Flea Markets are everywhere-like the ones in Dundalk and GlenBurnie , MD.  Whether it is big like North Point Plaza Flea Market in Dundalk or small like the open market 8th Ave Flea Market  in Glen Burnie , everyone cannot resist the call to stop and have a look at what the vendors are offering today. But have you ever wondered how the flea market started?

No one knows. The mystery of its origins remains unknown. The closest reference was in 1860 somewhere in Paris known as marche aux puces, translation, Flea Market, an outdoor market selling old furniture and other used articles. Flea Market was named after the pesky little wingless bloodsucker parasites (Siphonaptera) that infested the upholstery of old used furniture brought out for sale in the streets of Paris.

Here in the US, during the 18th-century, the first recorded version of Flea Market was referred to as the Fly Market which started as an association in New York City, at Maiden Lane close to the East River in Manhattan. The Fly market was set in a salt swamp with a brook, but was so popular that it was the city’s primary market.

Regardless of its name and origin, people all over the world enjoys looking for the “treasures” that they might find in the Flea Market. Everyone loves the Flea Market.

Every country has its own version of a flea market. In the US alone, we have approximately 5000 flea markets, antique and collectible markets, and open-air swap meets which is estimated to have over one million vendors and one hundred million annual shoppers participating. In 1998, the National Association of Flea Markets was established. The NSFA offers various resources for sellers, suppliers and buyers available.  The National Association of Flea Markets also makes it possible for suppliers and sellers to communicate and form connections.

A flea market provides a location to anyone who has something to sale to the general public. It rents out space for merchandise, products, old and used or newly repurposed furniture, and all other items under the sun for the buying public.  

A swap meet type of flea market, is a street market which is mostly seasonal. This type of street market rents space for sellers to offer previously-owned, used or second-hand goods. Through the years, flea markets have evolved and now could be either formal, which is a fixed-style market with long-term leases, or a casual kind or seasonal-style market with short-term leases.

Anyone who rents space is referred to as a vendor. Flea Markets presents the perfect opportunity for anyone, who wants to test the market but does not have the large capital, to start a business.

Vendors in the Flea Market vary. There are some who are at flea markets as a hobby but have full-time jobs. Still, there are the full-time vendors who devote all their time to selecting and stocking their stalls of collection of items and depend on entirely on the profits made at the flea market.

Flea markets are a worldwide industry that has been popular for hundreds of years and might be considered s a multi-billion-dollar international business for more years to come. It is probably safe to say that Flea Markets are here to stay and enjoy.

If you are visiting or planning to visit Baltimore, there are Flea Markets in Dundalk and Glen Burnie that you can go to. The biggest one is located at 2401 North Point Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21222 called North Point Plaza Flea Market. It is open Saturday 7am – 3pm and Sunday 7am – 3pm. It offers over 200 Vendor Booths, dozens of Indoor Tables, and more than a hundred of Outdoor Spaces. A shopper typically spends an estimated time of an hour and a half going around the market. During Friday 10am – 5pm , and Saturday 7am – 4pm at the same location, the market transforms into The Amish Market. It has butcher shop- fresh farm meats & cheeses, Amish bakery, pretzel & ice cream, Amish candy & fudge, and of course, the traditional Amish country kitchen- bbq, ribs & sides. 

Glen Burnie has its open market, a year-round flea market. Although not as big as the North Point Plaza Flea Market, the 8th Ave Flea Market, located at 167 8th Ave NW, Glen Burnie, MD 21061, has a variety of items for everyone. If you are into antiquing and vintage items, 8th Ave Flea Market is for you. But it is not just old used items, there are vendors who have brand new things. Whatever you are looking for, unique or not, old or new, give this flea market a visit, you might be surprised by what you can find.

Happy shopping, everyone.