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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Antique Oil Bottles at Wolff's Flea Market

Guest Blogger: Candice Lee Conner
Last week on my social media journey through Wolff's Flea Market, I ran across these ball jars with weird spouts. At first glance, one might think these rustic spouts atop milk bottle like bottles are for the kitchen - or so I thought. 
Antique Oil Bottles at Wolff's Flea Market Chicago

Turns out these small beauties are antique oil bottles from the Masters MFG Co. 

From Collector's Weekly, "Before disposable metal, paper, and plastic engine-oil containers became commonplace, drivers pulling into gas stations and asking for oil often had to watch and wait as the lubricant was hand pumped from a drum into a spouted glass bottle."

The attendant at the gas station would bring one of these bottles to your car and fill it for you. Sometimes, you'd get to the gas station and they would already be there waiting in racks - just like the rack that you see in the picture! 

While they may not be used to add oil to your car anymore, they are still a popular item! On eBay they sell for anywhere between $30 for just a spout, to $300 for the bottle and the spout! 

This set was spotted at Wolff's Flea Market Rosemont Allstate Arena.
Six out of the eight spouts have their original oil bottles. Two spouts are attached to Atlas Jars - also a fine antique.

Thanks Jim, Cindy and Riba for showing these to me. You can buy the entire set for a steal at $375! 

Read more about petroliana HERE and HERE

Friday, August 12, 2016


What is your policy on Offensive Merchandise?
Wolff's Flea Market has never allowed the sale of prejudicial or offensive merchandise. 
Recently, we have found the need to become more specific in what we qualify as offensive.
We realize some patrons might not agree with our decision, but as a family business, we feel confident that we are making the correct choice for our market.
  1. While we know some people consider WWII items to be collectible rather than offensive, we ban the sales and display of both current and older, historical Nazi related merchandise. This includes but is not limited to items bearing a variety of symbols and insignia that were present in WWII Nazi Germany, such as flags, ribbons, pins, jewelry, etc.
  2. We also do not allow the sales or display of new or historical Confederate merchandise (including, but not limited to flags, stickers, license plate frames, etc.)
In these two instances, we have chosen to draw a line between would-be historical and offensive merchandise.

What if I see something that you ban?
Wolff's has in place a designated trained Info Team to inspect merchandise for banned items. A goal of this team is to educate vendors so that they may experience safe and successful sales in the future.

Occasionally items may be pointed out that we may have missed. We appreciate communication from clientele about these matters. We want to know so that we may intervene and educate. While our team patrols the market for hours we also appreciate the extra set of eyes. If you see something questionable, please make sure that you are directed to management in order for us to act upon your concern. We attempt to educate our employees regarding customer concerns so that they understand the process of reporting problems directly to management.

You may also call or text 847-524-9590 with a description of merchandise and a Space Number. 
Our research is ongoing, and is imperative that new sellers read our rules for the most updated information. 

How is your policy beneficial to us?
Examples of how we shape our policies to benefit our clientele:
  1. We banned hoverboards as soon as we found out about fire hazard dangers due to overheating and counterfeit batteries
  2. We do not allow baby items like high chairs, cribs, strollers, car seats etc. because of safety and recall concerns
  3. We do not allow the sales or advertising of animals for sale
  4. Those of you familiar with us already know our powerful patrol program of Prevention, Intervention, Education (PIE) related to the sales of counterfeit merchandise
We consider our Merchandise Rules to be very detailed but also reserve the right to ban any merchandise that we deem unacceptable.

To read more on this topic, click on the following links:


BY SHARON WOLFF Creative Media & Merchandise Consultant to Wolff's Flea market
We are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice. Information here is gathered from our experience and ongoing research. Counterfeits are not allowed at Wolff's Flea Market. 
Vendors are responsible for monitoring their own merchandise.)
Questions?     Call or text 847-524-9590 
Originally published May 2015, Edited 8/12/16
  1. WHAT IS A COUNTERFEIT? Counterfeit products are illegal fake copies of real products. People knowingly or unknowingly buy or sell counterfeits. Other related terms: fake, copy, replica, forgery, knock-off, bootleg, pirated, unlicensed, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, look-alike.
  2. IS THERE A LAW? The Lanham Trademark Act is the federal law prohibiting counterfeits. It bans the use of: copied pictures, words, symbols, logos, etc. except to original trademark owners. This law protects brands and their intellectual property.
  3. WHY DON’T YOU ALLOW COUNTERFEITS? We strive to uphold the law and maintain our market as a legitimate shopping venue. 
  4. WHO CARES? We care because counterfeit products are illegal, deceptive and poor quality. Brand owners, private investigators, US Customs, and other governmental agencies send people into flea markets to raid, arrest and sue individuals and market owners. Additionally, stores, individuals, mall kiosks, wholesalers, importers, manufacturers, websites and street vendors are also routinely busted. Unfortunately, counterfeiting continues.
  5. WHAT KINDS OF THINGS ARE COUNTERFEITED? In one word: EVERYTHING. Every brand and type of item is vulnerable. Trendy and expensive items are highly desireable and fall prey to counterfeiting over and over again.
  6. WHAT DOES “CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR” MEAN? A pattern, logo or packaging design that closely resembles the real item and causes you at first or second glance think it is the real item. A brand name or logo may not be present, but a pattern, color combination, packaging, wording, etc.  may be very similar. Other terms: trademark dilution

  8. WHY DO STORES SELL “COMPARE TO” ITEMS IN SIMILAR BOXES? Comparative advertising is legal in the US if item is “clearly identified, truthful, and non-deceptive) (wikipedia). However, we occasionally see lawsuits between companies. 
  9. WHAT ABOUT THOSE  SPORTS “PARODY” T-SHIRTS? We used to allow limited designs that did not use the name of a team or certain parts of logos. We currently do not allow sports parody shirts. This is an subjective and gray area of ongoing research. 
  10. COME ON, IT’S A FLEA MARKET, PEOPLE DON’T EXPECT TO FIND THE REAL THING HERE! It is illegal to sell counterfeits, wherever you are. We work hard to maintain our reputation for offering legitimate goods and NOT counterfeits. 
  11. WHAT IF I TELL THE BUYER IT IS COUNTERFEIT? It is illegal to sell counterfeit merchandise.
  12. BUT THE CUSTOMER DOESN’T CARE AND WANTS IT It is illegal to sell counterfeit merchandise. We recognize that the counterfeit industry is fueled by consumer demand for look-alike cheap products.
  13. WHAT IF IT IS ONLY ONE ITEM? It is illegal to sell counterfeit merchandise. Did you know that several trademarks or patents may apply to only one item?
  14. WHAT IF I DIDN’T KNOW? Well, now you know, so put it away. Repeat offenders may be ejected from the market. 99% of our vendors choose to be educated and safe. However other vendors have been permanently ejected over the years for continuing to sell counterfeits.
  15. WHAT IF IT IS USED? It is illegal to sell counterfeit merchandise, NEW or USED.
  16. WHAT ABOUT “THAT GUY” OVER THERE WHO IS SELLING IT? If you see someone selling banned merchandise, please give us a space number and we will check it out. You may do this anonymously. 
  17. CAN I JUST SELL IT TODAY? NO. It is illegal to sell counterfeits. 
     (click on photo to read small print)
  18. WHY WAS I ABLE TO BUY THESE COUNTERFEITS TO BEGIN WITH? We enforce our own rules, and cannot answer for the manufacturer, importer, store, guy, other flea market, website or wholesaler where you bought the counterfeit item(s). Unfortunately, even when vendors use good faith in asking their source about the legitimacy of their purchase, they may be told that it is "ok", when it is in fact counterfeit. Counterfeiting is a worldwide problem that is not limited to flea markets. At least 80% of counterfeits are from China and only a fraction are stopped at ports of entry. Some components separately enter the country through regular mail and are assembled into counterfeits
    here. Arrests can and do happen, so we need to stop it HERE and NOW 
  • We have a 3 part program: Prevention-Intervention-Education (PIE)
  • We conduct ongoing research
  • We monitor over 100 vulnerable brands and licenses. We do not allow certain highly counterfeited brands: Coach, Louis Vuitton, MAC, Beats by Dre, Otterbox, Lifeproof, Gucci, Chanel.
  • We monitor 8 categories of merchandise: Electronics/Phone Accessories, Purses, CDs/DVDs, Clothing, Perfume/Cosmetics, Jewelry/Sunglasses, Toys, Licensed Sports Apparel.
  • We analyze products according to many parameters.
  • We use hands-on training with photos and items to teach staff and vendors about counterfeits.
  • We vigilantly patrol our markets. 
   19.  HOW DOES YOUR POLICY PROTECT US? Our policy keeps customers from making fraudulent purchases, prevents vendors from arrest and protects the flea market from vicarious liability lawsuits for allowing counterfeit sales. Flea market raids occur all around the country. Designers Coach and Louis Vuitton have won millions of dollars from lawsuits against flea market owners.
  • Vendor arrests: NY, IL, WI, IN, TX, FL, MO, KY, SC, MA
  • Coach: Swap Shop, FL ($5.5M), Visitors Flea Market, FL ($42M/bankruptcy), New Hampshire, Chicago, 
  • Louis Vuitton: Eisenhauer, TX ($3.6M), Swap Shop, FL (undisclosed, but over $5.5M)
Questions?     847-524-9590 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


As always, please check facebook or twitter for 
last minute changes due to stadium events or weather
(Palatine market remains open every Saturday & Sunday 8am-4pm at 1775 N Rand)
(Scroll down to print)


Sundays through October 30

For updates due to weather or events, please text or call 847-524-9590


October 2, 2016-6am – TBD (please call for hours)
October 9, 2016-6am – 3pm
October 16, 2016-6am – 3pm
October 23, 2016-6am – 3pm
October 30, 2016-6am – 12:30pm (Vendors Vacate 2:45pm) LAST DAY


Tuesday, July 26, 2016


*****Sorry no pets allowed. Service animals welcome. Please do not leave your animals in your car where temperatures quickly reach dangerous levels.

OPEN FOR VENDORS 7am May-October. Plenty of daily and weekend non-reserved/walk in spaces available on a first-come-first serve basis. 

SIGN IN: Please sign clipboard on door or at front desk and we will get you a space! Monthly reservations with storage also available.

FEES: $20 Saturday/$25 Sunday May-October ($22/$28 November-April)

Saturday to Sunday overnight storage fee for non reserved vendors $4 (please bring a tarp to cover or secure your merchandise)

TABLE RENTAL: $6 for a 6' table per day or $10 per weekend (or bring your own table). Carts available free of charge to transport your merchandise.

ELECTRICITY: $2 per day

MONTHLY RESERVATIONS: $55 ($70 November-April) RESERVED VENDORS REQUIRED TO PAY DAILY FEES whether or not they are present. 

Daily fees must be paid for all spaces occupied with merchandise. Items left in spaces that are not paid for will be considered abandoned and disposed of at management's discretion.

SPACE SIZE: 12' wide x 8' deep

Open Sundays through October 30

ALLSTATE ARENA 6920 N. Mannheim, between Higgins & Touhy, Rosemont, IL  60018

OPEN FOR VENDORS 2am, but you don't need to come this early

If you arrive by 5am, you will be fine! Just figure out how long you need to set up and arrive accordingly. 
Spaces assigned on a first come-first served basis. Nice weather days bring out more early vendors, so plan to arrive
earlier on those days.

ENTER off Lunt at lot entrance on west side of building.

GET IN LINE, STAY IN YOUR CAR: Staff will direct you from there!

FEE: $40, Corner Spaces $50

SPACE SIZE:  25’ X 18’ (25’ front/3 parking spaces). Park your vehicle across the back of space.

TABLES: $7/day per 6’ table. Pay for table rental at entrance and we will deliver it to your space.
Occasionally we may run out of tables on a busy day.

YEARLY RESERVATION: $150- Reservation fee is a yearly one time fee. This fee holds a specific space for a vendor if the vendor arrives prior to 6:15am. Reserved vendors also pay daily rental fee.
Reserved spaces held until 6:15am, at which time they will be assigned to a non-reserved vendor. No one day reservations.
DAILY/NON-RESERVED VENDORS: Plenty of spaces are also available on a first come first serve basis for daily (non-reserved) vendors. Oversized vehicles may require a second space. We can accomodate over 700 vendors. The nicer the weather, the busier we will be, so plan to come earlier to set up your space on those days.

CANOPIES: If you are using a canopy, you must weigh each front corner with at least 40 pounds of weight. Back supports may be secured to your vehicle, but not to m