Mission Open Air Market Tips – “King of Bargains”
It had been years since I had been to a flea market. I mean a true Mexican pulga (aka Swap Meet); like the one we went to when we were children. A few weeks ago, I joined the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce on a private tour of the Mission Open Air Market to learn more about their daily operations, vendors, and the great products and things you can find there. I met so many people from the community that sold everything from personal items to candy and fruits and vegetables.
The Mission Open Air Market is open Wednesday 6am-5pm, Saturday 6am-5pm, and Sunday 6am-5pm. If you think going on a Wednesday will keep you beating the crowds for all the bargains, think again. Walking around the flea market on a Wednesday with the cumbias blasting in some of the aisles made me feel like it was Sunday Funday. There was definitely a little of everything and lots to see. The flea market also has a full café on the property to satisfy your foodie cravings after all the walking and shopping you’ll be doing.
On our tour, we learned about the new maintenance facility and how it will allow everyone on their staff to be better connected. It was a beautiful day to be at the “mall without walls” and I even found a couple of good deals myself. Here are a few tips for you when you visit the Mission Open Air Market:
- Get there early. Sometimes the best deals happen right at the beginning of the day and getting to the flea market early helps you find a good parking spot.
- Make it a day out with friends (or family). Visiting the Mission Open Air Market with a group of family and/or friends makes your shopping experience more fun. Plus, have extra sets of eyes with you may help you spot great deals you could miss out on.
- Carry cash with you; bring small bills and change. Though many vendors may use Square or PayPal apps to receive payment, most accept cash only. Bringing small bills also helps the vendors not deal with looking for change on bigger bills.
- No need to dress up. You will be doing a lot of walking and you want to be comfortable. Wear tennis shoes and to make it fun, track your steps during the time you are shopping for deals.
- Bring a big bag or a wheeled cart to carry your purchases. Its no fun lugging around your items while you shop around.
- Make lists of things you may want. Mission Open Air Market is big; take advantage of your phone’s camera and/or memo pad to keep track of things you may want before you get there, want to pick up on your way out, or the next time you visit.
- Nothing wrong with negotiating prices and if the vendor is set on their price, then it’s up to you to decide if the deal is good enough for you or not. Keep in mind, if you pass up on an item you weren’t sure about purchasing, chances are it might not be there the next time you want to buy it.
The Mission Open Air Market or better known as ‘King of Bargains” is 50+ acres and been in the south side of San Antonio for 28 years. Its located at SE Loop 410 & Moursund Blvd. Be sure to visit their Facebook page and happy bargain hunting!
As an ambassador of the South Side San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, I was given a tour of the Mission Open Air Market. All images and opinions are my own.