We spend many weekends and mornings visiting brocantes, depot vents and vide greniers in the South of France. In October just as the weather here is turning Autumn like, the roads are quieter, most of the tourists have gone home and there are even more treasures to be found. Before the winter closes in there are some very large Vide Greniers on around the Languedoc region.
The easiest way to find a vide grenier is by visiting https://vide-greniers.org/Languedoc-Roussillon. You can narrow this down by clicking on the map to find ones on near you!
What to expect at a Vide Grenier!
Most Vide Greniers are organised by the local community or town to fundraise for some club or organisation. The vendors pay a small amount for their stall for the day and make money by selling whatever they have to offer. Mostly you will find bric a brac but at every one there are treasures to be had. Dealers are also present at many of the Vide Greniers with some choosing a regular area close to them or others just arriving from futher afield for the bigger Vide Greniers.
You can bargain with every trader at a vide grenier. If you are buying something very small for under 10 Euro. You can expect to get 1-4 Euro off the price. They may not want to negotiate with you at all but it is worth the try every time. For bigger items the same type of discounts hold. Dealers are less likely to offer good discounts and at the end of the day the best deals are to be had. However the item you spotted earlier in the day may well be gone at that stage!
Our rule is if you see something you like and the price is ok don't let it there, buy it immediately. If it is a big item there is usually no problem with picking it up later in the day or on your way back.
Always be super careful to check what you are buying for cracks, chips, damage or that it is working if it should be. There is usually no chance of a refund for something bought at a Vide Grenier.
What to expect at Brocantes or Second Hand Stores
A Brocante or Troc in the South of France sells anything from Antiques to Vintage Items to things you may consider junk! They are all worth visiting and you may find nothing one day and the one thing you've always been looking for the next.
You can make offers lower than the asking price but sometimes they may have to call the owner or in other cases they may say well it's been here a while you can have 10% off. Again it is always worth asking.
Inspect your items carefully before buying.
What to expect at Antique Stores
At Antique Shops in the South of France the prices are usually higher than at Brocantes or Second Hand Stores. You can always haggle with the owner who is usually present in the store and get a discount. The Antique Shops will normally have a better selection of high quality items such as furniture, mirrors and paintings.
There are many wonderful Antique stores in the Aude Region and we will be posting a list in one of our upcoming posts!