We all know how great a shopping city Phoenix is, but those well-versed in the art of spending know that the true treasures require some hunting. Enter Phoenix's flea scene. Flea markets provide shoppers with relics, both big and small, that can add personality to our homes and closets without the guilt of overspending or knowing that our best friend will have the same exact piece. There's also an indescribable joy in finding something that has history and charm to it.
Some basic tips for your first flea market outing: Bring cash, be prepared for a little haggling, and look beyond small chips in items. You never know what you might find.
Here are the nine best flea and vintage markets in the Phoenix area.
Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market
16601 North Pima Road, Scottsdale
Around since 2011, Junk in the Trunk is for the professional flea market shopper, or at the least the ambitious ones. One of the biggest flea markets you'll find in Phoenix happens a couple times a year, but it makes a big impact. The market attracts thousands to WestWorld of Scottsdale and brings together vendors carrying everything from decor and trinkets to surprisingly expensive empty bottles of alcohol. You'll also find food trucks and caterers on-site, so come hungry. It's also worth noting that parking costs change with each event. The next Junk in the Trunk event is the Scottsdale Market on April 28, 29, and 30. Tickets are $50 for pre-sale, and $65 at the gate. Check out Junk in the Trunk's website for a list of the regular sellers, ticket prices, and further details.
1500 North McClintock Drive, Tempe
Especially enthusiastic shoppers can browse up to 110 parking spaces full of clothing, textiles, instruments, and more at the market that made Romantic Homes' April 2016 list of the best flea markets in the country. The Thieves Market takes over from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month. General admission tickets are $3, but those interested in the early-bird special can pay $6 and get in at 8 a.m. For more information, visit the Thieves Market website or see the Facebook page to get a sneak peak at who might be on the vendors list.
Front Porch Pickins Vintage & Handmade Market
The Front Porch Pickins Vintage & Handmade Market is held at venues like Peoria Sports Complex, University of Phoenix Stadium, and Turf Paradise to satisfy all your rustic and handcrafted needs. Three women with a passion for repurposing came together to form this particular market, and they have since held many successful sales that have earned them plenty of popularity. Upcoming markets will take place in Phoenix, Chandler, and Scottsdale — and likely will inspire many Pinterest-worthy projects. Tickets cots vary, but they can be purchased in advance or at the event. For a few extra bucks, you can get in an hour early, before the crowd tears through the selections. Visit Front Porch Pickins' website for tickets and more information on who's selling.
The Vintage Charm Boutique
2600 East Southern Avenue, Mesa
The Vintage Charm Boutique is held at the Gather Estate in Mesa and typically features items such as pallet signs, homemade jams and jellies, sheets by The Sheet Lady, and other local favorites. The market runs from about 9 or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers holiday, spring, and purge boutique themes. Admission is free and open to the public. Check The Vintage Charm Boutique's Facebook page for regular updates on markets and items.
Alternative Black Friday Vintage Market
CityScape offers a counter to the hectic "holiday" that is Black Friday. The Alternative Black Friday Vintage Market strives to substitute long lines for leisurely strolls among local sellers and will swap bitter coffee for bubbly mimosas. Some of the big-name local vendors who have participated in the past include Robert Black Vintage, Redhead Sadie Vintage, and Pearly Mae’s Vintage. All types of items are up for grabs, so you can make a pretty big dent in your holiday shopping if you play your cards right. Businesses in the area like Urban Outfitters and Charming Charlie will also offer Black Friday specials. Admission is free. Check the event's Facebook page for more information and details on vendors.
113 North Sixth Street
Chances are you've heard of Phoenix Flea. The team behind the event is very active on Facebook and Instagram and often posts teasers for future sales and pop-up markets, as well as links to other local events going on. The shopping event at Heritage Square Park showcases local work and raises awareness for local charities and nonprofits. Phoenix Flea has a spring sale, a summer sale, and a market for Small Business Saturday. Typically, tickets cost $5. You can visit Phoenix Flea's website for details on when the next market will be held, as well as products that will be available and vendor applications.
Old Brick House Vintage Market
202 West Main Street, Mesa
Held on the second Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of each month in downtown Mesa, Old Brick House Vintage features "everything from chippy and old to shabby and chic." The Old Brick House Vintage Market has fresh merchandise every month, and is closed in July. Check the market's Facebook page for a look at what will be available at each event.
4648 North Seventh Avenue
The team at Sweet Salvage prides themselves in finding beauty in some of the rustier or less assuming trinkets and cleaning them up before its monthly market. Sweet Salvage sales are open just four days a month and feature items that promise to evoke comfort and joy. The 5,000-square-foot space on Seventh Avenue allows for plenty of vintage and rustic pieces, and a large selection of clothing, so plan on spending some time scouring for deals. And because we all know how exhausting bargain hunting can be, Sweet Salvage provides shoppers with free coffee. Visit the Sweet Salvage website for more information.
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Vintage and Vino
20464 East Riggs Road, Queen Creek
The Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Center in Queen Creek is a vintage seeker and wine lover's dream when it hosts the biannual Vintage and Vino market in spring and fall. Shoppers can find antique treasures — specifically furniture and handmade goods — and sample various wines and local snacks from food trucks. General admission and early entry tickets are sold at the door, and are cash only. Wine packet tickets are available online. Visit Vintage & Vino website for more information.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in October 2015.