Flea Market Savvy

Early Summer is prime time for antiquing and flea market shopping on Long Island. To help navigate your excursions, we spoke with NY-based lifestyle expert, blogger and flea market guru Eddie Ross. He shares his best tips and top spots to hit on Long Island.

LIP: You have such a passion for antiquing. Tell us about the flea market tours that you offer in New York City and other local areas.
ER: It is sort of like Flea Market 101; we help shoppers take the guesswork out of the experience. On our tours, we love to share all of our tips and ideas, especially craft ideas with our guests. We offer our advice to help shoppers navigate the booths and vendors.

LIP: Do you have a few favorite spots to shop on Long Island?
ER: Sage Street Antiques in Sag Harbor is one of my favorite shops. The prices and selection are just so amazing. Then, of course there is the East Hampton show every year, which is absolutely amazing and I love heading out to Hampton Bays. There are so many great finds there. Of course, Long Island is also home to lots of thrift and church stores. And don’t forget about estate sales; they are always chock full of amazing finds.

LIP: What are some of your favorite tips?
ER: If nothing else, always remember to keep an open mind when shopping. If something is a bit tarnished or on the dingy side, you have to look past that and think about its potential. There are so many treasures to be found, so many diamonds in the rough that with a little (or a lot!) of elbow grease they can really turn into something quite beautiful.

LIP: Any suggestions when it comes to cleaning?
ER: For linens, I always turn to The Laundress line of products. They make the most powerful, yet gentle cleansers for linens. It is so important when laundering antiqued linens since they are so fragile. I also recommend Maas polish when it comes to polishing up silverware. It really gives tarnished items their shine back. Then, for China, I stick to washing them in the sink with good old, warm, soapy water. Never, ever put them in the dishwasher!

LIP: What are some of your favorite ways to use your finds?
ER: I love bringing out my glassware and other tabletop finds to use for outdoor entertaining in the summer. My favorite tip is to set a dining room setting outdoors. Bring out your linens, gorgeous crystal and favorite mismatched silverware and have some fun.

LIP: What are some trends you’re seeing right now?
ER: Anything bamboo or brass is hot right now. Also, I’m seeing shoppers mixing and matching different styles and time periods a lot more so they’re looking for everything from mod 1970’s glassware to more traditional antique monogrammed napkins

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.