Often we travel far to pound the pavement in search of odd and unique items for resale. This past weekend you would have found us making a whirlwind road trip.
A drive from Las Vegas, Nevada to Pasadena, California. About 4 hours walking a Flea Market, then jumping in the car and driving back to Las Vegas. No small feat when you realize the one way drive is just about 300 miles.
We left Las Vegas just before midnight and was able to start early bird shopping at 6:00 AM. The night driving at least kept us out of the summer daytime heat of around 110°F on the trip to the sale. Also the traffic was sparse compared to the congestion we would experience on our return trip.
A new venue for us, we visited the Pasadena City College Flea Market. As the name implies this was on the College Campus ground. More specifically, in the open parking lots, as well as in several levels of their parking deck structures. This sale happens the first Sunday of every month. Though you would need to check their schedule to be sure this is every month of the year.
They advertise that there are 400-500 dealers. After walking the campus for 4 hours we tend to believe those figures. It was definitely a walk.
Being in the business as both buyers and sellers, we were somewhat disappointed with the fact a large majority of prices were at what we consider “retail” pricing. Great for those looking for a collectable or one of a kind item and willing to pay the price. More difficult for dealers looking for a deal to buy stock. We estimate 75% of the sellers were charging such high prices there was little margin for further profit.
Some items were found though, and the trip was not a loss. It was just a much harder “pick” than what we are accustomed to. I am not sure we will return for another “pick”.
There was a whole section of Vinyl Records. Nearly a half a floor worth in the one parking structure. Probably the largest collection of record dealers in any given market we have ever been to.
The booths are laid out in the open parking lots, and also the parking decks. The parking decks offer the shade for sure. You had best hit the outdoor area’s early in the morning. The booth area’s are chopped up by the campus layout. They actually offer free shuttle service from area to area via 6-8 passenger golf carts. A little difficult if you are buying and carrying items. We took collapsible 4 wheeled wagons and we are glad we did. When full we wheeled them back to our vehicle. We recommend wagons or 2 wheeled carts of some sort. Also hats and sunscreen.
Parking is in one of the Colleges deck structures. At 6AM we were one of the first to arrive. At 10AM people were circling waiting for someone to leave. So our suggestion is to go early. Parking this past weekend was $2. You have to pay at a machine centrally located on each level of the deck and get a parking receipt.
There are numerous food and drink tents, if you forget to take water. Expect to walk lots. Vendors are friendly and willing to negotiate. Plan on having fun looking and buying.