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Travel With the Junk Gypsies to Flea Markets

By: Marcia Ricapito
Hop on board the pink Suburban (a.k.a. Large Marge the Party Barge) with sisters Amie Sikes and Jolie Sikes- Smith, hosts of HGTV’s Junk Gypsies, as they dust off dressers and reimagine relics at the flea market.
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Photo: Rob Howard. From: HGTV Magazine.

Best Flea Markets in America

Alameda Point Antiques Faire Alameda, CA,

Brimfield Antique Show Brimfield, MA,

Rose Bowl Flea Market Pasadena, CA,

Scott Antique Markets Atlanta & Columbus, OH,

Warrenton Antique Show Warrenton, TX,

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Photo: Rob Howard. From: HGTV Magazine.

Junk Gypsy Secret

The sisters bedazzle everything from Buddhas to lamps with their collections of costume jewelry. "It's a great way to look at those gorgeous old stones every day," says Amie.

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Photo: Rob Howard. From: HGTV Magazine.

Gypsies in Texas

Amie and Jolie have a love affair with shadow boxes. The sisters like using them for hard-to-frame finds such as old license plates and toddler shoes. "Combine a few items from a special event and you’ve created a memory in a box," says Jolie.

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Photo: Rob Howard. From: HGTV Magazine.

Dealing With Dealers

How to get what you want and not get taken:

- Got cash? You may get a slight discount if you use it. But remember to hit the ATM before you go to the flea market — cash machines can be scarce and charge high fees. Carry a credit card, too (many vendors accept them) and your checkbook. You’d be surprised how many dealers will take out-of-state checks.

- No over-haggling. "Just ask, 'Is that your best price?'" says Amie. Continually offering less is disrespectful.

- Buy it when you see it. A dealer may be willing to hold something for a short time, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. But if you really love a piece, grab it. Jolie lost out on a set of cowhide-covered barstools that she thought about for a little too long.

- Don’t be limited by what will fit in your carry-on. At the Warrenton show in Texas, where the Junk Gypsies have a popular stall, shipping companies will pick up your purchases for you, pack them, and deliver them right to your doorstep. "They are very reliable," says Amie. But don’t commit until you ask the price, which can be pretty steep.

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