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: http://www.glassbottlemarks.com/indiana-glass-company-hen-on-nest-dishes/

Also visit The National Milk Glass Collector's Society: http://nmgcs.org/ 
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

WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET OFFENSIVE MERCHANDISE POLICY FAQ

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:




COUNTERFEITS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS -WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET

COUNTERFEIT FAQ
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
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     wolffs.com 
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
  7. #3 IS REAL. THE OTHER PATTERNS
     ARE CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR/DILUTED 

    AND BANNED.
  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. 
    CUSTOMS AND PORTS OF ENTRY
     (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
    A COUNTERFEIT MICHAEL KORS EMBLEM
    WAS PLACED ON A CHEAP BLANK YELLOW PURSE
    here. Arrests can and do happen, so we need to stop it HERE and NOW.
  19. WHAT IS WOLFF’S DOING TO STOP COUNTERFEITS? 
  • 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     wolffs.com 


Monday, July 25, 2016

ABOUT WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET

ABOUT US
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 Fleamarketzone.com 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!

SHOPPER TIPS FOR WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET

SHOPPER’S TIPS

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

Pets
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!

Refunds
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.

Rummage
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!

BRING CASH
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.

VENDOR TIPS FOR WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET

Seller's Rules & Tips

FACEBOOK & CRAIGSLIST
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!

EARLY CLOSE DAYS
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. 

THE INSPECTION PROCESS-DON'T BE OFFENDED
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.

SELLING AREA
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.

MERCHANDISE RESTRICTIONS
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.

SECURITY
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.

TRASH
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.

LEAVING EARLY
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!

COURTESY
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.

RETURNS
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.

PRICING YOUR ITEMS
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.

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

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

UMBRELLAS & CANOPIES
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. 


BRING CHANGE
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.

EARLY BIRD SHOPPERS
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.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

MEET OUR STAFF: The People of Wolff's Flea Market

By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner
All Photos by Candice Lee Conner
Thank you Candice for introducing the friendly faces of Wolff's Flea Market!


It takes a lot to run a flea market with over 700 vendors almost every Sunday. Wolff's Flea Market has been running their market smoothly for 25 years, because of the folks behind the scenes. This past Sunday, I talked to Wolff's cashiers. 

Meet the Cashiers!

Mary Ellen, Supervisor
Makes sure vendors pay up
Saves the day when cashiers need a break
Been at Wolff's for 12 years


Darlene, Cashier Supervisor
16th year at Wolff's
When not at Wolff's she's working O'Hare Airport
Rollerskating, playing volleyball on Mondays with seniors
Working events at the Allstate Arena
And she was looking at a unicycle - to buy - whilst we were talking!
Joanie, Cashier
Daughter is getting married very soon
During the week, Joanie is a full time Substitute Teacher
Been at Wolff's for 6 years

Hilda, Cashier
Been at Wolff's for 16 years!
During the week, Hilda is making folks days and working at a local gas station


Rocio, Cashier, ParkerBeen at Wolff's for 6 years
During the week Rocio is a supervisor for the City of Chicago

Sharon, Cashier, Parker
Been at Wolff's for 3 years
Sees a lot of parking craziness
During the week, Sharon is doing whatever she wants. She retired in March!

Karen, Cashier
Been at Wolff's for 5 years
During the week, Karen helps out her dad


Donna, Cashier
This is Donna's first year at Wolff's!
During the week she is either St. Alexius Hospital, nannying, or playing with her two cats. 

Guest Blogger: Creative Uses for Flea Market Finds

Today's guest blogger is Betsy Fons

Thank you for sharing your projects and ideas!

The first item I ever bought at a flea market was a 5 by 7 carved wooden box. I was 8 years old and we were on our way back home from visiting my grandmother. My dad took the family to a flea market and gave $10.00 to each of his 6 kids to spend. I loved that box and it held many of my childhood “treasures” for many years.

Now, working at a flea market, one of the things I like best is to see customers thrilled about the unique items they buy. I can completely understand their excitement at finding something they have special plans for in their home.

I have grown from buying carved wooden boxes to items I can repurpose in creative ways.  The pictures below are of a few of my finds. I bought an old gardeners tool box, painted it, and put it in my bathroom to hold toiletries. The other picture is of an old church music hymn board that I use to hold family pictures. It’s easy to find creative ways to repurpose flea market finds…if you’re just willing to think outside the box!

Toiletry Caddy
(PHOTO: Betsy Fons)

Hymn board turned photo display
(PHOTO: Betsy Fons)


FUTURE PROJECTS:




Thursday, June 9, 2016

MEET OUR VENDORS! The People of Wolff's Flea Market


By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you can find anything at Wolff's Flea Market. From Love - which we talked about earlier - to antiques. 

And yes folks, even your fresh produce. An epic place to get those strawberries, mangos, and veggies is Dave's Farm Stand. If you've been to Wolff's Flea Market in the past 17 years - you've seen their rather large stand in front of the Allstate Arena. I interviewed Ruben, Dave's son last Sunday while he was tending to his many hungry patrons. 

"I grew up in this place!" said Ruben. He's been working at the market since he was a kid, when his dad ran the stand. Dave and his family joined Wolff's Flea Market 17 years and Wolff's is happy they stayed with them!

The customers love Dave' Farm Stand too. As I was interviewing Ruben, a customer named Lisa yelled out that his "stuff tastes good and that everyone should buy here all the time." 

Ruben sells all kinds of fruits and veggies and products vary depending on the time of year. His key to being successful is to make sure to stay in season. This means buying fresh and local and never buying frozen. 

Said Ruben, "If it's not something I'll put on my table, I don't bring it."

So, there you have it folks. One epic food stand run by an epic person. Dave's Farm Stand is located in the front of the Allstate Arena every Sunday at Rosemont and every Saturday and Sunday at Palatine. 

"If it's not something I'll put on my table, I don't bring it"
Fresh mangos, red peppers and cucumbers
(PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

FOOD REVIEW: Mario's Cart Vegetarian Options at Wolff's Flea Market Rosemont Allstate Arena

This week's guest blogger and food taster is Info Team Member Melissa Kliesch!

Being a non meat eater at a fair, festival, or market which covers the burger and dog circuit; it's sometimes difficult to find an alternative that's a little more than the pizza or fries you usually see. 

I'm not dissing the pizza or fries one bit, but sometimes when it's hard to convince yourself that the sauce on the pizza or the deep fried goodness of a potato really is a vegetable, you have to look a little further.

So this is where Mario's Cart and their Chico Wrap comes to the forefront. This flour tortilla is filled with fresh spinach, mozzarella, tomato and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Swap the chicken for the avocado pico de gallo and it's a veggie delight.

"Oh where did you get that?" I hear as I open my veggie wrap from Mario's Cart.

"That looks good!" and it totally does.

I open it up: The cheese is melty, the spinach is a plenty and it is really fresh and green. You also get good color from the tomato and the avocado in the pico de gallo.

What looks good, tastes even better. You get the softness of the flour tortilla, a nice crunch from the spinach, the creaminess from the cheese and the tartness from the balsamic vinegar. All complimented by the small kick from the pico de gallo. It's a good little wrap. For $8 and how fresh everything was, I think you totally get your money's worth.

Also as a side note, the staff at Mario's Cart was super accommodating. At some places if you ask for a substitution of no meat, there's a bit of confusion. But here as soon as a started explaining what I wanted, I got a reply, "Oh you want the veggie wrap." 

Yeah, so clearly it's already a thing and I'm late to the party.

So if you want a healthier option the next time you're at Wolff's Flea Market, head over and order the Chico Wrap, with or without chicken--you might see me ordering the same thing.

The Veggie Wrap from Mario's cart: Fresh, Green & Delicious!
(PHOTO: Melissa Kliesch)
The Chico Wrap, for those who like chicken!
(PHOTO: Sharon Wolff)

See you at the flea!


Mario's Cart

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MEET OUR VENDORS! The People of Wolff's Flea Market

Love at First Vend

By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner

You can find anything at the Flea. And as Carol and Rich found out, you can also find true love. 

Back on Memorial Day 2006, Carol was selling during her first year at Wolff's Flea Market, Rosemont. Rich, a vendor of 15 years, started talking to Carol to find out her "selling secrets". According to Carol, she was doing great and selling a ton of items. Rich...not so much. From this predicament, a romance quickly flourished! 

"He would leave a rose on the left side of my van every (sale) day," Says Carol.

And they've been together ever since.

Today, Rich and Carol still sell at Wolff's Flea Market...and still in separate spaces. 
Rich says it's so that Carol won't shop and leave Rich behind with all her merchandise, but I think it's because this lovely couple likes to compete with each other.

Rich and Carol - Love at First Vend
(PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner)

Monday, May 23, 2016

MEET OUR VENDORS! The People of Wolff's Flea Market: Hercules & Maria

By Candice Lee Conner

Today's blog post is written by Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner. As part of her Social Media Assistant position at Wolff's Flea Market, Candice takes the time to personally meet our vendors and really get to know them and their life stories. Here is Candice's interview with Hercules the Ice Cream Man.



Enjoy delicious ice cream at Wolff's Flea Market Allstate Arena.
Say hello to Maria and Hercules! (Photo: Candice Lee Conner)
Some know him as Nick (for some reason he lets folks call him that). Some know him as Hercules. Everyone knows him as that really awesome guy who runs the ice cream trucks at Wolff's Flea Market in Rosemont. And they would all be correct. 

Hercules - his real name - has been selling ice cream treats at Wolff's for 15 years. Along with his daughter Maria, Hercules sells from two trucks at the market. 

One of the first food vendors to join Wolff's, he was able to sell because of his diligence. According to Maria, he started his Wolff's career by selling ice cream right outside the gates of the official market. He was there so often that the Wolff family took a liking to him, and offered him a spot. He's been selling his ice cream ever since. Looks like determination does go a long way!

And not only is he seller of the cold stuff, he loves ice cream treats. One in particular is the Klondike Bar. "He used to eat three a day," said Maria - pictured above. (Her favorite is chocolate eclair ice cream bars). 

Next time you're at Wolff's make sure you get a cold treat, and say hello to Hercules and Maria!

Monday, May 9, 2016

CURBSIDE TO FLEA MARKET TO RECLAIMED ART!

Sharon Wolff

So what really happens when you cast off your unwanted stuff? Shame shame if you don't find a home for potentially reusable items. Do you sell, donate or toss in the garbage?

Fortunately for a few lucky landfill-fated items, crafty pickers are continually scouting for this Golden Garbage. Here is one story of a rescued curbside find.

David of Home Details at Wolff's Flea Market is an eclectic vendor who embraces this concept like it is a daily natural phenomenon. His eye for potential in found objects lends to an eclectic, eccentric and dynamic booth display. We never know what will appear or be uncovered. I am telling you the truth when I state that his presentation alone elevates former trash into flea market finds bound for decorating greatness. This key element is what attracts a flock of repeat customers seeking to decorate their homes with specifically repurposed and reclaimed finds. All one of a kind and sometimes modified or repaired by David himself.

So the story goes like this.

David comes up to the front desk, hands covered in blue paint and tells me to hurry to his space because he is "Repurposing Live". Phone in hand, I briskly walked to his booth, and this is what I found:

THE BEFORE:
A young couple visiting Wolff's Flea Market Palatine for the first time fell in love with this reclaimed wood map art. However they did not like the orange graffiti that may or may not have been intentionally put there. David told them how they could easily touch it up at home, but the couple wasn't so sure. The couple asked if they paid extra, would he do it for them? David, always up for a creative challenge was right on it!

Reclaimed wood artwork with orange graffiti
PHOTO: Home Details at Wolff's

David touched up the picture with white and blue paint to transform the art into exactly what the couple wanted for their blue and white living room!
He knows what he is doing!

Hand Details!


READY TO GO HOME!






Monday, May 2, 2016

POOR LITTLE COUNTERFEIT LEGO MINIFIGURE

This post is taken straight from our Monday facebook post:

Monday May 2:
Wolff's Flea Market: Have a super Monday ‪#‎chicago‬! Wait a minute. What! Yup. ‪#‎counterfeit‬‪#‎lego‬ ‪#‎minifigs‬ Not. Allowed. -Sharon

Facebook follower: What should I look for in a fake?

Wolff's Flea Market Thanks for asking! We were initially freaked out when this came about, but it is easier than you think. First of all, the platform this little guy is standing on indicates the wrong manufacturer. Only Lego is authorized/licensed to make Superman minifigures. Grab your magnifying glass and take him apart to look for the Lego imprint in various places. If missing in certain key areas-it is fake. Side by side comparisons of real/fake will indicate further quality differences. Sharon Wolff