Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Get a Seller Space Rosemont & Palatine

Here is practical information on how to get a seller space at Wolff's Flea Market. For specific Seller Tips & Rules, please visit our website
PALATINE: 1775 N. Rand Rd
Open for sellers at 6am. Walk-in/daily/non-reserved sellers arrive a little before 6am. Write your name on the "Sign-Up Sheet" at the outside front door. At that time, you can also write down if you need more than one space, electricity (+$2) or to rent a table (+$6). At 6am, staff removes the list. You go into the building at that time and will be assigned a selling space on a first-come-first served basis. Staff will direct you as to where to park and unload your merchandise. Carts are also available for use.

COST: $20 Sat., $25 Sun.  Spaces measure 8' x 12'. Corner/wall spaces cost more. If you would like to keep your space overnight from Sat. to Sun., please let the front desk know, and pay a $4 overnight storage fee. You will then not need to arrive at 6am on Sunday because your space is already held for you. Please bring tarps to cover your table overnight. We can accommodate 300+ sellers.
Allstate Arena

ROSEMONT: Allstate Arena 6920 N. Mannheim Rd. 
Open Sundays*

*Our schedule can occasionally vary according to weather and stadium events, so please refer to our website, facebook and twitter for the most up-to-date information. 

Open for sellers at 3am. (Yes, it's true, but we sell coffee...) Enter vendor line on north side of building on Lunt and drive west. Remain in your car. Follow staff directions for payment. They will also direct you to your selling space.

COST: $35. No reservations necessary. Spaces are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. You park your vehicle in your 18' x 25' seller space.

We can accommodate 700 sellers. HINT: If the weather forecast is sunny and warm, the market will be busier. There is a small chance that we may run out of spaces. It has only happened a couple of times in 20 years. Overflow vendors would then be directed to our Palatine market.

3am revisited: You don't need to be at Rosemont as early as 3am, but you will see that other vendors arrive before and after this time. David recommends 4:30am-5:00am. Eventually, repeat vendors figure out what time they need to arrive to be assigned a desirable space, and to have the proper amount of time for set up. Don't worry! Our staff is organized and helpful!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


We have just sent out our spring mailing to over 8000 people via snail mail, and now to over 2100 subscribers people email.  The information you see is applicable to vendors as well as customers. The two terms are often interchangeable because one often becomes the other!
 Please visit us in Palatine AND Rosemont all summer long!

Outdoors at the ALLSTATE ARENA
6920 N. Mannheim, between Higgins and Touhy, Rosemont, IL

Sept 25:     Open 6am-3pm
Oct 2:        Open 6am-3pm
Oct 9:        Open 6am-3pm
Oct 16       Open 6am-3pm
Oct 23:      Open 6am-3pm
Oct 30:      Open 6am-3pm  Last scheduled date for the 2011 Season

Please keep in mind, that occasionally a show will be added by the Allstate Arena that will cause the flea market to close for the day, or to close earlier in the day than normal.  We will always post updated schedules at our markets, twitter (wolffsflea), facebook and website ( Also call 847-524-9590 for updates.  Please subscribe to our email list through to receive immediate, frequent updates and news.

Visit Wolff’s Flea Market in Palatine – 1775 N. Rand Rd.  This market contains 350 indoor spaces, 50 outdoor spaces and is open both Saturdays and Sundays.  Visit Palatine for free with paid admission at our Allstate Arena Market!  Please scroll down for more information.

ROSEMONT INFORMATION:                       

A:  DAYS OF OPERATION:  Sundays. 6:00am to 3:00pm (Open for vendors at 4:00am)
B. VENDING SPACE FEE:  $35, Corner Spaces $45 (Current reserved vendors who have a corner - $35)
C. YEARLY RESERVATION:  $150  The Reservation fee is a yearly one time fee. This fee holds a specific space for a vendor if the vendor arrives prior to 6:30am.  Reserved vendors still need to pay daily rental fees.
D. TABLES:  $7/day per 6’ table
E. Reserved spaces are held until 6:30am
F. Spaces are 25’ X 18’ (25’ front; 3 parking spaces)
G. Plenty of spaces are also available on a first come first serve basis for vendors who have not reserved in advance. In 20 years, we have turned vendors away only a couple of times.  Oversized vehicles may require a second space. Please refer to vendor rules at
H. CUSTOMER ADMISSION:  $2 Adults, $1 Senior Citizens (62+) & children 6-12, children under 6 are free. $3 Early Admission fee prior to 6am
Discounted multi-visit passes are available at our information booth during market hours.

1775 N. Rand Rd  (Just north of Dundee Rd.)

Wolff’s Flea Market has renewed its lease at the Palatine location through March 2012.  We are located on Rand Rd., just north of Dundee, only minutes off of Route 53.  This intersection is one of the busiest in the northwest suburbs, and only about 20 minutes northwest of our outdoor location at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. This market has been open for almost 1 1/2 years and has been a huge success from opening day!

Both reserved spaces and walk in spaces are available. Please refer to vendor rules at Reserved spaces are limited and will be dependent on what type of merchandise the vendor has to offer.  If you are interested in a reserved space, it is important that this is accomplished early in the summer as we quickly fill up once we get to late summer/early fall!

We will also have outdoor spaces available beginning some time in April.  Dates and pricing will be determined shortly.


1.     DAYS OF OPERATION:  Saturdays and Sundays
2.     HOURS:   8:00am -4:00pm (open for vendors at 6:00 am)
3.     SUMMER PRICING (May-August)
a)   Reservation/Storage: (non-refundable) $55 per month for the first space, $45 for the second space, $40 for the 3rd and additional spaces
b)    Daily Fee:   1st Space.....Saturday - $20, Sunday - $25              
                               2nd Space.....Saturday - $18, Sunday - $22
                               3rd Space (+ addtl spaces).....Saturday - $16, Sunday - $19
                               Corners and Walls are an additional $5 per day
4.     FALL/WINTER PRICING (September-April)
a)     Reservation/Storage: (non-refundable) $70 per month for the first space, $60 for the second space, $55 for the 3rd space
b)    Daily Fee:
      Regular Space - Saturday  $22, Sunday  $28
             Corner/Wall     - Saturday  $27, Sunday  $33
a)     Electricity:  $2 per day
b)    Table Rental:  $6 per day, $10 per weekend (6’ tables)
c)     Saturday overnight storage for non-reserved vendors:  $4
d)    Customer Admission: $1 for adults, .50 for seniors and children 6-12, under 6 free.
6.     Every weekend, non-reserved spaces will also be available on a first come first serve basis
7.     Spaces are 12’ X 8’ (12’ front)
8.     Vendors storing merchandise are required to pay their daily rental fee whether they are present or not.
9.      The Village of Palatine requires that all vendors supply us with their name and address, which will also be given to Palatine.  Packaged food vendors must obtain a food license from the Village of Palatine.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

National Flea Market Association Conference

I was so excited to be going to my first NFMA conference! After stocking the cupboards and writing detailed directions for my wonderful nephew who would be staying with the younger Wolff's, eight of us were off to Vegas, baby, for the 13th Annual National Flea Market Association (NFMA) Conference.

100 flea markets nationwide belong to the NFMA. It was wonderful to be able to meet with many interesting people and share information and ideas about our markets.

Official mission statement of the NFMA: "The National Flea Market Association exists to serve the public interest and to benefit the flea market industry by fostering high standards of business conduct which merits public trust." Source:

Speakers from the industry shared pertinent information with us. We heard from Ron Cates of Constant Contact  (our email serviceand he called me his "hero" because we have over 2000 people on our email list, which is more than the other flea market in attendance! It was nice to hear that we are utilizing today's technology and reaching so many people! And there is even more to expand upon as we move forward! We will be working on utilizing"smartphone technology" and connecting all of our social media sites: website, facebook group, facebook page, blog, twitter, youTube, email. Hope you can keep up with us!

Greg Dove shared flea market survey statistics with us. You may already know this, but now it is official! Flea markets are economically important. They provide family income, create jobs and offer a venue for small business entrepreneurs. For further reading,  please go to an extensive survey conducted by University of Chicago professor, John A. List.

Yes, there was glitz and glamour, laughter and bonding, a lot of walking, too much eating and an unspecified amount of gambling. (Not me, I saved my money for new shoes and sat at the machines learning how to use the iPhone for future flea market applications!). Some of us came home with winnings, some with new shoes, but we all came home with very valuable knowledge to help us make                                                                                                       Wolff's Flea Market even better!

Of course, we couldn't pass up an opportunity to record Wolff's Flea Market Jingle in Las Vegas!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More Than Chips: Entertaining With Flea Market Finds: Part 2


Fully stocked cart
When I saw this kitchen cart upstairs in Palatine, I think it actually communicated with me. I felt some power of attraction and knew I must have it. It seemed lonely and out of place, never really having a true purpose in its previous life. I found out it had sat for years in a storage unit, left to fend for itself, receiving minor dings after it was purchased and deserted. A rescue mission by me seemed to be in order. After paying for it, I realized that this behemoth was definitely something to be reckoned with. It was solid wood and HEAVY! Luckily, it had wheels. I haphazardly rolled it onto the elevator (or did it roll me?) and placed it behind the front desk.

As I walked through the flea market, I received many approving nods from customers and vendors, because after all, although not an antique, this was a quality piece of furniture that just looked important. I think our vendors were happy to see me purchase such a large item, which possibly showed my support of their hard work. When customers see a large item purchased by a staff member, I think it seems to raise the importance of that item in their eyes. They think, "Why didn't I see that?", or  "It must be something good if one of the Wolff's bought it."

For the rest of the day, all of us behind the front desk walked around it and I heard various comments: Who bought that thing? What is that? What is Sharon going to do with that?  Where will she put it? That's big. That's really heavy. Yes, I knew this cart had possibilities; but what?

By the time I hauled Big Cart to my van (by myself), drove home, and interrupted my boys from Wii to lug it into the house, my creative juices were cooking. Never mind their comments, "Now what did you buy Mom?" and  "Is this going to be my the way by the computer?" When I have an idea, I really don't listen or even hear what people are saying about my plan and it's possible intrusion into their space. I just forge ahead and do it.

Here are the steps I took and the items I collected to transform Big Cart into a functional, attractive beverage station for entertaining:

Bottle opener with
waste container

  1. Applied 4 coats of clear varnish on top for protection and allowed it to dry for 3 days
  2. Placed an 18" x 18" scrap marble slab on top as a drink preparation surface
  3. Attached a metal bottle opener (I couldn't find a vintage one, so I purchased one at a restaurant supply store)
  4. Various white plates and bowls, all purchased at the flea
  5. Great snack food, also purchased at the flea
  6. Liquor, soda, ice bucket misc, supplies (not from the flea)
  7. At the last minute, I attached a stainless steel canister from Ikea under the bottle opener that served as a waste receptacle. It worked!
  8. As an added touch, I printed directions for a few cocktails

Click photo for 5 recipes
of popular cocktails
So, whose choice was it to bring this heavy, over sized cart into my house? The cart? Or me? Either way, Big Cart met with rave reviews at my party and hopefully I will be motivated to entertain more often in the future. Big Cart isn't going anywhere and has found its forever home.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Decorating With Flea Market Finds: Stocking the Kitchen

The challenge last Saturday at Wolff's Flea Market in Palatine was the result of an idea that popped into my mind about 5 minutes before I announced it on the loud speaker. I am currently developing a long-term theme, "Decorating With Flea Market Finds", that will run through the end of the summer. As I thought about how to apply and share this idea with our thousands of followers, inspiration hit me. I remembered a conversation I had at the National Flea Market Conference with Anthony Pretto of Kobey's Swap Meet, San Diego.  He had created a "how-to" video for cheaply furnishing an apartment. I thought, "YES, we can do that at Wolff's!" It is so exciting to hear about new ideas that my subconscious immediately began to ruminate. Hence, Saturday's theme emerged.

Usually, when I create what I call a "facebook photo theme",  I invite members of Wolff's Flea Market Facebook Group and announce it over the speaker at Palatine so that customers and vendors will know what I have planned for the day. Saturday's theme called for a "virtual stocking" of basic kitchen supplies.  I planned to meander the market in search of kitchen items.  I would ask prices, and take photos and video of my finds. The theme would not include food or large appliances. Beyond that, I didn't know what I would find, nor if I could find it all in one place or on one day.

Guess what? I did it! Take a look at this video and you'll see how we stocked our kitchen for under $400!
Items include: dishes, glasses, silverware, mixing bowls, pots and pans. coffee maker, microwave, toaster oven, utensils, blender, knives, bowls, coffee mugs and more! Most items were new and some were gently used. Definitely a great starter collection of kitchen supplies!  Watch the video here.