Oakland has various flea markets based on the day of the week but there are a few major ones worth checking out.
Oakland Coliseum Flea Market
5401 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA 94601 | (510) 534-0325
7 days a week but of course much more populated on Saturday and Sunday.
Entry fee varies between .50 cents and $1.50
You’ve probably seen this massive flea market while driving down 880 because of the large drive-in movie screens still standing. I would say this is the largest and longest running flea market around but then I would be making stuff up. I know it is way bigger than Ashby and Laney combined, but as for how long? I am not sure.
I grew up going to this flea market / swap meet on Coliseum Way. My friends older sister would sell luggage and things here.
To me this flea market has always pretty much had cheap knock offs from China. Even my homies sister, who was fresh from China would sell products imported from China.
But my friend and I would go with her, help out, run around the flea market being kids, buying stink bombs, janky pocket knifes, poppers and smoke bombs. Sometimes we would also sell our old Nintendo games at her stand.
But what I’m saying is don’t go here expecting to find goods, antiques, treasures and promises to resell on eBay or Craigslist. This is no treasure market. It’s mostly sold as brand new generic or knock off designer stuff from purses to make up and other household goods. Fake aspirin, unknown soaps, deodorants and cleaning materials. Sometimes you see real brand packaging but base on everything else here you can only wonder, is it REALLY Bayer? If so did it “fall off a truck”?
You can find a large amount of stolen goods here in the back shady areas, such as car stereos, work tools, CD’s and even stolen bikes. But don’t really expect a good deal. If you are ever on the hunt for your stuff, I suggest you go here. But be careful, there have been many reports of cars getting broken into in the parking lot and even recently the swap meet security shot a person suspected of carrying a gun and breaking into cars in the parking lot.
If for some insane reason you want to sell your stuff at this Flea Market you can find more info here.
Laney College Flea Market
7t St & Fallon St
$1 Fee | Sunday Only 7:30am – 4pm
The Laney Flea Market is located in the parking lot of Laney College and only open on Sundays. There is a $1 fee for half of the flea market and the other half is free. You’re actually more likely to find your stolen bike here on a Sunday so check here first. This is stolen item heaven actually because the mangers do nothing at all to combat it.
As for what to buy here? Pretty much the same junk, knock offs, bootlegs, generic brands and stolen goods as the Coliseum Swap Meet. This is not a place to find the goods for resale or collection. I myself lived on 6th ave and would come here frequently in my eBay days and pretty much never ever found anything worth while. The sellers here over price the junk, so if it is worth buying, it’s not going to make you a profit.
However with this place you may find genuine stolen goods straight out of the store for less than retail prices and the City of Oakland is very aware of the massive stolen goods ring and does nothing about it.
Berkeley Flea Market Ashby BART
1937 Ashby Ave. Berkeley, CA 94703 | (510) 644-0744
Free | Saturday & Sunday only 7am to 7pm
Sorry, gotta include Berkeley on this one. This is actually the smaller of the 3 and sort of the best, but honestly it does suck these days too. It is now a heaven for cheap junk, crappy sun glasses, incense, pocket knifes, China knock off imports and even yes, you guessed it stolen bikes. There is a big African influence here so you may find some cultural goods but in my opinion it looks like a lot of salvaged items from hurricane Katrina. But there are some random overpriced treasures in the mix.
This one is located in the Ashby BART parking lot which makes it a little bit better because it’s so easy to get to. And there is always a massive drum circle going on, the groove is nice and soothing most of the time. This flea market believe it or not may be the ghettoist of them all due to the occasional thugs and drug dealers trying to get rid of stolen bikes in the back half. You’ll know what I mean when you find yourself walking down that alley.
Alameda Point Antique Fair & Auctions
2900 Navy Way Alameda, CA 94501 | (510) 522-7500
FIRST Sunday every month ONLY 6am – 3pm
Time scale admission:
This is the honestly only thing worth going to out of all of them. It is only hosted once a month on the Alameda Navel Air Station and it does have an entry fee. But instead of a janky stolen goods and imported knock offs, you find real deal entrenched antique dealers full of treasures from the past. But these guys are no noobs, many of them own brick and mortar store fronts in other cities and travel far and wide for this monthly extravagant bazaar, so they will charge you an arm and a leg because this is how they make a living.
I highly recommend going here to browse even if you do not plan on buying anything. It’s fun to walk around and just look and it’s very big.
I myself used to go every month and did indeed find things to resell for profit on ebay and Craigslist. You just gotta know your market and how to advertise to it to make a profit.
Do check out their website for more info.
The same group that throws this massive exposition also host frequent real time estate auctions. This is where you find the real deals and it’s fun because you get to hold up a paddle and take place in real time bidding against other people.
View our list of Oakland Farmers Markets.