So we’ve been rather quite recently on the blog due to working extensively on other parts of the business so today we thought we would treat you with a lovely blog from Alice at The Deco Press. Alice has put together a super guide to buying vintage and haggling in France – perfect for traders and lovers of all things vintage!
A Vintage Guide To France – courtesy of the lovely Deco Press
For those of us passionate about vintage, hunting for treasures never feels like work…Well, the finding and buying part doesn’t but carrying it all to the car does!
Sourcing all of The Deco Press’s stock from France means that it is generally the summer months that sees us doing the bulk of our buying for the coming year and this summer was no exception!
Finding what we love and what we think our customers will love is a matter of legwork, timing and luck. Having a good grasp of French and a cheerful smile will get you far.
Here’s our guide to where and how to buy Vintage in France.
If you’re planning on visiting a certain area, research what markets are on and when. French vintage markets are called ‘Marché Aux Puces’ which translates to mean ‘flea market’. The most famous of these are in the big cities including, of course, Paris. Visit the best known market at Porte de Clignancourt, officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, but be aware that the prices here are inflated for tourists and you’ll be paying for the reputation and location. However, you will see some AMAZING things!
A lesser known ‘Marché aux Puces’ is at Porte de Vanves. Further out on the outskirts of Paris this market is where those in the know go and it is said that traders buy from here in the morning and sell their finds over at Clignancourt in the afternoon (for a lot more money!) Visit the website for more information.
‘Brocantes’ are more like antique shops but will vary in the quality of stock from shop to shop. Here you can find a great selection of items, often haphazardly displayed on shelves, the floor and even in skips. I found an amazing 1960’s Atomic Era leatherette chair in a skip at one brocante. They thought I was mad when I said I actually wanted to buy it!
Literally translated to mean ‘Open Attic’, these take place in towns and villages throughout France and are a weekly summer excursion for many French families whether buying or selling.
Similar to a car boot sale you will find gems amongst lots of tat, but spotting the good stuff is the fun part. The French love these events which usually have a pop up bar with hot food and cold drinks, small fairground rides and even Antique Tractor Parades! We usually visit up to 4 in a weekend making sure we fit in an obligatory saucisse et frites and a bottle of Orangina along the way!
Don’t forget to haggle! You can pay the full price asked and sometimes you’ll have to as the trader will make it clear they’re not up for bartering. However, if you politely ask if they can knock an amount off they can only say no! I generally have an idea of what I think they’d sell the item for and what it’s worth to me and I go from there.
Take lots cash and bags or even a pull along trolly for heavy purchases…a battered tarten one is always a good look if you’re trying to blend in with the locals!
Thanks Alice – we now know where and how to buy vintage in France!
The Deco Press sources, mounts and frames Art-Deco to Mid-Century prints and specialises in advertising, film, fashion and vintage school posters, which they sell on Etsy. They have just opened a brand new shop inside the Handpicked Hall in the Grand Arcade in Leeds city centre and Alice also has a lovely blog which is well worth a look!
We’ll be back soon with more pre-loved inspiration and humbling stories! Alex and Sam x