PROFILE: Searching for a bargain

Published 10:18 am Monday, February 23, 2009

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday local residents look for low prices and deals that are so good they seem like steals.

The Chesapeake and Proctorville Flea Markets allow residents to sell and purchase new and used items for low prices.

And while shoppers agree they enjoy the low prices, many of them just like to go to the markets to spend time with friends.

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“I like to talk to people I know,” Jesse Marcum of Kenova, W.Va., said. “I just drink coffee and we enjoy ourselves.”

Marcum has a partner that he goes to the flea markets with every Saturday. He said they started going after his wife was bed ridden.

Zandra King is a vendor from South Point. She is new to the local flea markets but said she has been enjoying herself.

“So far, from what I see, it’s a family atmosphere and it gives people a place to see each other,” King said. “I have made a lot friends since I’ve been here. It’s like everyone looks out for everyone else.”

She said she is retired and wanted something to do.

“I’m cleaning out my house is what I’m doing,” King said.

Ed Bellville, a South Point resident who enjoys the local flea markets said he takes advantage of more than quality time with his friends.

“It helps financially,” he said. “But, it’s also a place for people to loaf.”

Jackie “The Purse Lady” Smith said she offers prices as low as $5 and many items for less than half the prices of retail stores.

“(The flea market) provides quality things they can afford,” Smith said.

Smith said she sells an array of things, but mainly antiques.

Joy Beaver, a Crown City resident, who sells custom corn hole products said not only does the market offer low prices, but it helps the community.

“With the economy, I think this gives people an alternative to straight retail,” she said. “They spend money and the money gets reinvested in the community.”

She said vendors are able to have low overhead.

“It’s a retail place without a lot of expenses,” she said. “And, I get good exposure. It’s a win/win situation for me.”

Both flea markets have been open for more than 15 years.

Jeff Jones, co-owner of the Proctorville Flea Market, said he believes customers get the best value for their dollar at flea markets.

The Proctorville Flea Market has more than 150 vendors and also has a produce section.

“You can come here every weekend and get fresh produce,” he said.

One of the more unique features of his market is that an auction is held every Saturday evening.

“You can find just about anything you want here,” he said.

Both flea markets are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Profile 2009 is The Tribune’s annual section about the people, places and issues of Lawrence County and the surrounding area.