One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Vive la season de vide-greniers! And say good bye to sleep ins

Flea market in Cannes

Spring marks that time of the year when we flock to France’s widely held vide greniers (yard sales or flea markets). Almost every Saturday and Sunday, from March to October, long abandoned objects find themselves exposed to curious onlookers hoping to find a new home.

Sure, we look forward to buying a ridiculous amount of additional junk that we will undoubtedly never use, and things that will probably end up taking up valuable storage space that we don’t have. Plus the children love it as well; the idea of bargaining for a .50 cent car is a valuable lesson that can only be learned by doing.

Flea market in Cannes

Consequently, more and more people are reselling, rather than storing their extra valuables and bad-decision-purchases.

French people like most of the world, love to bargain, and are willing to pay top price for good quality items. Just not at a vide grenier. You will constantly see the subtle negotiation process in action, usually in body language and facial expressions. There is some psychological at play as well.

 Flea market in Cannes

There are usually more than 50,000 vide greniers happening each year in France.

Not only junk

You can find a range of vintage clothing and accessories, precious vintage objects for your home or to resell online, if you’re in the business. You’ll also discover other unique French treasures, authentic silverware, antique jewelry, used toys in perfect condition – great for younger children when you know they’ll break it by the time you get home- for a fraction of the cost. You can save money on modern and contemporary house furniture, the list goes on. You don’t want to miss going to at least 1 vide grenier while visiting. If you’re living here I think you know what the hype is all about.

Flea market in Cannes

Home vide grenier

Another trend on the rise is where you advertise (through different Social Medias and websites), your own personal vide-grenier chez toi and have people come to you. This home “vide grenier” was actually copied from the American’s famous yard sale that is still so popular today.

The tax man

French law states that individuals can have up to 2 vide greniers a year without declaring their profits. However, if you’re organizing one at home, you must notify your Mairie (City Hall) two weeks in advance to avoid conflicts with other events. And certain cities, such as Bordeaux, prohibits vide greniers at home. So if you’re thinking of it, you’ll be much better of seeing if there are any restrictions beforehand!

You can find a list of vide greniers in your city by clicking here

We’d love to hear from you!

If you’re a fan of vide-greniers, do not hesitate to share your finds on twitter, #Frenchrivierago, or in a comment below:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *