Tips and Tricks: Alameda Point Antiques Faire

On the first Sunday of every month the Alameda Point Antiques Faire starts bright and early at 6am. There's food, rows upon rows of tchotkes, light fixtures, dishes, clothes and furniture, and people are surprisingly friendly given the ungodly hour (perhaps a certain camaraderie comes from braving the cold and dark together all in the name of old beautiful things!)

I absolutely love the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, so (inspired by Emily Henderson's super amazing and helpful post on the Rose Bowl Flea Market) here are a few pointers from me so that you too might brave the Alameda Antiques Faire in search of awesome deals and unique items for your home!

1. Go with a friend. First, it's more fun with company! This past Sunday was the first time I shopped solo. I was shopping primarily for clients, had a specific list and felt like I would concentrate better without any distractions (other than the booths of RIDICULOUSLY amazing 50's and 60's sectionals, chairs and coffee tables.) I actually felt like I needed someone to bounce ideas off of, and sanity check. As in, is this giant two faced 60's Italian vase the coolest ever, or have I lost my head? Second, pick up is a bear without a partner to help load up. There's a 15-30 minute active loading area (if you're outside the entrance it's to the left) where you can park, get a large loading cart, go retrieve your finds, and load them up, but it's a heck of a lot easier to divide and conquer.

2. Just rent a $5 shopping cart already. If you think you're going to buy a few things, I recommend a cart. These are not the loading carts that need to be returned right away, they are the good old fashioned shopping carts to be rented for the day. After about 5 hours of schlepping my giant vase, cloche, pull toy, globes, etc I was spending more time readjusting the load than shopping.

3. When you see something you love love love, pounce. Here's a good time to mention that the earlier you go, the better you will find. All the best items, real steals, and awesome furniture are often gone in the first couple hours. It's $15 to get in from 6-7...which is an awesome deal when you score a Dutch mid century side table you want to marry and have babies with.

4. Don't be afraid to ask "is this your best price?" Or make a respectable offer on anything really. The worst they can do is turn it down and most prices (if marked at all) are negotiable - for the polite and respectful shopper.

5. There's food! Tons of it! Real food, on food trucks and coffee and grits, oh my!

(Those reclaimed wood signs are by Scott Coppersmith, he makes custom signs, letters, etc too.  I think one just may be in my future - fingers crossed!)

6. When you buy a piece of furniture (or even if you're just interested) be sure to ask for the sellers card and write down the stall number painted in yellow on the ground. It's never happened to me, but my greatest fear is that I'll find a fantastic piece and can't find my way back to the booth. All the rows start to look the same after a while.

7. Bring cash, more than you think you need.  ATMs are available, but they are at the entrance which is a loooooong way from the booths at the back.  I've never tried to use a check, but it's possible sellers take them.  

I always leave the market feeling inspired, slightly overwhelmed, with something I'm just totally in love with, and excited for the next one.  Where do you guys find your favorite items for the house/apartment?  Is 6:00am, in the dark (oh, bring a flashlight!) crazy for amazing finds?

(all photos by me, processed through Instagram)


  1. My friend and I went on 4/7/13 and she bought that exact black leather armchair in your photo! So funny! We saw it first thing and after browsing for a few more hours she knew she had to make it hers. Glad to see someone else appreciated its beauty as well :)

    1. It was gorgeous! And a great price too, love the Faire!


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