Brimfield is a month away, the Brooklyn Flea has returned to its outdoor venue, and for those that run year-round, like Les Puces de Paris Saint-Ouen, warmer weather means bigger crowds, fierce competition, and the need for a game plan. With pre-dawn arrivals and afternoon departures, temperatures can vary wildly at outdoor shows. Sanders recommends multiple, lightweight layers that you can easily take on and off. Don’t wear expensive clothes, jewelry, or watches. “If you are trying to negotiate, you’ll have a better chance if you’re dressed down. Sanders recommends bringing a backpack with water, a snack, sunscreen, and a hat. “It sounds like you are going into the army,” says Sanders of his list, but he warns, “You don’t want to bring anything extra, you might be walking around for six hours.” Sneakers are essential. If you arrive early and spot something you really want, be prepared to go for it. “People run!” says Sanders of the eager shoppers who will literally race to a booth once the show has opened. “The first time I saw it, I was in shock.” Now, Sanders admits, he has become one of them .To cover the most ground, shop with a companion. “You can divide and conquer.” Sanders has often divvied up the aisles with a friend—he’s even used walkie-talkies to communicate at the bigger shows. While he’s taken clients to Brimfield on a few occasions, Sanders cautions against it—especially if you’ve never shopped the show yourself. Even in the age of mobile credit card machines, cash is still the standard at flea markets. “Cash forces you to make choices,” says Sanders, noting that if you go in knowing how much you want to spend, cash will keep you focused on that number. If you’re determined to find specific items or really good pieces at great prices, Sanders advises getting there 30 to 45 minutes before the show officially opens. While you might wonder what you can do before the show opens, Sanders recommends you walk around the perimeter, scope out the booths, and create a game plan for where to begin. Have your list of the five to ten things you are looking for and really stay focused on those items, otherwise you can get off course,” advises Sanders. If you like the aesthetic of a particular booth, stop and scan the booth thoroughly. Skip the booths that aren’t to your taste and linger in those that are—you’ll have a much better chance of finding what you’re looking for.