Monday, March 5, 2012


Pretty much everyone in the state of Texas has heard of the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX.  It is essentially a gigantic 4-day-long flea market that happens the weekend before the first Monday of every month (feel free to read that sentence again).  The vendors are all open Thursday - Monday starting at 8am.

Some booths go all out with giant tents/tarps/display cases/etc...but there are lots of folks that kick it laid-back style.  You typically get the best bargains from the latter.

Joey & I live about 30 minutes away and last weekend was the first time I have visited since we moved here (we have both been a handful of times prior to moving).  I went alone and found that it's kind of awkward taking photos of vendors booths without the intention of buying anything.  I need a pal to go with next time.  It's much easier to be a photo ninja with some backup.

Here is a little Canton checklist for anyone that is interested in checking it out.

  • GET THERE EARLY - There is free street parking really close to the entrance gates, but you need to get there before 9am.  It's also nice to get there early because the vendors are all still in a great mood and it's not too crowded (it gets bananas by 11am).
  • BRING CASH - But only bring the amount that you feel comfortable spending.  Because you will spend it all.  There are ATM machines there, but it's better to plan ahead and know how much you can really afford to spend.
  • BRING SOMETHING TO CARRY YOUR GOODIES - Lots of people bring carts, wagons, buggies, etc.  Vendors typically don't have bags for your purchases and the lot is huge, so it's inconvenient if you need to take something back to your car.  I prefer going with hands only to ensure that I don't buy too much stuff (I'm poor), or with a few grocery bags.
  • BE NICE - Most of the vendors traveled a long way to be here and spent a lot of money doing so.  Most are everyday people who are just trying to make a little extra cash.  Most of their prices are firm and unless you're buying something really expensive, or buying a lot of items from the same vendor, don't try to haggle.  This is just my opinion.  I promise you will not have buyers remorse for getting a pair of vintage sunglasses for $4 instead of $2.
  • BRING A FRIEND - Because it's much more fun that way.

The lady that was selling the spools and keys had so many baskets of amazing little things.  She had an entire table filled with old letterpress letters.  An entire table!  It took all of my might not to buy a ton of those letters.  Seeing as how I don't own a letterpress and all...

She was giving me the stink eye after I snapped these two I mosied on.

The vendor selling the bundles of vintage fabric was from Illinois!  He had so many amazing pieces of vintage fabric and everything was 50% off.  Swoon.

There are definitely a lot of vendors that have a bunch of crap, but I would say that 90% of the booths are excellent.  The First Monday organizers map out the vendors so that antique/vintage sellers are in one section while people selling brand-new tutus for kids and ladies cougar attire are in another.

I only stayed a few hours, but you could easily spend an entire weekend out here.

Outdoor vendor lots are only $50 for the entire weekend.  I will be more than tempted once I have a few more goodies to sell...

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