We’re huge fans of second-hand shopping at AMP. Whether it’s a perfectly worn in pair of denim cut-offs or a quirky piece of furniture to complete a room, thrift shopping and antiquing always results in the unexpected. The thrill of shopping at flea markets often the process itself. Sometimes you find exactly what you want. Sometimes you find something that you didn’t know you needed but absolutely have to have. Either way, “thrifting” is always an adventure and one of the best places to do just that is the Long Beach Antique Market at Veteran’s Stadium. It’s a gigantic outdoor market that has everything from antiques and collectibles to vintage clothing to one of a kind re-purposed furniture and accessories. We spoke with the market’s founders, Donald and Lynn about their historic monthly event.
The market started as ” the only outdoor antique and collectible market in Los Angeles.” Lynn told us. “Cheap, Chic, Unique, Vintage” is the once a month market’s slogan because they “were the first ones to have a market solely for the collectors, solely for people who wanted to reuse, re-purpose, and redesign”. This isn’t a traditional flea market with a strange mix of new, old, and everything in between. The vendors at the Long Beach Antique Market are not allowed to sell anything produced within the last 20 years!
20 acres and over 800 vendors can be overwhelming for someone new to the world of secondhand shopping, so we got some tips on how to navigate the market’s treasure-filled aisles.
Where should I begin?
A good way to start is to go in with a specific item in mind like “a small end table or a lamp so you can filter out all the other things as you’re walking down the aisle”. Don’t feel bad if you want to be a little more free form and just take it all in while you meander… that’s kind of what we do.
Aren’t these things like really early in the morning?
DO arrive early. They open at 5:30 in the AM for early admission. Donald told us that “you’ll never regret it. If you don’t mind getting up early, you’ll see things before the majority of our customers so, if it’s something that’s really unique, one of a kind and you must have. It pays to get there early”. But if you’re a late riser, Lynn had some assurance: “Variety is so huge […] that even if you get there late, you’re not going to feel like there’s nothing left”.
Why should I buy vintage?
First of all, it’s fun! You’ll meet some great people, see things you can’t find at the mall, and you might even make a profit! Don told us that “There are people who have found items at our show who have told me that they got a tremendous bargain and found an old piece of artwork that should have been $1200 and they got it for $50”. One of our writers can attest to this. She got a mid-century chair for around $30 and it ended up being worth around $200!
Another reason is because it’s totally hot right now to buy vintage and handmade. The fact that you can find one of a kind items means that you can infuse your personal style into every single detail of your home or wardrobe. Flea markets are the perfect place to find your own style “by just walking around and seeing what appeals to you instead of walking around in a store where they’ve chosen the items for you”.
The Long Beach Antique Market is a truly unique experience that we think our listeners would love. The next event is this Sunday, June 17th. If you want a peek of the unique treasures you can find at the market, take a look at the gallery we put together here! We love all that vintage costume jewelry. What would you do with some of those items?