Featuring over 700 exhibitors spread on 5 hectares of fields, the Bric-à-Brac de Marsac (Charente) is one of the largest professional garage sales in France, together with the Grande Braderie de Lille (10,000 exhibitors), the Foire aux Puces de Crèvecœur-le-Grand (2,200 exhibitors), and the Grande Réderie d’Amiens (2,000 exhibitors).
Organized every year in September in Marsac – a town located 9 miles from Angoulême -, the Bric-à-Brac has been since 1975 the meeting point for collectors and fans of old objects from around France and abroad. Many antique shoppers, interior designer, and flea market enthusiasts come as far as the UK, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands to attend this two-days antique show.
Because 70% of the 700 vendors selling at the Bric-à-Brac de Marsac are professional dealers, the quality of the goods on sale is guaranteed year on year. From Antique furniture and heirloom-quality oil paintings to gramophones, kitchenware, ceramic items, porcelain craftwork, stuffed animals, vintage French linen, antique wooden trunks, antique tools, vintage clothing, phonographs, antique cameras and other knick-knacks, the Bric-à-Brac de Marsac is a paradise for bargain hunters and antiques lovers alike. No wonder why the Bric-à-Brac is attended by over 15,000 every time!
In order to make sure that only reputable dealers with high quality antiques and vintage merchandises sell at this event, the organizers of the Bric-à-Brac de Marsac have set the price of stalls at around 30 euros per meter, in order to deter private vendors from showing up to sell cheap knick-knacks at 1 euro or 50 cents. However, prices remain rather affordable at the Bric-à-Brac de Marsac, all the more so as when compared to other flea markets in major French cities like Paris.
Because of its renown – one of the five best flea markets in all France -, most shoppers attending the Bric-à-Brac de Marsac who are really serious about antiques, usually show up as early as 5 am on the first day of the fair to increase their chances of finding hidden treasures. Those interested by a good bargain usually show up on the second day when vendors are more willing to haggle, although they also run the risk of missing out on some real treasures.
In addition to its on-site catering (sandwiches, grilled meats, French fries, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, coffee, fresh fruit, ice cream), the Bric-à-Brac de Marsac offers useful services to its visitors. For instance, shoppers who purchase bulky pieces of furniture are allowed to use the free services of a quad with a trailer, that drives around the premises and delivers large items to one of the entrance of the Bric-à-Brac, from where they can be later picked-up by a car or a truck.
Due to its epic size (5 hectares of fields), the Bric-à-Brac de Marsac is not for the faint-hearted. But the joy to see so many traders in one place with such interesting stock for only 3€, makes it well worth the effort.