Flea Market Flourishes Unique Items
Vickie Smith is constantly amazed at what items people bring to an outdoor flea market — and what sells.
She and her husband, Darwin, host a monthly flea market on the first weekend of every month in Goodman. They own The Hideaway Spot — RV Park, where they host the event.
Vendors often haul in unique items.
Smith is always interested to see what people bring to sell. Some items are bizarre and Smith thinks, “I can’t believe they brought that.”
Then, she’ll see a customer carting it off.
“I always shop myself and have to go see what the other vendors have,” she said. “You never know what you’re going to find. Sometimes it’s a toilet, sometimes it’s a household item,” she said.
“Every month there’s a whole different bunch of stuff. I try to tell our vendors to bring different things,” she said.
From guns and knives, chickens, ducks, dogs, to antiques and more, the flea market offers trailers full of items, as long as they’re legal and family-friendly, Smith said.
Sometimes, vendors bring items and a conversation ensues among those present: “What do you think it is?” Smith said, laughing.
With better weather on the horizon, Smith remains hopeful that the season will be full of interesting finds.
Freezing temperatures and snowy conditions provided a rocky start when flea market organizers kicked off the season on the first weekend of April.
Vendors on that Sunday did well, but the weather definitely dampened efforts on that cold Saturday. Organizers rescheduled the event for last weekend.
The idea for the flea market and swap meet got its start when the couple realized they needed to get rid of a bunch of stuff themselves. They had purchased the property in 2014 and launched the RV Park.
Like most people, they realized they had accumulated much that needed to be eliminated.
So they started the swap meet last year, which was successful in bringing together customers and vendors. The slower-paced shopping experience allowed visiting and people mentioned to Smith how much they enjoyed that aspect.
“They really enjoyed the camaraderie of the community,” Smith said. “People have said, ‘Oh, good, it’s swap-meet weekend.’”
The Smiths have changed the name from swap meet to flea market this year because some folks weren’t clear about what type of items are offered at a swap meet. People seemed more familiar with the flea market idea, she said.
The Smiths plan to build a 70-by-90-foot building by summer, which can accommodate a number of vendors for the flea market. Vendors can then choose to have a booth inside the building or outside.
The couple also plans to rent out the building for other events.
“Then rain won’t be a factor,” she said. “I pray about the weather every day before each flea market weekend.”
The Smiths are interested in building community. They’ve asked neighbors what kinds of other events they would like to see, and a tractor-pull event is just one idea being entertained.
“We have a great location and plenty of room for parking,” Smith said.
Smith welcomes vendors who will offer a variety of goods, everything from handmade crafts and jewelry, fruits and vegetables, decor, antiques and rustic items to yard-sale items, animals and lumber.
Food is available, too. Smith usually plans to bring prepared food. Last weekend, neighbors enjoyed jambalaya, barbecue pork and popcorn.
Upcoming flea market dates are:
May 5 and 6
June 2 and 3
July 7 and 8
Aug. 4 and 5
Sept. 1 and 2
Oct. 6 and 7
Nov. 3 and 4 Vendors pay $20 to participate for the weekend.
The swap meet is located at 2759 Highway 59, one mile south of Goodman, at the intersection of Highway 49 and 59.
For additional information and to reserve a space, call 417-592-0745.