Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hen on a Nest: Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Why did the chicken cross the road? 
To look pretty sitting on a nest!

By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner

If you have ever attended a venue that involves the sale of second hand goods, you've probably see a "Hen on a Nest" covered dish. Prices range from a buck to hundreds of dollars, depending on which piece you find. 

And these chickens come in every shape, size, color, and theme. You can get one that matches your table, your carnival glass collection, your kitchen, your...mood. The chickens are everywhere! 

Hen on a nest covered dishes came about as cheaper alternatives to the glass menageries that were being made in China, and later by Staffordshire and Dresden in Europe. The original maker could have been the Westmoreland Glass Company as early as the 1860s. They were often made from a more fragile milk glass than the more common thicker milk glass we see today. 

From there, the chicken craze flew the coop! During the late 1800s, several makers made these collectibles. Known names included Atterbury, Challinor, Sandwich, Central and McKee. Eventually Fenton and Anchor Hocking joined the party. And thus the reason why you can buy a hen on nest for $400 or $5. 

Feel like the hen on a nest covered dish is an item you want to collect? Watch out for replicas and married pieces. And make sure to collect the pieces you like. This is true for all antiques, but because of the sheer volume of chickens, there will always be opportunity to add another one to your collection. 

Marks: A good bit of hens aren't marked, but those that are will probably have one of the markings you will see on the links below. Look for these indicators to make sure your hen on a nest is the real thing. 

Glass Bottle Marks:

Also visit The National Milk Glass Collector's Society: 
Two chickens at Wolff's Flea Market. White one is Westmoreland.
(PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Guest Blogger: Candice Conner- The Boot Pipe

By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner

Not so fast! A Boot Pipe?
PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner

It's not everyday you come across a metal pipe with a boot bowl. I stumbled upon it, pun intended, at Wolff's Flea Market and purchased it for my mother in law. I loved the long stem and the Chinese drawings that were pressed onto the pipe. 

What I didn't know at the time was that I had an antique opium pipe! Opium has been a popular drug throughout history, especially in China. This was until the 1950s when, through social reform, the selling and use of opium decreased significantly - which is why I believe it's rare to find pipes like these. 

This pipe, like many pipes still out there, are more for decoration these days. For the boot pipe in particular, the second stem is missing from the top - note the hole on the left. There are also lots of cracks in the boot, which indicate that this item was crudely made. However, the artwork is intact and beautiful, and the pipe cleaned up quite well with a bit of toothpaste

Antiques opium pipes may range from $20 to $200.

Read here for more information on the history of opium pipes:

Wolff's Flea Market Note:
We do not allow the sales of new/current drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling paper, bongs, etc. This rare antique boot pipe is an example of an item bought and sold for its collectibility, and not for use.

Guest Blogger Candice Conner: School Box

By Candice Lee Conner
Graphic Designer, Photographer and Urban Archaeologist 

When I was a kid, I loved going back to school for one reason - new school supplies. Notebooks, pencils, pens, HIGHLIGHTERS, crayons and markers. And to be perfectly honest, I still buy new supplies during the back to school sale, even though the last time I visited a classroom was in 2008. 

All of my goodies would be thrown into my school box. I eventually went for the "cooler" neon plastic style. But until fourth grade, I had a cardboard crayon box. There's just something about an actual paper box that makes you want to hold all of your school essentials and tiny treasures. 

The school box's ancestor is the noble cigar box. Kids would run to cigar establishments every summer to get a nice box for their treasures. Back then cigar boxes were free. Now...not so much. As cigar box school boxes became popular, two companies latched onto the idea and made their own kind of school box - one that literally said "School Box" so that you couldn't mistake it for anything else. The companies, General Box and the Jacksonville Ginger Box Company produced their school boxes from the 1960s to the early 1990s. 

Today, the original boxes can be found at all places vintage - including Wolff's Flea Market of course. They have also made a resurgence in the DIY community. Just type in "school box" on Pinterest, and commence  the nostalgia!

PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What is Live Edge Wood?

Do you know about this hot repurposing trend? 

Live edge wood is a vertical length slice. Sizes vary and include the natural edge, bark and beautiful imperfections. Now you can buy precut slices of Live Edge Wood at Wolff's Flea Market Palatine for your own DIY imagination. Pictured here is our first project sitting atop our reclaimed wood side table.

Cedar was sanded, scraped and coated with semi gloss to bring out the amazing natural grain. Fast and easy project! More to come! Questions? Just ask us!

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 11/17/16, 3/7/2017
  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 and/or sued. 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 desirable 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 actually be present, but 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. Read more here.
  9. WHAT ABOUT THOSE  SPORTS “PARODY” T-SHIRTS? Years ago we allowed 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 a 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, trendy 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 selling 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 apply 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 200 vulnerable brands and licenses. We do not allow certain highly counterfeited brands: Coach, Louis Vuitton, MAC, Beats by Dre, Otterbox, Lifeproof, Gucci, Chanel, KatVonD.
  • We monitor 9 categories of merchandise: Electronics/Phone Accessories, Purses, CDs/DVDs, Clothing, Perfume/Cosmetics, Jewelry/Sunglasses, Toys, Licensed Sports Apparel, Homegoods.
  • 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, Louis Vuitton and UGG 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?    Call or Text  847-524-9590 

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

Monday, July 25, 2016


Wolff's Flea Market is a family owned business, now celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Since 1991 it has operated Sundays April through October in Rosemont at the Allstate Arena. With the support of their parents, Katherine and Lawrence Wolff, and sister Eileen, brothers Donald and David Wolff built Wolff's Flea Market into the premier family-friendly shopping destination for Chicagoland bargain shoppers and small business entrepreneurs. It boasts 700+ vendors and 12,000+ customers. Wolff’s has previously operated indoor markets in Mt. Prospect, Rolling Meadows and Melrose Park. In November 2009, Wolff’s opened its year-round Saturday/Sunday indoor market at 1775 N. Rand Rd., Palatine with 300+ vendors.

David and Donald: "We love Palatine and the wonderful opportunities is has afforded not only to us, but to our loyal small business vendors, customers and neighboring community.

Donald holds a degree in Business Management from NIU. He authors the humorous Bathroom Reader, available at the Palatine market. Collects: Political memorabilia

David holds a degree in Finance from NIU and is also a CPA. He is Treasurer and Vice President of the National Flea Market Association and has published The 12 Most Important Tips for Becoming a Successful flea Market Vendor (link is external).  Collects: Baseball memorabilia

Chris Wolff (Don's son) holds business degrees from Pepperdine University and UIC. He manages operations at the market. His fluency in Spanish is very helpful. Collects and sells: Vinyl

Eileen Wolff (sister) a lifelong flea marketeer is the friendly face who greets vendors and customers at the crack of dawn. Hearing her infectious laugh is the best way to start your day!

Sharon Wolff (David's wife) holds a degree in Special Education from U of I-Champaign-Urbana. As Creative Media & Merchandise Consultant, she answers phones, manages social media and conducts research and training regarding counterfeits. Sharon presents "Counterfighter" Workshops at National Flea Market Association Conferences. She maintains Wolff's Flea Market Blog (link is external) and her article, Buy Safely, Sell Safely: Avoiding Counterfeit Products (link is external) has been published on and the February 2015 Merchandiser Magazine. 

Jody Lamb (Lamb, not Wolff) has been with Wolff's since the very beginning as Flea Market Manager.Yes, a Lamb working for Wolffs! Say hi to Jody when you visit Palatine! She will remember you!



ROSEMONT: Food and Beverages are available at several booths around the market

Sorry, due to local regulations, pets are not allowed at either of our markets. Service animals welcome.

If You Love It
Buy it before it’s gone! But remember, most purchases are final. Be a “Nice Shopper” If someone is looking at something you are interested in, please wait off to the side until it is put down. Then go and look at it.

Finding Your Way Around
Make sure to walk the entire Market. You will find new merchandise, garage sale, antiques and collectibles down each and every aisle. And remember, if you walk by every booth (both sides of the aisle), you have walked over three miles on some days!

When buying new merchandise, make sure the vendor will give you a replacement or a refund if it's defective. If you have trouble when returning or exchanging an item, contact a Wolff’s Supervisor. Most garage sale, antique and collectible merchandise is usually sold "as is".

Check Electrical Items Before Leaving
Electrical outlets are located near the Food Area at the SW corner of the Arena. You can test your electrical item(s) to see if they are in proper working order.

When to Haggle and When to Not
Most garage sale vendors will probably come down a little in their price. Sellers of new merchandise will probably stick with the posted price. When in doubt, ask anyway-there's no harm done. Vendors are people too; please don’t be rude, as politeness will help you negotiate. Sometimes buying in volume allows for a discounted price.

Plan Ahead if Buying a Large Item
Think about how you're going to get larger items home. Most Wolff's sellers don't deliver, although some may have a warehouse where you can pick up your purchase at a later time. Bring a tape measure to help you figure out if your purchase fits into your vehicle or the space where you plan to place it in your home.

When shopping for garage sale items or even new merchandise, make sure you look behind and under what is displayed. You may find hidden treasures!
Have a Good Idea of What You Want But Be Open to Surprises
If you have limited time, know just what you are looking for. Chances are you'll find it! Even though you may have something specific in mind, if you are alert, you may be surprised by an unexpected find!

Although some vendors may accept credit cards, most sellers are "cash and carry". Small bills will be helpful in paying for items as well as haggling. An ATM is available inside the building at both of our locations.

Wear the Right Clothes (Watch the Weather)
Comfortable clothing and walking shoes are a must when shopping the seemingly endless rows of bargains at Wolff's. You should also consider wearing a hat as protection from the sun and applying sunscreen. Light clothing on warm days and sweatshirts or windbreakers on cool days will also make your shopping experience more pleasant.

Arrive Early

By arriving early you can take advantage of the first offerings and larger selections available at garage sale, antiques / collectibles and new merchandise booths. Also, you will have more time to browse, compare prices and merchandise.


Seller's Rules & Tips

We encourage our vendors to post their items on social media: facebook page, Buy, Sell, Trade Group  & craigslist. These listings are FREE!  We love this concept because buyers and sellers are able to meet in a neutral location at the market (must have a selling space-no parking lot sales). This also draws new customers to the entire market and helps everyone! Many vendors have had success with social media. Customers have come from as far as Iowa to purchase their items! For more advanced posters, please "tag" your photos & posts with #wolffsfleamarket and @wolffsfleamarket. If you don't know what this means, please disregard!

Occasionally the Rosemont market may need to close early due to a stadium event. We continue to have a steady customer flow on these days because we are an "early shopper market". The majority of shoppers attend before 11am. Don't miss out! See Rosemont Schedule on home page for early closings. We will post this in advance and require vendors to be able to vacate the lot by a specified time. 

Wolff's Flea Market is vigilant about inspecting merchandise at every booth, every week. If we talked you last week, or 2 weeks ago, we may talk to you again about the same thing or different items you are selling. Please realize we mean no disrespect to you, nor are we singling you out from among other vendors. It is our job to ensure that the merchandise offered at Wolff's Flea Market is in accordance to our rules, Rosemont/Palatine rules, and state and federal laws. So, if you see a staff person lingering over an item on your table, or if you are questioned about your merchandise, do not take offense. We try to speak respectfully to you, and hope you can return the favor. When in doubt, we may ask you to remove a certain type of merchandise.

Please clean your selling space and remove and take with you ALL unsold merchandise and large trash. Dumpsters are available for reasonable trash only. Wolff's does not have facilities to dispose of large items, unsold merchandise or excess garbage. Violators will be charged clean-up expenses and repeat offenders may not be able to sell with us in the future.

PLEASE REFER TO MERCHANDISE RULES for most current information. Call 847-524-9590 with questions. Wolff's Flea Market strictly regulates the type of merchandise being sold and follows local and federal laws and regulations to maintain a safe, family friendly environment. In short, no COUNTERFEIT, ILLEGAL, BABY FURNITURE, CERTAIN SERVICES, REGULATED ITEMS or CONCESSION FOOD can be sold. Please call 847-524-9590 to inquire about participating in Food Trucks at the Flea. Staff and management reserve the right to inspect merchandise, deem it as inappropriate and disallow it. Vendors will be directed to immediately and permanently remove restricted items. This means putting it AWAY, out of sight of the public. Your information may be recorded and a warning slip issued. If repeat offenses occur, vendor may not be allowed to sell with us in the future.

We have many employees patrolling our market. Most are wearing yellow or green shirts. Some aren’t by design to watch over the market without being seen. We have several police officers patrolling as well. Please seek out any of these individuals with any problems you may have. Secure and watch your valuables. Keep your eyes on your booth. Unfortunately, there are shoplifters here just as at any store. Some sellers ask a neighboring vendor to watch their table if they find it necessary to leave their booth.

Please bring a sturdy trash bag(s). While we have clean up staff, their job is made easier if you are able to secure all of your garbage (boxes, paper, etc.) and keep it in your trash bag. Bags can be thrown away with a small amount of broken down boxes at the southwest corner of the Arena. You are not allowed to leave unsold merchandise. We continually walk the market watching for those breaking this rule. You will be fined (see vendor permit) and will not be allowed to sell with us in the future if this occurs.

Some vendors decide to leave early. We discourage this for several reasons. We don’t like vehicles driving through crowded aisles and customer flow is steady from when we open to when we close. You’ll be missing lots of sales!

Our vendors are encouraged to be courteous to shoppers. Treat them as you would like to be treated. Refrain from using profane language. You may be asked to leave the market if customer relation issues occur.

You may want to consider posting a return policy, especially if you sell anything other than garage sale, antiques or collectible items. Our sellers are strongly encouraged to stand behind their products and representations.

Bring price stickers, paper (for signs), markers, pens and tape. Keep in mind that your customers may want to haggle. This is a normal and fun aspect of Flea Marketing. Please do not get upset if you are offered a lower price, as again, this is customary at times. You have the choice to accept, decline, or counter-offer. Price items individually, by the box (e.g. $1 box), or not at all. It is up to you how you want to price your merchandise and customer opinion varies as to what they prefer.

Have grocery bags and newspapers/bubble wrap/tissue paper for wrapping fragile items. Boxes can be helpful for larger or multiple purchases.

Please bring plenty of water, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, etc. On cooler days, dress in layers.

Our location has a tendency to be windy. It is REQUIRED that you have minimum 40 pounds to weigh down each corner of your canopy or umbrella. If you do not bring weights, we may ask you to remove your canopy. We have a limited number of weights for rent. $2 per 40 pound weight plus a refundable $20 deposit. Please ask an employee about renting weights on the day of the market. Securing or tying your tent to a table leg or merchandise does not count for weight. You may tie the rear legs to your vehicle, but still need to weigh down the front legs. 

We recommend $10 in quarters, singles and five dollar bills. You may lose a sale if you don’t have change. Watch your money. Keep it locked in your car, but don’t lock your keys in the car! Remember, if you listen to your car radio all day, you’re likely to have a dead battery at the end of the day. ATMs are located at both markets for your shoppers' convenience.

This tip applies to the Rosemont location only. Many sales can be made between vendors or by Early Bird Shoppers before our 6am opening time. These shoppers may be designers, decorators, or collectors. They may have a tendency to try and look through your unpacked boxes. If this is not what you want – please simply ask them to move to the front of your tables. Early Bird entry fee is $4 prior to 6am.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


By Sharon Wolff

Wolff's Flea Market is a leader in the swap meet industry for policy, research and education regarding counterfeit merchandise. Counterfeits are an ongoing worldwide concern, and wholesalers, flea markets, internet sources, small brick & mortar stores, mall kiosks, individuals, guys on the corner etc. are vulnerable and liable for selling fake merchandise. 

We monitor hundreds of brands in all categories along many parameters. We have spent years developing our Merchandise Patrol program and employ a fantastic team of patrollers, also known as Counterfighters. It is not an exact science, and we rely upon ongoing research and news stories to assist us in our quest. While we want our vendors to make money and sell their products, we do not tolerate counterfeit products and aim to Prevent-Intervene-Educate

During our routine patrols around the flea market, we sometimes encounter banned or counterfeit merchandise. Our first goal is to EDUCATE our vendors in order to keep our customers, vendors and market safe from counterfeits. 

This pink slip is given to vendors as information and also as an expansion of our rules. It is updated as new information is revealed as a result of our ongoing research. 


STAFF: Please circle relevant merchandise, educate & record info. USED/NEW/COUNTERFEIT/BANNED ITEM NOTIFICATION 847-524-9590

Please check back frequently for updates. CALL 847-524-9590 or email sends e-mail) 


PARODY SHIRTSPlease note our "sports parody" merchandise policy. A variety of designs exist in kiosks, street stands and local stores that alter, mimic, copy and refer to licensed sports teams. We have suspended the sales of all sports parody merchandise at Wolff's Flea Markets because of the confusingly similar designs and trademark infringement issues. After careful consideration and research we had previously allowed limited styles of some types of items (t-shirts). But in a recent June 2015 Chicago area bust for counterfeit Blackhawks merchandise (not at our market), these parodied designs were seized and considered counterfeit. This has been confirmed by reliable sources and is an example of our ongoing research and how we work to enact our goals of Prevention, Intervention & Education (PIE). 
In June of 2016, another bust and resulting arrest occurred for similar types of infringing merchandise. The items were again seized as counterfeit and reinforces our proactive decision to ban these items.


We wrote this: AN ARTICLE FOR SELLERS: BUY SAFELY, SELL SAFELY(link is external)

If you want to read even more, we wrote a lot of other stuff on WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET BLOG(link is external)

By selling at our markets you agree to follow our rules. Failure to cooperate may result in permanent ejection from Wolff’s. WFM follows local, state and federal laws to maintain a safe, family friendly environment. Please read vendor rules on seller's permit AND this entire section to familiarize yourself with our merchandise policies. 2016 VENDOR EJECTIONS: 2 

BANNED ITEMSAlcohol (even old products in collectible bottles; empty bottles allowed), tobacco (even old products in collectible containers), fireworks, ammunition, weapons and parts of weapons. (Specific Rosemont Ban: knives, pocket knives over 3", swords, real, decorative or collectible + ETC). No illegal knives, guns, air guns, pellet guns, pellets, (limited types of knives may be sold in Palatine to individuals over the age of 18), BB/air guns, paintball guns, crossbows, arrows, bows, ETC.). All toys guns new/used/collectible must have a permanently fastened orange tip which indicates that they are toys. No animal sales, ads for selling animals, confederate, racist/prejudicial literature or items. New and historical WW2 Nazi items are banned. No drug paraphernalia (including but not limited to wood/glass/small pipes, bongs, rolling paper), hookahs, pepper spray/mace, stun guns, tasers, used mattresses, X rated, pornographic material including but not limited to magazines and movies, items requiring prescriptions or controlled substances (e.g. pseudoephedrine), contact lenses (prescription AND/OR cosmetic), novelty lighters (Lighters that look like toys - banned in Illinois). Other items may be banned at our discretion. READ MORE ABOUT NOVELTY LIGHTERS HERE(link is external)

WHAT CAN I SELL? We welcome the amazing diversity offered by the thousands of vendors who have sold at our markets since 1991. Antiques, art, collectibles, books, comics, new merchandise, your stuff, picked stuff, garage sale items, stamps, coins, baseball cards, kitchen items, crafts, record albums, lawnmowers, furniture, clothing, home & garden decor, your business overstock, store returns, plants, books, sundries, soaps, sporting goods, knick-knacks, office supplies, jewelry, vinyl, accessories, generic/non designer purses, linens, tools, video games, CDs, DVDs, electronics, crafts, and MUCH, MUCH MORE! 

COLLECTORS: If you are looking for a particular item, we just might have it! Feel free to post what you are looking for on our facebook page. We have matched up a few customers and vendors!

SOCIAL MEDIA: Likewise, vendors are welcome and encouraged to post information and photos of their upcoming sales on craigslist(link is external),  facebook (link is external)and twitter(link is external). It's FREE and an excellent way to spread the good word. We now have live feed on our website for facebook and twitter. For twitter use this tag: @wolffsflea & for facebook use the checkin option for our location. Also join and post on our new BUY SELL TRADE facebook group(link is external)

SMALL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURS: Can enjoy a low rent, well-trafficked location to introduce their new product or service to the marketplace. We've seen a variety of inventions & creations: magic tricks, repurposed creations, recycled pallet decor, handmade soaps, candles, shoe inserts, local honey, recycled wool mittens, salsa, olive oil, cookies, roasted peppers, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, the Mycromat, handmade pottery, personalized books, origami, exercise DVDs, art, wood-carving, crafts, bottle trees, flower arrangements, hand-made jewelry. Authors, artists and musicians gain experience and attract followers by showing off their talents and wares at Wolff's Flea Market. Got an idea? Try it out at Wolff's! We're happy to encourage your endeavors! Several vendors have gone on to open their own retail stores after getting their start at Wolff's! 

  • ROSEMONT: Produce, pre-packaged, non-perishable items are allowed. This season we welcome FOOD TRUCKS AT THE FLEA. Due to contractual agreements and local health regulations, the sale of food/concessions for consumption at the market, including, but not limited to chilled/hot beverages, hot food, cooked food, perishable food, sandwiches, etc. must be pre-approved by Wolff's Flea Market management and Village of Rosemont in advance. Proof of insurance, health permit and contract required. Please call 847-524-9590 for information to see if you qualify. This year, we are excited to welcome food trucks to Allstate Arena market!
  • PALATINE.: Due to local health requirements, the sale of prepared food is not allowed. Produce, pre-packaged, non-perishable items are allowed. Please call 847-524-9590 for information on other types of food that may be allowed.

COUNTERFEIT: No counterfeit trademark, copyright, diluting (i.e. confusingly similar to actual logos) merchandise (NEW or USED).READ: TWO KINDS OF COUNTERFEIT(link is external). We do not tolerate counterfeits at Wolff's Flea Market and aim to educate vendors and staff on this never-ending global issue (PIE: Prevention-Intervention-Education). We conduct ongoing research and vigilantly patrol our aisles in the effort to maintain our markets as venues for small business entrepreneurs to offer great deals on great new and resale merchandise. We appreciate your cooperation and attention as we openly and firmly share our knowledge and rules. Vendors are responsible for choosing appropriate merchandise. We are not lawyers and our information is not to be taken as legal advice. 

CELL PHONE RESALE: Due to the ongoing introduction of new smart phones in the marketplace, it is realistic that a used phone could be offered for sale. Vendors should check the IMEI numbers of the phones BEFORE selling and communicate to customers that the phone is eligible for sale. There are many sites that offer this service. Please do your own research in order to provide the best service for your customers. is external)

BANNED BRANDS: Because we will not authenticate, certain "vulnerable" brands are NOT allowed to be sold at Wolff's (new/used/real/fake). Banned: Coach, Louis Vuitton, MAC Cosmetics, OtterBox cases, Lifeproof cases, Dr. Dre Monster Beats, Chanel Perfume, Gucci and other brands at our discretion. These brands are highly vulnerable to counterfeiting. Flea markets have also been sued by certain manufacturers for contributory liability for allowing fakes of their brand.

MERCHANDISE INSPECTION: In an effort that involves ongoing research & education, Wolff's Flea Market strictly regulates the type of merchandise being sold. If you sell with us, we reserve the right to inspect and photograph merchandise, deem it as inappropriate and disallow it. In certain instances, a manager may require legitimate receipts for your product. Throughout the day, trained staff walk the market looking for banned merchandise. Several rounds of patrol occur as new items may be unpacked. Please instruct "walk-in" family members or friends to wait at the admission booth for management to inspect merchandise before entry. You may experience staff conducting repeat inspections of your booth. No vendor is singled out(link is external), so please do not be offended. Certain CATEGORIES of new and/or name brand merchandise require routine inspection: Electronics/Phone Accessories, Purses, CDs/DVDs, Clothing, Perfume/Cosmetics, Jewelry/Sunglasses, Toys, Licensed Sports Apparel. While most vendors follow our rules, some are new and unaware of our strict counterfeit policies. READ MORE ABOUT PHONE ACCESSORIES HERE(link is external)

MERCHANDISE REMOVAL:  Vendors will be directed to immediately and permanently remove restricted items. This means putting it AWAY, out of sight and access to the public. Your information will be recorded and an informational warning slip issued. While we strongly believe in the importance of educating our vendors, a small percentage may choose not to follow guidelines. Vendors not adhering to rules or those who argue or do not follow directions from staff to immediately and permanently remove banned merchandise run the risk of ejection (2016 ejections for failure to cooperate: 2). We appreciate your cooperation and self-monitoring of your merchandise. If we are in doubt about your product, we may ask you to put it away until further information about that item has been presented, researched and processed. Management will have the final decision regarding an item in question.

ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES/VAPES: The sales of electronic cigarettes are allowed to CARDED individuals above the age of 18. Vendors are required to prominently post this information at their booths. Per new law 1/2015, all E-Cigarettes must be displayed in a closed case that is inaccessible to children and the public. All refills must be in child-proof containers. Read more HERE(link is external) andHERE(link is external) for information, photos and printable signs.

ANIMALS: Service animals are allowed. Per federal law, staff may ask individuals with dogs 2 specific questions regarding the status of their animal. READ MORE HERE(link is external). No pets allowed. No sales of animals/pets are allowed. The posting of ads for animal sales is not allowed. Flyers will be destroyed. Please keep your pets at home and do not leave them in your parked car. As the weather warms/cools, temperatures in your car can reach dangerous levels for your pet. Vendors, sorry, but you cannot have your pets on the premises, even if they are in your vehicle or crated.

BABY: Due to safety and recalls, we do not allow the sale of NEW or USED infant/child car & booster seats, cribs, crib mattresses, crib bumper pads, (illegal in Chicago, too), portable cribs, sleep positioning devices, bassinets, playpens, folding playpens, strollers, jogging strollers, highchairs, walkers, baby seats, bouncy seats, clip/strap on table booster seats, baby swings, baby formula, ETC.

HOVERBOARDS: Sales of self balancing scooters, also known as hoverboards are banned in many locations (airplanes, malls, public transportation, colleges, Walmart, Target, Amazon, Overstock) because of counterfeit lithium-ion battery fire hazards and fake Samsung, LG and UL markings. We are also not allowing this product. Seizures by Customs have been reported in Chicago, New York, Minnesota, Virginia, Houston, Florida, UK. Read more here.(link is external) At this time there is no acceptable brand of hoverboard. Read more: Consumer Product Safety Commission's stance(link is external) Read even more: Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) Research(link is external)

CANOPIES & WEIGHTS: Canopies/tents are allowed and are useful in shielding you and your merchandise from the elements. No stakes may be driven into the ground. The 2 front legs of your canopy must be firmly attached to at least a 40 pound weight EACH. Rear legs may be attached to your vehicle. You may not attach canopy straps to merchandise, tables, boxes, etc. Weights are available for rent. Please see an employee. At our discretion, we may ask that you temporarily or permanently take down canopy.   READ MORE ABOUT WEIGHTS HERE(link is external)

BROCHURES, SERVICES, OUT-OF BOOTH SALES: No sale of catalog items or intangible services that involve the exchange of money or collection of credit card information without the exchange of actual goods unless you have received pre-approval from Wolff's. We will require presentation of your service related business license or certification. No distribution or posting of advertising, cards or informational flyers on vehicles or in the parking lot/aisles. No distribution of flyers by individuals who are not paid vendors of Wolff's. No prejudicial, hateful or discriminatory flyers allowed. Distribution and sales must be contained within your paid selling space. No walking sales or hawking in aisles. No parking lot sales. Raffles and tarot card readings are not allowed. You may hand out business related brochures at your booth and collect emails or phone numbers from customers if they choose to share with you. 

NON-PROFIT GROUPS: If you are a registered non-for profit organization/charity 501(c)(3) and wish to set up a stand at the market for fundraising or awareness, please call us at 847-524-9590. Documentation is required, and your space may be free. All rules and restrictions apply. Examples of previous groups: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Rotary Club, VFW, AIDS Foundation, Breast Cancer Walk, LifeSource Blood Drive, Special Olympics, Little Mexico, Young Marines, pet rescue, community dance troupe, Relay for Life.