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Craft Market or Flea Market – Is There a Difference?

All too often we realize that many people don’t really know the difference between a craft market and a flea market. This is because a craft market and a flea market share so many similarities.

found sea glass notice

found sea glass notice – found sea glass is more of a craft market product than artificially tumbled “sea” glass is

Many may think that pointing out that there is a difference is merely a lesson in semantics, in how words are used. This is not the case.

In short, a flea market is a motley collection of people selling a diverse range of products in an area that may, or may not, be covered, from predefined individual areas.

Products sold at flea markets range from cheap imported shoes and jewelry, to high-end furnishings, with a liberal smattering of food and beverage sales in-between.

Products sold at craft markets are restricted to products that are, or should have been, crafted by the stall holder, and will be held in an open or undercover venue from individually marked out stands.

craft market and flea market products

craft market and flea market products – the items cut and handcrafted from old empty glass bottles (like the candle holders, votive candle chimneys, dinner gongs, and glass and wire photo holders) are craft market products – the Christmas tree decorations and silver tinsel on the table, as well as the plain white bought candles, are not.

So, with all the big words and definitions out of the way it is actually pretty obvious that the difference between a flea market and a craft market is the products. Fresh oranges and home-made orange marmalade will both be found at a flea market, but only the marmalade will be found at a craft market.

You can buy a necklace at a flea market, and at a craft market, but the craft market necklace will be hand-made by an artisan, not mass produced in a factory.

Craft market type products are generally more costly than flea market type products, due to the time and diligence that has gone into the creation of individual items. Craft products are generally backed by the crafts-persons personal guarantee, whereas the cheaper imported mass produced products will carry no guarantee!

Other factors differentiating craft products and mass produced products are the personal pride that a crafter puts into each individual item, as well as the incorporating of the crafters personality. People who are familiar with crafted products will often recognize a particular crafters work, without needing to enquire. Mass produced products are just that – items that are churned out, with no intrinsic personality, or value, other than having been designed to be attractive based on cost.

It is also worth pointing out that a crafter will very seldom produce two items that are exactly the same- similar, yes – but not the same.

If you don’t mind wearing or using the same items or products as everyone else, and if price is a factor, by all means, purchase the mass produced goods. If however you are a discerning consumer, it should go without saying that you will naturally gravitate to a crafters stall to make your purchase!

After all, exclusivity is a one size fits all commodity.

© Copyright Tony Flanigan 2013

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