Navigating Antique Markets: Randolph Street Market, Chicago

I have been waiting patiently for this event to start its season, and I can say it’s worth the wait! The Randolph Street Market in Chicago happens one weekend a month from May through September, and is a great way to spend a sunny Saturday with your friends, which is exactly what I did!

The market has everything, from vintage clothes and jewelry, to furniture and home decor, to handmade crafts and artwork. I took some snaps with my phone to show you some of our finds from a beautiful day!

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I actually bought these two mint drawers shown above. I’m planning on working them in to the design for my custom media console in the living room. You’ll be seeing these again!

Whether you can make it to Chicago or you’ve got a market near home, here’s some tips for any sort of indoor/outdoor market experience to avoid being overwhelmed:

  • If it’s ticketed: look for the best deal. With Randolph Street, you can buy tickets online ahead of time at a discount rather than paying more at the door. Some may have package deals online as well. My three friends and I got the “girlfriends package”, which gave us discounted tickets and free mimosas!
  • If it’s outside: wear sunscreen! My shoulders are not happy with me. Lesson learned.
  • Bring cash. A few booths might be able to take cards, but most vendors prefer dealing with cash. Having cash also makes it much easier to make a bargain if you can hand them bills right away.
  • Make a deal! The vendors want to sell their items, so make offers, but be reasonable. You want a deal, but they need to make money to be able to keep coming to markets like this!
  • Know your limits. Especially when on a budget. I brought a set amount of cash along, so I knew right away what I could or could not afford, deals included. If a vendor decides they can’t give you something at the price you want, respect that and know how to move on.
  • Have a plan: at least somewhat. Knowing what you’d love to find helps block out desires to buy things you really don’t need, but don’t be afraid of stumbling upon something amazing!
  • Only buy what you love. I saw these drawers at the very start of the market. I knew I liked them a lot, but I decided to walk around first. By the end, I hadn’t seen others I liked better and I had been thinking about these greenies the entire time. I decided if they weren’t gone, I would get them.

Have a favorite market you frequent? Share!

Lydia Jane


Tickets for Randolph Street

5 thoughts on “Navigating Antique Markets: Randolph Street Market, Chicago

  1. Love your blog. Will be interested in seeing what you do with those drawers. You have great ideas. Love you. Gram and Gramp.

    Sent from my iPhone

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