Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fabulous French Fridays ~ The Paris Flea Market

Welcome to Fabulous French Fridays a wee bit early.

Andrea is currently touring Italy this week. Dreamy sighs.  She has signed up for three separate cooking classes. She’s also hoping to hit a few Italian antique stores and markets. But I can’t imagine that they will come close to anything like the French flea markets or as they’re known in France ~ marché aux puces (pronounced “mar-shay ōh poose”). The literal meaning of marché aux puces is “with fleas” or “Fleas’ Market”. The name is believed to have originated when rag-pickers, (known as crocheteurs aka pickers or the more romantic 'pêcheurs de lune' aka fishermen of the moon ~ meaning those who dumpster dive at night) began trying to peddle their meager treasures on the fringes of Paris several decades before the area became officially designated as a public marketplace in 1885.

The flea market on the north side of Paris is known as Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen (“sant – ooh – ĕhn”). It is one of the largest in France, with over 3000 dealer booths and it is filled with the crème de la crème of antiques. Prices are somewhat higher than the lesser known markets throughout France but many of the dealers also accept credit cards in addition to euros. If you take the metro (subway) you will want to get off at Porte De Cligancourt (“port – duh – glee – yan – coor”) on line 4. The main street for antiques is Rue des Rosiers.
The market is open:
Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm
Monday from 11 am to 5 pm (but with limited dealers and often by appointment)
Many of the stalls close around lunch time ~ but as you should start right when the market opens, you will be ready to eat yourself.
A good website can be found HERE.
You can also get a Keys To The Fleas ap for your phone from apple.
The flea markets are generally a notch above the French garage sale which is known as a brocante. We will cover brocantes in a future post.
Laura Tips for Successful Flea Marketing Adventures
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
Bring a basket. The French do not do plastic bags. The very best baskets are of course found at French Basketeer.
Bring water. Not only to drink, but to wash off your hands. Things worth digging for are not always in a clean pile.
A handkerchief can come in quite handy too.
A pad of paper to write down information such as a booth number.
A camera to record items of interest.
A measuring tape.
Snacks if needed.
If you are shopping for silver, bring a magnet. It will not stick to true silver.
If you go with friends or family choose a designated time and meeting point if you separate.
It is recommended to attend the markets in morning as they often become crowded in the afternoon.
Hide your wallets under your shirt or sweaters around your neck if using cash. But most dealers accept credit cards. However do not bring your passports.
The French love to negotiate. But you need to be respectful and of course speak the language. It is ok to say you are a dealer if you are.
Happy Shopping!
Andrea and Laura


Karena said...

Oh Laura you know I cannot get enough of your adventures in France!!

I can't think of a better day to spend the morning...Andrea what can I say..a dream in Italy!

Art by Karena

saltbox treasures said...

Would love to go to a market in France. What a wonderful opportunity. Thanks for the tips. I hope to put them to use in France someday!
~ Julie

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

I copied and pasted your wonderful hints for shopping the fleas and will save them in anticipation of an upcoming trip. And "yay" for the French for not using plastic. :) Loved this post. I just bought a beautiful old wood panel door which I plan to put "Marche aux Puces" on. :)

Gypsy Brocante said...

A wonderful and informative post ... makes me want to hit the fleas ... I loved the 'romantic' tale of fisherman fishing by moonlight! .. Thanks for the tips and sharing them at Voila!


Fifi Flowers said...

J'adore that bike photo on your other site... it SCREAM PAINT MOI!!!

Metis is a LOVELY site!

Kelly_Deal said...

Hi Laura! I just love Paris street scene paintings!


Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

OMG!..What a lovely blog you got!..
Coming from The Charm of Home..:)

I heart Paris for sure..


Emily@LovelyBeasts said...

So jealous that you're trolling French Flea Markets. Can't wait to see what you bring back!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love seeing your photos, too...places I have never seen! So beautiful! ♥

Simply Bungalow said...

Great tips. A trip to the France is definitely on my bucket list!

Dee@FrenchBleuVintage said...

Oh Laura ~ thanks for letting me know about this post. Great lesson - thank you. Loved it - Can't wait to see whats next - new follower - :):):)

Counting Your Blessings said...

Thank you for sharing all this information with us. I learned a few new things. Wish the "Keys to the Fleas" app was available for android!

Thank you for sharing your French Inspiration with us.

Blessings... Polly
French Cupboard
Counting Your Blessings

Sherry said...

So Laura, when came I come with you? lol Thanks for all of this wonderful info. I will probably have to stick to the French wholesalers within my region. It is wonderful to shop through your pictures. Thanks for linking up!

Desire Empire said...

What a fabulous post. Very informative and I have added it to my favourites for reference when I'm next in France, whenever that will be.
Love to see you over at Desire Empire as I have a French Day Dream post going on today
Best Wishes for a great trip to France. Lucky you

Debra@Common Ground said...

It's on my to-do list! That rolling cart is just wonderful. Thanks for sharing all the great shopping tips, and thanks for linking up to VIF!
big hugs,

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Oh goodness.... can I come along next trip? I'll pull the basket cart and carry all your finds? Would love to shop the Paris flea market someday... how dreamy. New follower here- thank you for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! Hope you will be back over to say hello again soon! :)