Wednesday, August 8, 2018


By Sharon Wolff



Created 8/7/17 - Updated 3/10/19, 4/19/19, 6/21/19

Thank you for considering selling at one of Chicagoland’s best flea markets! Whether you are decluttering or starting a new small business, we are here to support you in your endeavors!

We want your experience at Wolff’s Flea Market to be pleasant and successful! 

In order to encourage your success and maintain our reputation as a legitimate, family-friendly shopping venue, we incorporate stringent merchandise rules.

Please carefully read the information included in these links:

What are you selling?
We recognize that vendors obtain merchandise from a variety of sources. While most sources may be legitimate, a few are on our radar as suspect for counterfeit merchandise. Did you know that counterfeiting is a major issue in all online forums? Social media for sale groups and marketplaces abound with a mixture of legitimate and counterfeit products. Please always research your sources. We may ask you about your source, too!

We also expect you to educate yourselves on the type of products that are allowed and why certain items are banned. Read more below.

So, therefore - we inspect your merchandise. 
We inspect everyone’s merchandise. 
All day. 
More than once. 
It's what we do. 
It's what we love. 
Call us weird. 
Call us Counterfighters.

Some vendors (usually new or first time sellers) are unaware of our rules (which follow actual LAWS) and need to either remove a big chunk of the merchandise they invested in, or even worse, have little left to sell and therefore need to leave our market. But the ultimate worst  is the vendor who takes it out again and experiences the escorted Drive of Shame, straight out the exit...never to be seen again.

Common items that first time sellers might bring:
Counterfeit Dolce & Gabbana purse
See the removable clip-on tag? 
  • Baby furniture: high chairs, strollers, cribs, car seats, formula etc. We do not allow because of safety and recalls. Even new items are included in this rule.
  • Counterfeit wholesale electronics: Online (Amazon, eBay, marketplaces, local for-sale groups, etc.) and local brick and mortar wholesalers are well known for selling counterfeit phone accessories - chargers, cables, headphones - BEWARE! 
  • Counterfeit sports jerseys: Garage sale/thrift shop/a guy/other sources might even tell you the jersey is real. It might appear to be crisp and clean with tags. Items are faked in varying quality. Please know your product before investing and bringing it out to sell. (Hint: Look for misspellings and bad stitching on fakes). 
  • Counterfeit or high end designer purses: Sorry it is very unlikely the (insert brand name) purse you found for $3 at a garage sale is real!
  • And even if you are "sure" that your Coach or Louis Vuitton bag is real - you still cannot sell it. And other stuff, too, so let's just all read and re-read the rules and spread the love.
We like to teach you to buy safely and sell safely
While we aim to educate new vendors, those who don’t get with the program may end up being permanently ejected. 

Our goals: 
It’s a piece of PIE!

And as always, please call or text us with questions. We are not lawyers, nor do we represent any of the hundreds of brand names and designers we have made it our business to protect. We are a small family-owned business that aims to do the right thing by keeping our clientele safe! We are always learning about new products and counterfeits. We love sharing our merchandise experience with the world! 

Google is your friend: Please "google" many of your questions regarding counterfeits.
Read this enchanting article about how to avoid buying counterfeits 
Or text/call us 847-524-9590


Friday, July 6, 2018

Wolff's Flea Market Vendor of the Week: JimBob's Instruments

By Guest Blogger Bianca Saputra

Vendor of the Week: JimBob's Instruments

This week, we are featuring JimBob's Instruments as our vendor of the week. Jim sells a variety of hand-refurbished dulcimer instruments. The hammered dulcimer is a percussion-stringed instrument, with strings stretched over a trapezoidal wooden frame. The strings are hit with a mallet or hammer to produce a sound similar to a harp. The dulcimer is not only a staple in American folk music, but is  also integral to folk music in parts of Asia, Central Europe, and the UK. 

Aside from the hammered dulcimer, Jim also sells santurs, the Indo-Persian version of the hammered dulcimer. The main difference from the traditional hammered dulcimer is that the santur is wider, more rectangular and has more strings. Both instruments are unique and extremely fun to listen to. 

Watching and listening to Jim intricately play the dulcimer was both interesting and enjoyable. Check him out yourself at Wolff's Flea Market in Rosemont and listen to a video clip of Jim's playing on our Facebook page!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Longtime Wolff's Flea Market Vendor the Week

By Guest Blogger Bianca Saputra

Vendors of the Week: Mr. Bausch & Mr. Hein

For Leroy Hein, selling at the flea is personal. Hein started selling at the flea just recently, but his uncle, Wally Bausch has been a vendor with Wolff's flea for nearly 2 decades. 

Bausch became a vendor to stay active after his retirement. His favorite part of being at the flea is meeting all the vendors and customers around him. Making new friends is what draws Bausch to the market week after week, year after year. 

Wally Bausch sells a variety of miscellanea, but his favorite thing to talk about are the Ferrari, Porsche, and Volkswagen Burago collectible cars. Each die-cast model is painted with a special oven-bake paint and all products made from 1976 to 2005 where produced in Burago di Molgora, Italy.

While Bausch sells a variety of goods, his nephew, Leroy Hein specializes in collectible coins. Among them include war-era pennies, memorial coins, and mint sets. A particularly touching moment happened as Hein was explaining the significance of some coins to me. A young boy, a budding coin collector, came up to the booth to look at some of the coins. After seeing his interest, Hein gave the boy a 2005 U.S. Mint Silver Proof set free of charge to jumpstart his collection. He later explained to me that he was a big coin enthusiast and wanted to share his interest in collectible coins to preserve the rich history behind the coins. 

Both of these men shared their love for the flea and of each other as I talked to both of them. Come check out their booths at space H4 and H5!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wolff's Flea Market Vendor of the Week: Madari Fashions

By Guest Blogger Bianca Saputra

Vendor of the Week: Madari Fashions

This week, we are featuring Madari Fashions as our vendor of the week. Nisha Salvi sells high quality hypoallergenic jewelry at affordable prices. She was inspired to open her own business after her grandmother's passing from Stage 4 cancer. To commemorate the impact of her grandmother, Madhu, on her childhood, Nisha donates a portion of every sale towards cancer research. Visit Madari Fashions to see some beautiful jewelry and contribute to a very worthy cause!

Visit Madari Fashions at 
Wolff's Flea Market in Rosemont or at

Saturday, May 5, 2018


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, 5/5/18
  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 (also known as mash up designs) 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