ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Treasure Hunt Tips - Auctions, Flea Markets, Mom and Pop Shops for Antiques/Vintage goods and Handmade Items

Updated on March 27, 2019
GiftsByDiana profile image

Diana grew up helping grandparents at flea markets and auctions then later helped at Mom's Antique Mall booth. She now runs a gift shop.

Antique wheelbarrow found at an auction
Antique wheelbarrow found at an auction

Want to find offbeat places to treasure hunt and get great stuff or unusual items ?

Go to local auctions; flea markets; yard sales; little Mom and Pop stores and antique shops - each week you can find something different. Also, see if your area has a pawn shop.

You get to know the auctioneers and sellers at the auctions and flea markets so you can tell who brings in the best stuff.

The same with little stores, you can get to know the owner and often - if you let them know what you collect or need - they will hunt it down for you if they can.

Antique, Amish cultivator
Antique, Amish cultivator

What kinds of treasures ?

It's always different which is half the fun !

Antique Shops; Flea Markets; auctions; and Mom and Pop stores in Hubbard, Ohio and elsewhere often have all sorts of vintage, new and handmade gifts, collectibles... some antiques and other treasures.

You can usually find estate jewelry, vintage goods and antiques, videos, books, handmade jewelry, gifts, craft supplies, craft supplies, everyday items, Vintage Jewelry, Italian Charms, handmade items, crocheted baby items, crocheted slippers, handmade candles, greeting cards, glassware, vintage bears and dolls, vintage linens, kitchen items, lawn and porch art items, vintage items, home d├ęcor, gift baskets, old radios, old computer games, Precious Moments and other collectibles, handmade dog treats - handmade cat toys with organic catnip and other pet supplies, all natural products like handmade soaps and sachets,,, , hand sewn relaxation and travel items, and a whole bunch of almost everything new and used.

More vintage and handmade goods, and sometimes a few antiques:

Treasure Hunts at local auctions, flea markets & Mom and Pop shops can be fun !
Treasure Hunts at local auctions, flea markets & Mom and Pop shops can be fun !

Treasure Hunting tips for antiquing at an auction

I'll tell you a few secrets to make treasure hunting for antiques at auctions (Grandma always called them "sales") more fun for everyone

#1.) Get there early to be able to inspect the items.

#2.) Ask about the procedures:

* For most, there is a no return policy

* Some will take a check or very rarely a credit card card as they would much rather have cash, find out before you buy anything !

* Stop in at the desk to register and get a bid number - you will need your driver's license.

Some auctions will have you keep the same number once you register (and become a regular) to make it easier for everyone.

But even when you become a regular you will need to let them know you are there that week by registering, but you likely will not have to show your license over and over once they get to know you.

* Find out beforehand when any big items you might buy will have to be taken home - Usually it is right after the auction, but sometimes they may let you make arrangements to come back at another time.

* Is there a "Buyer's Premium" that is charged and how much ?

Most auction charge a 10% (or more) Buyer's Premium to help cover employee costs and other expenses. They subtotal your bill and add another 10% onto it. This extra fee is then added to your bill. So, if you bought $100.00 worth of items, It would now cost you $110.00 + your sales tax.

* If you not in your own city, find out what the sales tax percentage is where you are so that you can make sure to add it in to your total bill.

#3.) Sit quietly and pay attention so that you what is up for bid. You would be amazed at how many folks end up buying things that they didn't mean to because they bid on the wrong item.

#4.) If you bring kids, please have them sit quietly because the other bidders want to hear what is up for bid and the auction staff needs to be able to keep accurate records to make sure the correct amounts are written on the correct items... .

#5.) Take along a few comfort items according to the season such as a jacket, a box to put your feet in to keep them off of a cold cement floor and a lap blanket to keep your legs warm in the Winter. In the Summer, you may want to take along one of those little hand fans that you can carry in your purse or keep in the glove box.

#6.) While you are bidding be aware of any buyer's premium that might be added to your bill and don't forget to be sure that you have enough money to cover the sales tax too.

#7.) Take along a big handful of newspapers to wrap any antiques and breakables and a few of your own boxes to put your items in.

#8.) Enjoy the art of Treasure Hunting at the auctions

Vintage dishes at a small, local shop
Vintage dishes at a small, local shop

Treasure Hunting for antiques at Flea Markets and Mom & Pop specialty stores

Set aside an hour to find a few treasures and antiques

#1.) Remember, you are buying items "as is" so look over each antique before you buy it. This is not the Mall where you can return it if you change you mind or it is broken... .

#2.) Be respectful to the vendors because for most of them this is their only income. They will learn to appreciate you and may even offer you a special deal from time to time if you are nice.

#3.) If you think the price if too high, it is sometimes fine to ask if they can do a little better for you (IF you are a regular and loyal customer) or if there is any sort of special going on that day.

If not or if they do but you still don't like the price - just say no thank you and move on to something else because the little "car salesman" tricks that people try simply do not work. Many times they cannot lower prices these days because they have to pay their booth rent which has gone sky high these last few years (heating and electric bills...)

#4.) Let the vendors know for what types of antiques you are looking and they might have it put away or they might have one at home... that they could bring in for you.

Again, be respectful here too as if you ask for something and make arrangements to come back - make sure you do.

#5.) Let's face it, some people are just plain mean and the same holds true for some vendors. Just forget about them and go on to the next booth. Don't let that Grumpy Gus ruin your shopping adventure.

#6.) If you take kids or anyone with you that has a little trouble controlling themselves, pay extra attention to them so that do not grab things or break them because you will have to pay for anything they ruin.

#7.) Again, this isn't the mall so be prepared by taking along a few bags of your own (totes are great to use over and over and you'll help the planet too) and some paper to wrap anything that could break.

Most vendors will have these things, but sometimes they run out if they have had a busy day.

#8.) Please take small bills when you go. Most flea market vendors and little antique and gift shops like mine can't take credit or debit cards or even checks - It is usually CASH only and vendors do not keep a bunch on hand.

There is almost nothing more aggravating than having the first 5 people buy $2.00 worth of stuff and pay with a twenty and take all of your change !

Quilters love vintage fabric from auctions
Quilters love vintage fabric from auctions

Vintage and antique fabrics - A favorite auction find !

Just one example of what vintage and antique treasures can be found if you pay attention !

August 2009 at a local auction house where they were auctioning off the estate of a lady who loved to sew.

Oh my, vintage fabric glory !

After paying for winning bids, there were 6 or 7 plastic tote containers FULL of fabric plus 2 full bolts of old fabric that were not in a tote.

These totes are at least 2x2x3 feet large.

There are 1,000's of yards of vintage fabric in these totes and even a few pieces of antique fabric !

There is a ton of cotton, some denim, some polyester, some velvet, some satin, and about a yard of fleece with Scooby Doo on it from which I made an eye mask and neck pillow set for my niece who likes Scooby Doo.

All of this vintage fabric is in great shape too as most of it was protected in a plastic tote container which had a tight fitting lid to keep out clothes moths, moisture and dust... .

A favorite auction find for sure !

Old antique malls and flea markets near Hubbard, Ohio

Growing up in Hubbard, Ohio, one of the favorite places to go was the Valley View department store in Brookfield, Ohio. It was a mall before malls were invented ! Valley View offered clothes; fancy hats; fabric; craft supplies; lumber; furniture and almost anything in-between. It even had a snack bar.

After many years, it closed and became an antique mall and flea market.

My Mom was the vintage jewelry lady at the Valley View Antique Mall and Flea Market for several years until it too closed and then the building was torn down. We made so many friends during her years there.

When it closed, Mom and several of the other vendors started the Hubbard Flea Market and we liked it there, but the owner died and the building was sold.

From there, some of the vendors started up a gift shop (Goldie's place, now Diana's); some went to the Whistle Stop Thrift Shop on the other side of Hubbard, Ohio. Others went to the West Middlesex, Pa flea market a few miles away.

The local antique mall/flea market/gift shop in Hubbard, Ohio:

Diana's - Hubbard Ohio Gift Shop

6177 Youngstown-Hubbard Road

Hubbard, Ohio 44425

noon to 5:00 pm on Wednesdays

10 am to 5 pm Thursday through Saturday

Goldie's Vintage Jewelry booth is there now and there are some of her pieces online as well:

Gypsy Queen Media for book treasure hunting
Gypsy Queen Media for book treasure hunting

Treasure Hunting for great vintage and new books ?

Older books can be highly collectible and you can often find them at many auctions; flea markets and small, local shops individually or sometimes by the box. Box sales are fun. You can get a great deal and maybe you'll find a treasure that you have been wanting for yourself or find a few that will make a nice profit for you.
Before you buy them though, be sure to go over them to check the condition because, as with most other antiques and collectibles... the condition will make a huge difference in the value of the items. Make sure that they do not smell musty; the pages aren't too bent up and damaged by use; the binding is in good shape; see if there is writing anywhere; and take a quick look to see if all of the pages are included.

Looking for books, videos and even some cool bookmarks... ?

We love to read and collect books and cannot keep them all so we keep some and sell the rest at great prices.

Great Stuff at the Gypsy Queen Media booth (and a few other booths too) at the little Hubbard Ohio Gift Shop !

There are quite a few vintage and new mystery/thriller books, self-help books, How-To/D.I.Y. books, nature and animal books, some educational books and a bunch of paperback (and some hardcover) romance books including Danielle Steele, as well as many others.

All sorts of children's books (vintage and new) and new books for Moms and Grandparents... to help keep track of the cute things that their kids say and do... every day in here at the gift shop too and we even have some VHS video tapes... too.

* Many books here are indeed treasures. Some are full of adventure; how-to; just for fun; or are collectible like vintage cook books and many antique books as well.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)