Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Le Marche aux Puces de Vanves

My new favorite Saturday morning activity.  This is by far the best flea market I have found in Paris.  I love treasure hunting but am certainly not an expert, so I find the famous Les Puces de Saint-Ouen to be incredibly overwhelming (it is the world's largest flea market with purportedly 200,000 visitors each week).  Marche de Vanves is much smaller and the vendors have better deals.  Unlike Saint-Ouen, it's mostly Frenchies at this market, so the vendors are not selling to tourists and expert buyers from all over the world.  True, at Vanves you have to look through lots of bad stuff to find the jewels, but that's the best part.  I cannot wait until Spring to take a trip to Normandy and do some real treasure hunting, but for now Vanves more than suffices. 

My big find this weekend was a fork and spoon serving set with a "C" monogram that matches our everyday silver.  Love!

Here are a few things I learned and will do differently on my next trip:
(1) get there early (vendors start closing up by 12:00);
(2) don't bargain on very low priced items, it is insulting;
(3) learn to say "how much is this?" in French;
(4) learn to count in French so I will understand the response;
(5) bring my own shopping bag;
(6) no time for two loops.... if you like it, you buy it right then or don't buy it at all; and finally,
(7) layers .... no matter what the forecast says, there is always a strong chance it will be colder than expected in Paris.

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