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It's easy to walk into a flea market, get overwhelmed, and immediately depart empty-handed — with the exception of that artisanal doughnut you picked up to stress-eat. As much as you want to find that one-of-a-kind necklace or unique side table to upgrade your abode, the excessive junk, crowds, and knockoff merch are just too anxiety-inducing, even if you know there's gold to be found.
Well, that's about to change. We talked to pros like designer and host Nate Berkus, writers Laura Neilson, Margie Ashcroft, and Alice Carey, home style expert Emily Henderson, Decades owner Cameron Silver, and vintage aficionados Jennifer Collins and Amy Yee to get the tips, hacks, and resources to help you navigate your local flea with a little more ease and a lot less I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing panic. Ahead: What to look for first, when to shop, how to score discounts, and more tricks of the trade. Your Saturday-morning ritual just got a whole lot better. Dig in.
Photographed by by Erin Yamagata