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The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing in France: the Antiques Diva goes to Chatou

Some people shop flea markets as a hobby. For Toma Clark Haines (also known as the Antiques Diva), antiquing is a sport, a profession, an art, a lifestyle. What started out as a blog to share her passion for digging up rare gems in markets across Europe quickly evolved into tours, an online store and a popular international following. Today, we are happy to present her advice for making the most of her very favorite of flea markets, the world-renowned National Fair for Ham and Antiques at Chatou. – Geneviève

The fair coordinators who organize my favorite French flea market – La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons in Ile de Chatouwhich is going on in the Paris suburbs March 11-20, 2011, have compiled “Les 10 Commandements du Chineur a la Brocante de Chatou” or “The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing at Chatou” to help customers shop the fair.

Because their version is only available in French, I thought I’d provide you with a rough translation (and a few ad libs) to let you know what the French fair coordinators have to say about what to do – or more importantly what not to do – when shopping this National French Fair of the Flea Market and Ham.  Now that’s what I call the inside scoop à la française!

1) Se lever tôt et venir en semaine. Get up early and come shop during the week (to avoid weekend crowds).

2) Ne pas hésiter à revenir souvent: la marchandise se renouvelle pendant la durée de la Foire. Don’t visit the market just once; return often as many vendors continue to put out new inventory throughout the duration of the fair. Continue Reading »

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