The Paris Flea Market, known in France as the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, can be super overwhelming. It's a massive network of vendors selling everything from frying pans to sofas. Luckily, interior designer and Girl on the Ground columnist Elizabeth Pash has been going for years, and on a tour of the markets, she d exactly what's worth your hard-earned cash—and what you shouldn't even bother haggling over.
Watch as Elizabeth Pash goes through the market and quizzes us on if we should buy certain items or leave them behind.
If there's one thing Pash wants to convey about shopping the Paris Flea, it's NEVER pay full price. Pash is constantly asking if vendors can do better on the price, especially if she's buying multiple items from the same vendor. So if you find an item where the vendor is willing to give you a good deal, scoop it up right away.
We've all been there. We've made a decision to skip an item that in the moment feels unnecessary, only to beat ourselves up about it when we get home. If you make the trek to the Paris Flea Market, this is the time to take that item home, especially if you know you'll regret it if you don't. Pash says this usually happens to her with items like a piece of furniture with intricate original hardware or ceramics in colors and shapes she hasn't seen elsewhere.
This might sound obvious, but it's probably the most important thing to remember when shopping the Paris Flea Market. There's no point in buying something in Paris that you could easily find in any stateside flea market. Pash says this includes items like standard "antique" brass tables, gold and crystal hardware, and candlesticks. If you've seen it before, it's not worth shlepping it from Paris.
Pash owns a store, so when she is at the flea, she's always looking for items that she knows she can get a good price for back home. Even if you don't plan on turning your shopping trip into a side hustle (or full-time business), you should consider that even after a few years, you might want to make a profit off your treasure. If you find items like—Danish mid-century modern furniture!—for a good price, snap it up with the knowledge that it's an investment.
When HB was with Pash at the market, she spied a mirror that fit perfectly into a collection she's been curating (Francois Lembo jeweled mirrors!) and jumped at it immediately.