The search for buried treasure

We went on a treasure hunt of sorts today. It happened to be held at the historic Malvern town hall.

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It also happened to be the kind of treasure hunt that you would benefit from if you got there early. You can kind of make out the line of people queuing to enter in the picture below.

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If you are wondering what kind of treasure hunt I am talking about, maybe this next photo might give you a better picture….

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Yes that’s right! What better place is there to find pre loved treasures for your little one than at the Baby and kid’s market!

There are lots of these markets held throughout Melbourne (and possibly the other states too). They are a great way to pick up kid’s clothes, toys, books and equipment for a bargain, if you don’t mind second hand! Fifty dollars can stretch a reeeeally long way here!

These markets, however, don’t occur every week, especially if you are keen like us to visit one that’s near where you are (The Malvern one is only held twice a year). So it was not a real surprise to see long queues of excited parents with kids in tow lining up before the doors officially open.

We were looking forward to visiting the market today as the last time we did so was a year ago when Bugs was still in my tummy!

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There are a few lessons that we learnt from our last visit that I thought I might share if you are thinking of visiting this market or basically any event where people will be frantically pushing and jostling around to grab bargains.

Lesson 1: Plan ahead.
There’s going to be madness! There is going to be chaos! There might be some angry words, some tears and hair pulling. Here’s a quick snapshot of how the market looked like eat morning before it became crazy crowded…

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Avoid all of that drama by thinking through what you would like to get before the market itself and focus on those items at the actual day! Last year it was books, this year we focused on winter clothes, more books and a toy or two if we came across some good ones.

Lesson 2: Leave the pram at home. 50 (or more) stalls + (at least) 250 people + one relatively small exhibition hall = some very cramped conditions and angry people! Baby carrier/ sling is definitely the way to go!

Lesson 3: Get there early!
The best stuff always get sold first. No kidding. We were there twenty minutes after the doors opened and noted that most of the brand name baby equipment and big toys had already been snapped up by zealous parents. If its a pram or an activity centre you have in mind to get, be there as early as you can to get ahead of the queue.

Lesson 4: Have your entrance fee ready.
If not, use the opportunity to break a big note into smaller change.

20120219-113209.jpg Having exactly the amount needed for you to enter not only gets you on everyone’s good side, it allows you to swiftly enter the venue and start hunting for those treasures before they run out! Oh and it’s always handy to have small change as most items are less than a fiver!

Lesson 5: Buy in bulk from the same store.
Chances are the store owner will be extra willing to give you a discount (on top of the already ridiculously cheap prices) for helping to clear stock! We picked up lots of amazing hand knitted winter wear from Bugs from the store in the photo below which were sold to us for $2 (instead of $5 each)! Score!

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Lesson 6: Spend time celebrating your success(es)!
Victory is always sweeter when celebrated! By celebrating I mean taking time to admire what you manage to grab on your frantic, forty five minute trawl in cramped, infant cry inducing conditions.

This is the moment you have been waiting for -wax lyrical to the other half (or anyone willing to listen) how many baskets you searched, how hard you bargained for, how many people you fought off to grab that one and only toy for your beloved offspring! You deserve this moment – pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Here’s our haul from the market this morning….

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Thanks for reading and for allowing us to share our moment with you!

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