Vide Greniers - Car Boots In France

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by namwaldog, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. namwaldog

    namwaldog Funster

    Jan 2, 2015
    Interesting site here for those of us who like car boots in the UK....

    There doesn't appear to be an English Language version of the site but fairly easy to translate. Vide Greniers is 'Empty Attic'
    Marche au Puce is Flea Market
    From past experience they differ from our Car Boots in that our Car boots are at set sites on a weekly basis. The French equivalent are at different sites at different times of year and a village or area of town will close of its streets and residents bring out their unwanted goods and sell them on the street.
    The site is searchable by area and date.
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  2. bhs


    Apr 16, 2015
    Vide Greniers and Troc et puces vary from half a dozen sellers to to hundreds, they are always fascinating and you have to admire the supreme optimism of the vendors valuations, if you want a fondue set you will be sorted. A lot of the smaller ones are advertised at the side of the road, as are Don du sang, in our early travelling days we made a bee line to one of these events thinking it was some sort of entertainment, nearly lost an armfull!
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  3. retiringjoyce

    retiringjoyce Funster

    Oct 5, 2014
    Such good fun, they try to charge amazing amounts for tat, but will take an offer after lunch.
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  4. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Oct 11, 2010
    NW England
    I usually check that website before heading to France in case there's a local sale on in the area we're visiting.

    This spring we planned our European trip around some of the big flea markets mentioned on this website, namely Munich, Amsterdam Vrijmarkt, and the weekly one at Carrefour Waterloo.

    Munich was huge, held on the same field as the Oktoberfest. We got the earliest bus from the campsite to the U-bahn that took us to the venue, but (as we all know) you have to get up early to arrive before the Germans. I reckon they'd put beach towels on most of the stands just after midnight. We did alright from some of the casual seller stalls, but gave up about a third of the way round the dealer stalls because they'd been well and truly picked over by mid-morning.

    A useful bargain hunting tip for these things is if the seller's got a trailer, heavy duty tables and/or a serious-looking gazebo it's likely they're a regular dealer and the prices will be higher. If they've come in a family car and have set up on pasting tables you're more likely to get a bargain. My personal favourites are the guys who turn up in tatty-looking box vans and lay out row after row of unsorted house/barn clearance boxes and crates full of all manner of gubbins. You pick out an armful of the best bits then start haggling.

    On Koningsdag in the Netherlands the whole nation takes to the streets to sell off its old tat (an age-old tradition known as the Vrijmarkt), and the dealers turn out too. We tried Amsterdam, but found it was too spread out to find enough good stuff without walking for miles on end. If we go again we'll try somewhere more compact like Delft or Haarlem. Great party atmosphere throughout the day though - everyone dresses in orange and gets hammered.

    The best finds on our last trip came from the Sunday flea market at Waterloo in the Carrefour car park, but because it's a regular fixture the traders are quite hard-nosed when it comes to haggling. I buy stuff abroad for resale back here and it's been going well because it's different.

    The mother of all European flea markets is the two-day Braderie de Lille, similar in concept to the Vrijmarkt but only in Lille. The entire city centre is cordoned off to traffic and given over to selling anything from attic tat to high end antiques. An extra 2.5 million people turn up in the city that weekend - it's junk heaven. We got in at 9am each morning (the French don't do early like the Germans) and ground to a halt mid-afternoon both days, having only seen about a third of it. Again, the best bargains are found in the side streets, not among the main dealer locations. We're planning to return to Lille with our shopping trolleys and huge blue IKEA bags in September. MH accommodation is very scarce so we've booked a local spot already - can't wait.
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