Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dog Days Flea Market

Yesterday I headed out early to Dog Days Flea Market in Ardmore, Tenn., which occupies many acres of land in an open field, around 35 miles from where I live.

I read on the market’s web page that it started during the 1940's as a place where hunters would meet on Mondays to let their hunting dogs run in the woods and trade dogs; hence, the name.

Over the years, the market has expanded to include other things besides dogs for sale. Now you can find miniature horses, cattle, exotic birds, rabbits, chickens, antiques, collectibles and just plain "junk."

On this particular day, I saw no dogs or other animals for sale; just an assortment of one person's junk or another person's treasure.

The present owners purchased Dog Days Flea Market in 2000 and added electricity, showers and other accommodations for vendors. It is open year round plus two special 4-day weekends (Friday through Monday) on Memorial Day and Labor Day. These two weekends are the busiest for Dog Days Flea Market with well over a thousand vendors plus many thousands of visitors.

OK, so maybe I had no idea what to expect, but decided to go anyway. What I found was a sparse number of vendors (20, perhaps) and absolutely no “customers.” I spoke with a few of the vendors and found out that Monday is always very slow.

There was no one there to look at or buy the contents of the 16 boxes of boxes and bags in the back of my SUV. Oh, I take that back; I asked three different vendors if they had any interest in purchasing and they prowled through my stuff in a disinterested manner. One lady bought an old Tupperware bread box for $2; a man offered me $1 for a miniature shuttle mission flag and a model airplane. Three dollars. Just the wrong time to go, I told myself.

Trouble was, I did not want to bring these boxes home again; I did not want to unload them; I knew nowhere else to go to sell it, except to find a place to donate it, which is what my husband wanted me to do in the first place and is  exactly what I did.

I drove to Goodwill Industries in Athens and one of the employees brought a cart to my vehicle and took it all. I went inside to ask for a receipt and my husband is happy we can claim a donation on our federal income tax form.

Actually, I feel very good that I gave it away, hoping it will help someone in need.

I still have at least another 16 boxes sitting in the garage and I need to move it soon before it begins collecting dust. So in a few days, I’ll be packing up and heading off again to another charity.


  1. I always head straight for the donation area at a charity. I just don't have the energy to sell stuff. Put it in a box and get it out of my hands. If I had to look at my treasures in a flea market I would probably box half of them up and take them back home. I'm just not good at the decluttering like you and our mentor Mette are.


  2. 16 boxes gone and 16 left - omg, omg!
    If the stuff in the picture is your´s, you would have been a success at Vermo! Please come over to sell them here ; ).
    I agree with you. Once you go over your stuff and decide what to keep/ what to save, there is no turning back.
    The selling business is tough. I know it. But once you have gotten rid of it, you get an extra feel of satisfaction, without a regret.
    I encourage you to earn one more Gold Star from me. Don´t stop now!!

  3. P.S. I forgot to add: Never, ever buy anything yourself from a flea market - did you hear: Never, ever ; )!!

  4. It's so uplifting to clean the house out of unused things isn't it? And no doubt all those boxes of items will find great homes through the Goodwill shop.

    Though maybe you should give the market another go and come back with the rest of your boxes on a Saturday? It's nice to donate but just as nice to get a little cash back for items that you've already put an investment into.

  5. We call them Boot(trunk) sales,I have never been to one,the farmers let their fields out for them,mostly at weekends they seem to be popular as lots of cars arrivie very early to grab the best goodies I guess.

    I take anything that cannot be sent to auction to our Charity shops.
    How do you decide what items are worth? I would not have a clue,having to wait around for customers would drive me mad....I am too impatient.Still I hear a nice sum of money can be made.
    I did not know animals could be sold at these sales.

    Whatever you decide I wish you luck let us know how you get on. Ida

  6. Darla, I, too am wondering if I have the patience to follow through with selling my things. I have never been good at downsizing/decluttering either; it's something new to me but I'm beginning to like it more and more!

    Mette, I just took a deep breath and stopped by the Goodwill! The pictures are not mine; they are from the flea market's web page, so items pictured are not my own. And not to worry! I have never bought at flea markets and will not start now!! Will let you know when I am due my second Gold Star; it will be soon. :))

    Tanya, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I have been enjoying your blog for several months now. So entertaining and educational. I have learned a great deal about country living from you!

    Ida, it is indeed difficult determining what an item is worth. People actually want items for "nothing" or at least not much. Years ago when I had a yard sale, I vowed "never again," and one reason was that I priced everything VERY low because I needed to be rid of it (I was moving). But those people who love the "art of bargaining" would offer me $1 for an item marked $2. At one point, I was so exasperated I told the person she could just "have it; there is no charge; I give it to you." I will certainly let everyone know the outcome of my 16 remaining boxes! (Love your harvest picture!)

  7. You may have gone in the hole paying for the gas to drive the 35 miles and only taking in $3, but the entertainment this post provided was worth it. Great history of this particular sale. Thanks!


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