One of my favorites French traditions in weekends starting April is to go to vide-grenier. It’s kind of a yard or garage sale but it doesn’t take place in front of people house’s or garages, it is organized by the city hall place on a big boulevard or street, depends of the city. And you even pay a small rent from 4 euros/m square to even 18 euros in Paris if you want to sell stuff. As you all know you can really find great deals at these kind of sale. Usually people don’t look to make business they just want to get rid of their stuff and have fun in meantime. To participate at a vide-grenier has its social part as well.
Last year I went to a lot of vide-grenier in Provence, small villages, generous and rich people, every item of clothing cost from 2 to 10 euros max, they did not have either an extraordinary offer but every Sunday I found some good shoes, leather bags or boots. Therefore, not bad at all. This year, I decided to change the region and went to Paris. The first time I went, it was by chance. It was close to Montmartre and it was huge. I made some very good deals on some shoes, jackets, new converse. It was very excited. However, I noticed a slightly change in the participants. There weren’t anymore the usually people who wanted to get rid of their stuff, I saw a bunch of sellers with merchandise which did not seem from their own houses. And they did not have the same prices either. With them you couldn’t negotiate. They were there to make business.
In the lasts three weeks I insisted to go to other vide-grenier in Paris and sadly enough I found the same pattern: people who maybe stole the items or got them through I don’t know which ways go to vide-grenier to sell them.
Furthermore, I have noticed a novelty : the new wave of immigrants got the tip of the vide-grenier and they use it to sell their statues and decoration objects brought, I don’t know how, from their homeland.
Furthermore, what I enjoy the more are the Parisians who call every clothing item that they have a vintage. Even today, I witness an English woman trying on a very old and worn out jacket from CHLOE. The price? 75 euros! There are more and more who take advantage from the tourists and more and more tourists search for these kind of events to make a bargain.
On the left, you can see the woman trying on the jacket, unfortunately the angle is not that great. I did not want to see me taking the picture.
All in all, the vide-grenier is a great experience. Bu things have started to change.