If you’ve been scouring all the usual thrift shops and vintage stores in Dallas for a deal, whether it’s a chair to decorate your living room or some designer shoes you can resell for a profit on eBay, you probably haven’t been having much luck. Most shops in the city limits know what they have. But if you follow this guide to off-the-beaten-path antique malls, flea markets, resale shops and more, you’ll be on your way to eBay top seller in no time.
Historic Highway 80 Sale
This bi-annual rummage sale runs through Dallas and takes place the third week of April and October. Sales are set up at businesses, homes, and in open fields along Highway 80 across five states including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. In some areas, there may be a several mile gap between sales, especially in rural areas.
“News of the sale is spreading among antique car, motorcycle, RV clubs and flea market enthusiasts,” reads the event’s website. “While shoppers will be searching for great deals, cities along the route hope they find the highway’s more permanent treasures, such as bed and breakfasts, motels, restaurants and historical sites.”
Antique Mall of Mansfield
920 N. Main St.
“We buy junk and sell antiques” is a phrase used by pickers and antique dealers alike. Antique markets like the Antique Mall of Mansfield, which has 100 vendors and hosts weekend sales three times a year, can be a training ground for determining the value of treasures. And a stroke of luck might turn up something like the original Dallas flag, which was rescued by Robert Wilonksy from a Lakewood antique store.
Johnson and Ellis counties
Antique Alley is a bi-annual festival featuring miles of flea markets and pasture sales. Participating towns include Alvarado, Cleburne, Grandview, Maypearl, Sand Flat and Venus. Garages, barns and pastures can be longtime havens for vintage vehicles, cowboy culture and antique farming equipment. The next Antique Alley is scheduled for April 21-23.
Friends of the Grand Prairie Library Book Sale
901 Conover Drive, Grand Prairie
The Friends of the Grand Prairie Library hosts semi-annual, used book sales at the city’s main library branch in the spring and fall. Their most recent book sale offered about 7,000 items and the group also puts some items on auction.
Many city libraries have an auxiliary book group that sells their old or surplus books at near giveaway prices to raise money for more recent literature. Library book sales sometimes have expensive sets which are not common in circulation. And the sales are not limited to literature.
Since books, art and music naturally go together, these sales are also a good place to pick up an occasional piece of art and scout around for record albums. Serious pickers can also keep an eye out for a few antique and collectible price guides. Sites like Bookfinder.com, half.com and Amazon can help determine book values.
Canton Trade Days
800 1st Monday Lane, Canton
Flea markets such as First Monday Trade Days in Canton are a great place to enjoy the outdoors while snagging a few unusual items with the potential to set off an eBay feeding frenzy. The marketplace is open Thursday through Sunday before the first Monday of each month. Hours are sunup to sundown rain or shine, but seasoned flea market pickers tend to arrive pre-dawn, packing flashlights.
Texas Star Auctions
2301 Solona St., Haltom City
This auction house hosts a bi-weekly sale featuring furniture, paintings, antiques and collectibles. It’s a fun place to shop for a quality piece as an investment or for keeps.
Some resale centers, such as Goodwill, also hold auctions for their recognized collectibles. And classified ads are a good place to look for upcoming storage unit auctions. Competition is usually stiff among the storage unit crowd, but an unwavering bid might just win those store racks full of 1960s designer clothing or that classic Lincoln with no key.
3458 Bluebonnet Circle, Fort Worth
Primitive, hand-carved duck decoys, handwoven rugs and vintage Vegas poker chips are a few items that may be destined for a trash heap. But when it comes to rescuing vintage items, Val Arnett is a pro at combing attics and basements for potential caches of comic books, jewelry, antique dolls, rare photographs and other vintage items which have often been stored for decades.