How to Shop at the Rose Bowl Flea Market
The Rose Bowl Flea Market is held on the second Sunday of every month. I was able to finally go for the first time last month (which just so happened to also be the only day it was 100 degrees in June btw).
Honestly it was PACKED. But it was such a fun experience. I went with my boyfriend to meet up with my best friend and her boyfriend and we found allll of the deals. I snagged this vintage Levi’s denim jacket for only $35. I went into the flea market with the mindset that I was only buying home decor, and literally saw this piece and just couldn’t leave without it lol. The cons of impulse shopping. (but no regrets lol)
Since this was my first time, I’m not really an expert, but I can tell you some tips and recommendations if you plan on going. It’s always nice to know a little bit of what to expect before making the trek all the way to Pasadena.
Things to Know
This is probably an obvious one but I’m so used to LA and having my card everywhere I go that I literally never have cash on me. You’ll get better deals and faster transactions if you have it on hand.
Do a whole loop first
If you have time, which I’m assuming you do since you decided to come here on a Sunday, do a loop of everything before deciding. Our group kept some things in mind (a plant that’s too heavy to carry around, a cute basket that I’m not 100% on), and then once we reached the end of the loop we just made our way back the way we came.
If you’re going to choose something to eat, pick finger food!
My bf and I made the mistake of choosing a sandwich, which was kind of big and hard to eat while walking around. They sell taquitos which would be a great snack to have while also perusing —this way you don’t waste any valuable shopping time!
Practice your bartering skills
I’m honestly not the best at this lol. I literally will go one dollar lower and they say no and I pay them anyways. BUT if you have this skill (or know someone who does), I’d definitely try to haggle if you can. Most likely package deals will be your best bet to lower any prices, so if you plan on buying a couple things; I’d keep that cash handy and propose a deal.
Expect high prices
Flea markets don’t necessarily mean cheap anymore. Think vintage, not discount. Be prepared to spend a hefty amount for these pieces. This doesn’t necessarily mean everything is expensive, for instance, I got the above basket for only $8, but just be prepared depending on the item. We also saw these cute trunks for storage that ranged from $300-400, just to give you an idea.
Gold. Vintage. Mirrors.
If you’ve got a vintage vibe going on, the Flea Market is a gold mine (literally) for unique mirrors. They’re so cool. Would go great in probably any home to give a more rustic feel (and also great for selfies, see above).
Okay, not literally. But the Rose Bowl is a lot to do in one day. When we went, we had a baby shower to go after so we didn’t have all the time in the world. Even if we had more time, it’s hard to tackle the whole thing in one setting. If you start going more regularly, you’ll get a feel for what they have and what you want to actually spend your money on. So don’t feel overwhelmed if you didn’t get everything on your list, but just remember which vendors you like for the next time you’re able to stop by. I’ll def be stopping by that vintage clothing vendor again next time!
The next one is July 14, so hopefully you’re able to be a little more prepared going into it. :)
I’ll actually be traveling at the time, but let me know if you plan on going in August ~ I’ll be there.