Your Saturday morning plan: Arrive at Randolph Street Market well before its 8 a.m. season kickoff. Be one of the first ten people in line and get in for free--and start your day with a gratis massage. Then snag the good stuff before the rest of the city wakes up. (Admission for everyone else is $8 online, $10 at the door.)
As we learned from founder Sally Schwartz, shopping early is the key to buying vintage. Other tricks to keep in mind when you hit the market:
Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle Ask dealers “What’s your best price?” before you pay the sticker amount. They’re usually open to negotiation.
Love What You Buy You’ll get a better price if you say how much you love something rather than pointing out its flaws.
Look Closely at Jewelry Inspect everything to make sure the stones match and none are missing. Check for a “sterling” or “925” stamp to ensure silver pieces are real, and keep in mind that fixing a vintage watch can cost up to $300--so you’d better really like the look of its face.
Never Break a Set Vintage chairs, lamps, tables and furniture are always more valuable together, so don’t split them up.
Randolph Street Market, 1340 W. Washington St.; 312-666-1200 or randolphstreetmarket.com