For more than 30 years Rosenthal has sold French club chairs and English Chesterfield sofas in the Marché Serpette. “You must specialize” Rosenthal said, sellers who do not specialize and instead sell “a bit of everything” struggle.
Jus works for Pascal Weitz who has 4 locations in the Marché aux Puces, this stand sells glass pieces mainly from the 1800s-1970s. Jus has been working at the stand for only 2 months, but is learning the business and hopes to open her own stand within the next 10 years.
Lemoine's stand, La Mainson du Roy (house of the king), has been in the Marché Serpette for 15 years. He has two stands overflowing with art and antiques as well as a location in Paris proper.
For 13 years D’Assy has specialized in Scandinavian pieces. “A lot of my clients are Parisians who come spend their Sundays at the flea market. We also have some foreign traders, antique dealers but they're not the most significant part of my customers; I mainly work with private individuals. I think it's related to the fact that I make it look cosy, like home so people can easily picture themselves with my objects.”
Jaucquelin has been in the market for 45 years and owns two stands opposite each other specializing in antique home supplies and linens. “Young people have no interest in antiques,” said Jaucquelin. If they buy ancient furniture, it's from the 1950s-1970s. We used to work with about 80% of traders. Now it's about 10% of traders and mainly private individuals. Back then we would have collectors, but they're all gone now. American, German, English traders don't come anymore. That's what has completely changed in the profession: we very rarely work with professionals now.”
Matthey-Doret has worked in the market for 16 years selling things he finds interesting; mainly jewelry & collectibles, but “nothing new.”
Renoult stands in the hop that she shares with her husband. They used to have to have two separate shops next door to each other, however following the terrorist attacks in Paris they saw a decrease in business and combined shops to save money. Renoult said the combination has worked well for both of them.
Ahmed has had his stand for 10 years and is a brocanteur selling a random assortment of items. Marché Jules Vallés is the most traditional flea market with small stands exploding with a wide selection of items. “Clients changed a lot in the past 10 years. We still work with foreigners, because it is a very important market to them. Many of them come here to buy their products and sell them in America, Italy, Egypt, Iran, Turkey.”
Lenati does not specialize in specific antiques, but rather sells an assortment of many things. “I am not an antiquer, but a brocanteur,” said Lenati. “people like me will all be gone in 20 years, the brocanteurs are being replaced by gallerists; people in their 20s and 30s.”
Ben-Mohamud has worked in the market for 35 years and sells 18th & 19th century antiques for home decoration.