Story and photos by Melissa James
Shopping has been taken into another level, where normal retail outlet is no longer the hotspot. Well, let me introduce to you, Flea Market, which is an open-air street that has many retail vendors offering a range product; inexpensive or secondhand goods.
Who says that flea market is a place for those who cannot afford to buy things at high end price? Even the rich and famous go to these places. In fact, you might even bump into them if you’re lucky. So, what is so good about going to flea market? Well, let me tell you that besides the whole ambiance where no salesperson follows you every single corner you go— as if you are up to something bad, the price can be reasonable because you can bargain with the vendor for cheaper price. A good priced at whooping RM70 can simply go down to RM30-RM40, can? That’s totally a great bargain.
If you asked me, what do I think of flea markets or my personal fond memories? I would say that it is a great time to bond with your loved ones or friends. Why? When I was back in Kota Kinabalu, my mom used to drag me along with her every Sunday morning to go to the famous Gaya Street. Opens only on Sundays, the road will be closed as early as 6 A.M from one end to another end to give way for the vendors. My very sweet memories was when I watched my mom spending endlessly on food, flowers, kain batik, and pets—I tell you, from fish to parrots! As for me, I would just spoil my precious tummy with traditional kuih – kuih cincin, Bajau, and some of them that I typically just eat and forget. Not to forget, those little arguments of her and me which practically made me go say,
“No need lah mummy! You bought that last week already!”
and she usually replies,
“Oh, I forgot! But I’ve already paid.”
For some people will go to this kind of places routinely, either with family or friends, while some might do this as a hobby and later might end up being the vendor themselves, considering that this is another kind of art to express themselves. Join my venture on discovering some of the amazing flea markets around Klang Valley.
Considered as the place that never sleeps, it is located at Jalan H. S Lee, Kuala Lumpur. I’m very sure that most of us are well aware of Petaling Street. This is the place where heaps of non-original or imitation goods are sold from watches, CDs, jewelers, souvenirs, electronics, clothes, shoes, bags, and etc. You can easily identified high end brands such as Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Lacoste, Gucci, Guess selling 10 times cheaper from the normal retail price. We might think negatively about pirated goods, but it is highly in demand and a lot of people still purchase them although it can cost up to RM300 – way cheaper than buying a RM3000 purse, no?
Compare to Sunway Pyramid or Tropicana City Mall, Amcorp Mall does not have many retail outlets. Located in a quiet suburban, Petaling Jaya, walking inside the mall during the weekdays is as if the mall is yours entirely. Well that’s about to change because when it comes to weekends, the mall turns from a quiet to a very congested place. Claimed as the biggest indoor flea market around, it surely took me several hours to make a complete visit on every vendor from lower ground to third floor. When I was there, I was awed seeing lots of antique items most of the time – some that I have never ever seen in my entire life. From antiques, homemade food, old and new toys, photographs, records, old weapons, collectible and many other various interesting items can be found here. Its reputation for antiques is known from all especially. This flea market is a treasure trove for antique bargain hunters!
Located at Kota Damansara, no doubt that this place is no stranger to most students in SEGi University College. Held only for two days, Saturday and Sunday, many would enjoy the ever busy environment in a more strategic place – after the long tiring walk and bargaining, anyone can enjoy scrumptious food at both sides of The Street.
You can see mostly accessories, clothes for women, graphic Tees, household product, toys, and chocolate fondue here. However, the lack of space for people to walk and stop at one stall has always become the main problem. Nevertheless, if you are still determine to shop, squeeze to fit in the crowd!
Tips for bargain hunters:
1. Don’t purchase straight away at your first stop (vendor). You might want to look around first and survey the price.
2. Don’t simply sweet talk to the owner to get lower price (F.Y.I, they know your tactic too!). Keep it cool.
3. Check if the item is still in good condition, not broken or damaged.
4. Associate a good customer-owner relationship. They might come in handy in case you need supplier or such.
5. Don’t be afraid to use walking away as a bargaining tool. You can always come back.
6. If possible, keep going back to the same person until you’ve gotten to know him/her. You might get better deal as a returning buyer. Plus, they won’t dread seeing your face