Best Bargain Hunting

Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Faire

Now that dot-com salaries have gone the way of the job market, those of us lucky enough to still have a home to decorate fear that our options are limited to IKEA or thrift stores. But at the Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Faire, secondhand shopping doesn't have to mean second-rate. Unlike many outdoor flea markets, this expo, which takes place on the first Sunday of every month, is a bargain hunter's dream, and everything for sale is the real deal: All merchandise must be at least 20 years old, and cheap reproductions are strictly forbidden. Located on the grounds of the former Alameda Naval Base, the fair features more than 700 dealers. Shoppers take hunting for hidden treasures seriously, so arrive early: VIP admission is $15 beginning at 6 a.m.; early bird entry is $10 at 7:30, and the regular opening is $5 at 9. But losing a few hours of sleep is well worth it. A helpful tip: Most vendors are open to haggling.

 
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