“We were not impressed with Marché aux Puces (in Saint-Ouen/Paris) last October,” wrote Ginny. “Everything just looked picked over and probably was. Any ideas?” She and her friend want to take a train and go outside Paris and chiner (pick) for antiques and second-hand treasures. One suggestion to find something different is to go to a vide-grenier (attic-emptier). People sell their unwanted belongings on the streets of their cute little towns!
France Brocante and and Vide-Greniers are two websites that can help. For local Paris brocantes/flea markets/vide-greniers, pick up a copy of l’Officiel des spectacles at a newsstand. In the table of contents page (“Sommaire”) look for “Marchés et Antiquitiés.”
The France Brocante site provides information on antiques (brocante professionals), flea markets (individuals), Marché aux puces (flea market, professionals), Braderie (end of stock sales), Bourse de collection (barter and exchange), Rederie (could be a play on words for “braderie” or as used in 1854 in the Histoire des rues d’Amiens to mean: charge as much as the market will handle), Bric à brac (tools/odds & ends), Foire à tout (trade fairs), and Salon des antiquaires (antique fairs). On the home page is the agenda for brocantes in France. For the train ride close to Paris (Ile-de-France), you want to choose the following from the agenda options: (75) Paris, (77) Seine et Marne, (78) Yvelines, (91) Essonne, (92) Hauts de Seine, (93) Seine Saint Denis, (94) Val de Marne, or (95) Val d’Oise.
How does the France Brocante site work? Organizers, town halls and tourist offices send information to France Brocante. France Brocante shares the information online for location, dates and type of event as soon as they find out.