece and price is. When it comes to sealing the deal, it’s all about letting them offer a better price first. In the French culture, you don’t want to offend a dealer by offering too low of a price, but this is flea marketing after all, and most people expect to barter. The key is personality! Talk to them about their pieces first and perhaps find something in common which will establish a connection between you and the vendor. Our Guides are all conversationalists, so they love playing matchmaker between dealer and customer—even if the relationship only lasts the duration of a few minutes until the deal is made. C’est la vie! It’s all about handling negotiations with grace and charm!

antiques at Paris Flea market Paul Bert Serpette with The Antiques Diva & Co

Another great way to determine what to buy is to look at an item and come up with a figure you would be willing to pay for it. Do this before you look at the price tag! Then when you check the price, you will know whether it’s too high or just right for you. Having a set figure in your mind before you even start negotiations allows you to buy smartly and avoid buyer’s remorse later. As with anything, timing is extremely important. Looking for garden furniture and statues? Buy them in the off-season and you’re sure to score a better price.

the streets of Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette with The Antiques Diva & Co

What to Buy

Want to know what we think are the Best Things To Buy At The Paris Flea Market – check out another blog we did on this topic! We consistently see clients coming away with chandeliers, mirrors, linens, Art Nouveau pieces, vintage jewelry, scarves, bedside tables, taxidermy & horns, vintage postcards, and many styles of antique chairs!

Ciao,

Toma, The Antiques Diva®

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

    • I agree Di: everyone should research a few tips for shopping at the Paris Flea Market! My biggest tip is to invest in an Antiques Diva Paris Guide tour: our Diva Guides are experts and know every nook and cranny of les Puces. Investing in a Diva Guide will save you time and money so you get exactly what you want out of your trip to Clingancourt.

      There are so many antiques and vintage trends this year, and if you’re headed to the Paris Flea Market you’ll find all of them! I love vintage furs and jewelry, and with the winter months coming vintage fur is practical, green and gorgeous! I’ve recently purchased several long fur scarves which are perfect to wear with sweaters during the fall, then coats in winter.

      Mid-century furniture just keeps getting hotter, and Paul Bert Serpette at the Paris Flea Market is a must destination for vintage furniture. And I’m all about Asian antiques: in fact, I’m in Asia now setting up our Antiques Diva & Co Asian Buying Tours!

      a+
      Toma

  • Every year my world seems to open up with new ideas from the Paris Flea Market. I feel a strong sense of community and as though I’m home when there! What’s been high in demand since this year’s tour?

    • Hi Byron
      Touring the Paris Flea Market for inspiration is a strategy used by many designers… its visual stimulation for all the senses! In fact, at the Antiques Diva we organize custom inspiration tours for designers and showrooms!

      Literally thousands visit les Puces every weekend, looking for that special piece that will make their home unique; and enjoying being with like-minded people searching for their special piece. This year we’re seeing continued popularity with mid-Century and vintage at the Paris Flea Market – and the shops and stalls have new arrivals every week!

      a bientôt
      Toma

    • Vintage sunglasses are so FUN and fabulous Melissa!

      Here’s my special vintage glasses tip: if you find a pair of great frames but the lenses are scratched or non-existent, just take them to your local optician store and have new lenses put in – prescription or tinted. A chic pair of vintage frames with new tinted lenses become one-of-a-kind sunglasses!

    • Antique mirrors add so much depth and personality to a room – the more mottled, the better! They can often be a great price. If you don’t find a mirror you like – or in your budget – my tip is to buy a vintage or antique frame, and take it to the framer and add a mirror. You can buy an antiqued mirror or a regular mirror. If you’re crafty, you can even buy a regular mirror and antique it yourself.

      bonne courses
      Toma