I stopped by the DC Big Flea this weekend, and not surprising the thing has gone way down hill in terms of appealing vendors. I spent $20.00 in total that day, and what did I get for that price? Admission to the show for two.
99.9% of the vendors were selling antiques, while the only three toy vendors fit the following stereotype;
- Overpriced Old Guy - This is the guy that has many obscure toys from the 30's to 80's such as puzzles, board games, figures, cars, lunch boxes etc. Unfortunately he is so far out in left field with his prices that anyone with a Smartphone is soon walking away shaking their head. This is the guy that thinks just because it's not on store shelves anymore that it has to be worth several hundreds of dollars. He's easily offended when you point out a more realistic buying price, and will tell you to buy from someone else before he budges on his price.
- Random Old Lady - You've seen her before. She has crates full of loose / incomplete / broken figures that she's asking eight to ten dollars a piece for. She has no clue what she has on hand, nor would you buy it anyway because for that same price you can get it complete, and in better condition off of ebay. If she were lucky, someone would offer her ten dollars for the entire bucket - Which she won't have the good sense to take.
- Local Scalper - Everyone's home town favorite. The guy that goes to all the local stores to buy everything new so he can sell it to you at a substantial mark up. He's particularly pleased with his wares as he smiles arrogantly at you, and explains his stock in great detail to you as if he's the only expert in town on the subject matter. He's not the local hero he thinks he is who has all the new figures you want. He's the local jerk who is making it so you can't buy it off store shelves for a reasonable price. In his mind he doesn't understand why you hate him. After all, he's doing you a favor. He's saved you the hassle of going to the store to find it, and all he wants is three times the retail price for his troubles.
Admittedly I've only been to the DC Big Flea twice (my first was with Brian of Cool and Collected). After shelling out twenty bucks to walk away empty handed, this will certainly be my last one for a long time, if not forever. There was just nothing there.
I came with camera in hand to take photos of everyone's exciting wares. Sadly, there was nothing to see.