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How To Spot The ‘Good Stuff’ At Discount/Bargain Fairs & Markets

Not many people feel the need to spend time at the discount markets in their communities or city even,  mainly because back in the day, these places were  filled with defective or second-quality merchandise. Everything was sold at a discount- The less expensive the item, the more that was wrong with it.

While those kinds of pop up fairs and markets still exist,  there are those who offer better quality and good pricing in a similar environment. They are even more popular now especially in the city of Abuja. A wider scope of people are even more given to shopping in these places organized by private groups who take over spaces in  warehouses, tents, or some controlled open space where they allot space to sellers to put out their wares at low prices once or twice a month. In these times when people have learnt to budget everything, finding good items at these places have become increasingly acceptable.

If you are one of these people who try to find not just the High Street buys but the designers too, then you should also consider some of these places and perhaps know a few things while going into shop-

  • Before you go out to these fairs or markets, do a bit of homework on the organizers and the brands that are going to be out there. That way, you get an idea of what to expect-  the quality of the items to be sold and even the brands represented.

  • Know When a Bargain Is really a Bargain. The sign may say 75% off the retail price, it is likely that you would have never paid the retail price anyway. However, you would not know that unless you find out what the original retail price is. The only way to know if it is actually a good deal is to compare prices. Don’t be sucked in by the call of a good bargain.
  • According to SmartMoney, 82% of all products sold in an outlet store are made to be sold there.(Hello,  China!) This means that the items are new but possibly of lower quality than what you would find in the regular store. That may not be a problem, but keep in mind that if you are buying something that looks new and undamaged, the price is lower for a reason. If top-quality is important, you may want to keep looking.

  • Some people look for the price tags first while others go for the design and fabric.  Whatever your style is, make sure you are happy with both. Even if your price point is being met, make sure the condition of the item meets your intent. It’s not just enough that it’s affordable, is it in good condition? Its condition is important and can be judged by even the most inexperienced eye, Check the thing out. Turn it over. Look for any elements of condition that might appear irreversible. If something is in pristine condition, that’s often a good sign for the buyer. If you spot something off, a loose button or stubborn zipper, it could land you a deeper discount. But don’t ask for a specific markdown, just ask for a reduction in price cos the saleswoman might be willing to offer a bigger reduction than what you are considering or ask if another item, like a small accessory, could be included in the price.
  • Also, its important that you pick out the things that appeal to your individual sense of aesthetics- buy what you like, after all, you have to live with it. On the other hand, don’t get too obsessed with picking out the best bargains that you go home with stuff you don’t like or need.

  • If you love it, buy it. If you doubt it, leave it out. You have to have a keen eye and a vision for how things will fit and work in your house. Know your stuff and how to spot it. That’s why it’s so great for deals!”A ‘hidden treasure’ does not have to equate to finding an object of great monetary value; for you,  it may mean finding an object you just love and that fits you or your home right. After a while you will begin to learn the price range to expect at such places.
  • If you are shopping sample sales, do not trust the sizes.The number printed on the garment may not be accurate, Why? We observed that real samples are usually fit to a specific model. One dress might be nipped at the waist; another might be cut extra-straight, If you’re at a sale, try on the item. If alterations will be required, factor that into the overall price. But be sure you can fit into it.

  • Outlet malls (those pop ups you find on the outside of malls/ shopping plazas) do offer a more modern look than a tent outlet. Off-season items that may have spent a bit too long in the stores, seconds or slightly-defective items are still a draw, but in many cases, brand new merchandise is also available.

On a final note, you cannot and should not assume that everything in a discount fair or stall is less expensive than the same item in a regular store. Due diligence is the name of the game, you may not find as many scratch and dent items anymore, but these places still offer great bargains. Take it from people who have been and have bought!