Everything you need to know about the Georgetown Flea Market
By Viviane Stackhouse
December 13, 2022
Image Credit: Vivian Stackhouse for The Campus Trainer
The Georgetown Flea Market offers a sustainable option for local shoppers, every Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring over 150 dealers of art, clothing, antiques and more.
Shoppers can browse through art, vintage and used clothing, shoes, antiques, hats and accessories, prints, designs and jewelry. Many vendors have a diverse combination of those goods at their tables at a range of prices, but don’t be afraid to negotiate!
Throughout the market, you can hear music from different booths, hear conversations of friendly competition between vendor friends and watch as shoppers haggle for the right price.
Founded in 1972 and held at Hardy Middle School, the market’s customer base is diverse, including local students from Washington D.C. and Georgetown University, local families, couples and others all exploring the same goods. While one person could walk away with a vintage sweatshirt, another could leave with a one-of-a-kind art piece or vase.
The market has options to fit anyone’s style, from clothing like sweaters and jeans to corsets and fur coats, even knickknacks ranging from sporting goods to hair clips.
Most vendors pull their car into the parking lot and sell directly from their trunk. Some, not all, have expanded with things like clothing racks, tents, mirrors and lights.
The Georgetown Flea Market has the option for vendors to be permanent, which reserves them a space for every market, or a regular vendor. The current rate to rent a parking spot for regular vendors ranges from $30 to $60 per week at the market.
Vicky Khamphoui, a vintage clothes vendor and owner of @vkhoney.vintage, sells her clothes at random flea markets in the DMV area, such as Baltimore and Gaithersburg, but says she is at Georgetown most often.
“The people here at the flea market, you build a good friendship with everybody. It’s like a happy family,” said Khamphoui.
Khamphoui also mentioned the freedom that selling in-person instead of online that flea markets give. She created her business on popular reselling app Depop, but expressed frustration over their seller fees, as Depop would take 20% out of her every transaction.
Sophie Bernstein, a vendor selling clothes at the Georgetown Flea Market, sold her vintage clothing for seven years online before she started in-person sales one year ago. “Selfishly, I like that there’s not a lot of other people that sell girls clothes, so I feel like there's a big demand for it. It makes me really happy when people find things they like,” said Bernstein.
While most sellers appreciate cash, most booths have begun accepting other payment forms, such as Credit Cards, Venmo and CashApp. This change is relatively new, according to a long-time customer of the flea market, Samantha Liu.
“I have been coming to the market since I was little with my family. I think most booths have begun to try to modernize their stands by using Venmo and other apps, which is mainly what I use to pay,” said Liu. “The market has recently become this mix of old, in-person shopping, but with younger crowds and modern technologies. It’s really interesting to watch.”
Customers can be seen trying clothing on, haggling with vendors and enjoying their trip throughout the market center. Liu walked away with two Christmas gifts for her sister bought from the vendors.
“I love shopping at the flea market because you never know what you’re going to find. I spend hours going through each booth and looking for things that catch my eye,” said Gabby Bengelsdorf, sophomore and public health major at the University of Maryland. “It’s also fun to spend a day off campus in Georgetown.”