What’s the difference between a Flea and Flea Market?

I overheard someone saying that they were surprised by how much handmade stuff there was at a recent flea. “This isn’t like the flea markets we went to when I was a kid.” When I first started doing this, I had a similar reaction. Now that I get it, I want to make sure you do too. 

flea market is a market where just about anyone can get a table or a booth and sell just about anything. Generally, a vendor can show up with a car full of used DVD’s and a folding table, pay the fee, and sell for the day.

By contrast, a flea, like the Kent Flea, Youngstown Flea, Neighborhood Flea (Pittsburgh), or the Peninsula Flea at the Farm, is a curated event. Vendors apply well in advance with example photos of their booth and their work or goods. The organizer will put together a balanced set of vendors in order to create a complete shopping experience for visitors. These usually focus on handmade items and local eats, although many organizers will also include well curated vintage sellers.

It is unfortunate that these have such similar sounding names, because they have very different feels. You can find me at the fleas listed above, specific dates and locations can be found on my events page.

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