What it’s like being on Flea Market Flip – Part 1

Hi Everyone!!!

We were on HGTV’s Flea Market Flip competition and the show aired on March 1st showing that WE WON! If you missed it you can download it from iTunes here: Happy Flipping Anniversary Or you can watch it on Amazon Prime here: Happy Flipping Anniversary

Fun isn’t even a good enough word to describe what it was like being on the show. It was a dream come true for me. I’d been watching the show for years with my friend, Marcie. We would eat ice cream and drink coffee until all hours of the night watching one DVR’d episode after episode. Marcie urged me to try to get on the show. I really thought there would be no chance at all. We emailed the casting crew and didn’t hear anything back for about 4-5 months. Then they emailed us back and asked us to do a Skype interview. That was AWKWARD at best. Holy cow, I thought for sure there was no way we would be chosen. Have you ever had a Skype interview? Well, then you understand. ;)


When John and I got to the hotel late the night before, I realized I forgot my bathroom bag. Good thing I wasn’t going on TV the next day because I had no hair straightener, shampoo, blow dryer, tooth paste, or deodorant. And I forgot my phone charger and iPad. Oh wait! I WAS going on TV the next day. Do you think I was stressed or nervous? Maybe, just a touch :).  I totally begged the front desk for the necessities and made it work.  To bed we went and it was one of those night’s when you wake up 100 times to make sure you didn’t miss the ungodly early alarm that was set. A girl must not be late her first time meeting Lara Spencer and miss being on Flea Market Flip. I woke up early and forgot to ask for shampoo so I had to walk to the front desk looking like poop. Who did I  meet in the hall while looking like poop? One of the guys working for Flea Market Flip… the sound tech. I found out that was him later when we met at the filming. Oh hi… yeah, you’re the guy in the hall this morning. lol

The first day of filming was a brisk, misty day. We had to be there bright and early (about 6am) to meet our producers and get set for the day.

FMF9 When we got the the flea market, they wired us with our microphones and we met our producer (each team gets one). There are usually multiple teams being filmed at the same time. I had read on other blogs that you usually get time to look through the flea market to get an idea of what pieces you would like to buy before filming starts. That morning we found out we were the first team up for filming so had no time to check out the flea market. We had never been to the Stormville Flea Market and it’s HUGE. That being said, it was overwhelming! I asked the producer if we could run it for like 10 minutes to get an idea of which direction even had furniture. Every other team would have time to look as they waited for their turn to be recorded. They gave us 10 minutes and we ran! I found a couple things I liked, but you can’t talk to any vendor for any reason. Just look!Then we were given our flip list.

Modern Americana was the trickiest one for us. We took it as meaning we should do something that was a vintage American made piece and make it have more modern lines.

We had 1 hour of live time to find and purchase all the furniture. That was extremely difficult just because it was such a large flea market and we lost our bearings and couldn’t find the pieces we had run by for 10 minutes. Everything takes much longer while filming so the 1 hour felt like 10 minutes. They have to stop to have the people selling at the flea sign waivers saying they would be on TV and stop to film from different angles and have us explain why we bought what we did. By the end, we were running just to find something what would work with the tractor gear to turn into a coffee table.

By the end of the hour, this is what we bought.


I was worried that the ironing board wouldn’t work right with the tractor wheel. I loved the cable spool and what we could make it into. I was a little disappointed in the trunk. I didn’t want to buy a trunk  because I feel like that’s so cliche. We were running out of time and HAD to buy something.  I was thinking of turning it into a coffee table, but decided later it had to be more. I wouldn’t settle for a coffee table.

This is what our competition bought.


At the end of the day, I was thinking… how would they make this into style storage? Would the couch be too big for a NYC apartment? I was a little worried about the chairs mostly because seating can make a huge profit if it was done right. The lamp had potential depending on how they redid it.

The next day of filming was the workshop day and my favorite of all the days!

Stay tuned because I’ll be posting more about day 2 and 3 of filming days on Flea Market Flip soon!

Here’s a quick snap shot of some of our furniture makeovers. You can see more by clicking the See on Pinterest  button at the bottom of the page.

Follow Sarah Trop – FunCycled’s board FunCycled Painted Furniture Projects on Pinterest.
We have furniture for sale on our Furniture For Sale Page or we can custom build dining room tables, coffee tables or buffets for you.

Don’t see anything there you like? You can also check out our Upcoming Projects page. We can paint anything there however you would like or paint furniture that you already own.
Last but not least, you can fill out our Furniture Wish List and I’ll try to find a furniture piece you’re looking for.

Ahhhhh so excited!!! Happy funcycling friends!

Sarah ;)

If you like what you see, please like FunCycled’s Facebook page to keep up to date on the newest finds, vote on colors and give your input on our creativity. There is a box at the top right of this page to enter your email address in to receive notifications by email when I post something new on this blog.

Please sign up today! Last but not least, let us customize a furniture piece for you. We create custom furniture and will deliver for customers in upstate NY and will also ship throughout the US. Send us a note with what you would like using our contact page. Or buy something that we’ve already designed from our furniture for sale page.

🎉 Share the fun with your friends!

76 thoughts on “What it’s like being on Flea Market Flip – Part 1

  1. I was just wondering what they do with furniture that doesn’t sell?

    1. Hi Jenn,

      We were told the show just keeps it. I think the staff may be able to keep it if they like it, but I’m not 100% sure of that.


      1. I have always wondered about this and the crew and show should not keep it! It should be placed on ebay auction and auctioned off for charity!
        Blessings in a Backpack
        No Child Hungry
        Foster Kids
        Gods Love/Food for people with AIDS

    2. ×

      1. I agree. I recently watched an episode in which she encouraged a buyer at the last minute to make an offer and totally changed the outcome of the competition. She knew the team only needed a very small amount more in sales in order to win. Very disappointing.

        1. Totally agree. I just watched one where she negiotiated up for one team who ended up winning by $15 over the other team. She shouldn’t be able to that. It is unfair to the other team. Not that our opinions will matter.

    3. TOTALLY AGREE! We binged this afternoon and found Lara’s interference simply annoying.

      1. I totally agree. This is not about her, it is about what the contestants can do. Keep her opinion and ideas to herself. It is unfair and completely against what the show is about.

    4. How do you get All this done in one day??? What kind of pant do you use that dries so fast even in a dryng room. I like show and enjoy it even if I think it’s fake

  2. What happens to the profits made from selling the pieces? Do you get to keep them or does HGTV keep them?

    1. was thinking the same thing does anyone know?

      1. Profits are included in the $5000.00 prize.

        1. Actually, you win the $5,000 only – you don’t get to keep the money you make from selling the pieces, too.
          -Sarah from FunCycled

    2. They keep the pieces that don’t sell. ;)
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  3. I love flea market flip and would love to be on the show. Your pieces are beautiful and I’m so glad you guys won! Are you planning on writing about the rest of your flea market flip experience soon? Thanks and good luck flipping!!!

  4. First, I love Lara Spencer. Second I can’t stand the show as I feel she gives some shoppers “too much help”. I know she gets excited about a good idea or a tip on price to place, but it takes away from the shoppers skills. Another thing, if I saw one more show where shoppers made a “bar” I was going to go nuts. Lara, you are smart, pretty, articulate but you “but in” too much with the shoppers. Host the show, don’t take it over. I would like to watch it again but many of us feel you need to “step back” and host, not channel the shoppers.

    1. Mauryne – I totally agree – Lara needs to step back. I wince every time she gives a little too much input to both contestants and especially shoppers. In fact on a show I watched tonight, she steered 2 contestants toward a desk and even suggested decoupage (sp?) with maps. Totally Lara’s idea. They did it and won the show handily based on the sale of that desk-turned bar thing. Hmmmm.

    2. OMG. if I see one more bar, that NO ONE (I know) has!! Or if I see another coffee table, I will hurl!!

      1. lol! Even our coffee table made you want to hurl?? ;)

    3. I totally agree, Lara butting in ruins the show for me. I love her personality but she needs to but out!! I just flip to another channel as soon as she starts to negotiate. Give her her own flip show and eliminate the contestants.

      1. lol! Even our coffee table made you want to hurl?? ;)

      2. What an awful thing to say. Get over it.

  5. Please release day 2!

  6. Was wondering how you got on the show? Thanks!

    1. I’m the Casting Director for HGTV’s ‘Flea Market Flip’ and we’re currently casting creative and fun teams for the upcoming season!

      We are only casting for a few more weeks so if you want to compete, please send us an email today for submission information.

      Sammi Mendenhall

  7. Hi Sarah! I just came across your blog and saw that some of your readers would like to know how to get on the show … they can just email me!

    That’s right, we’re gearing up for another season so people need to email me BEFORE the end of April, 2016 so that we can get the ball rolling … you know the crazy process:)

    Happy to read that you had a great time!


    Casting Assistant
    Sammi Mendenhall Casting
    347. 449. 4303

  8. Please make more shows! I absolutely love to watch! This show has me glued. Laura your the best!!

    1. We would love that!!! :)

  9. Hi! I just saw your episode of Flea Market Flip on HGTV. I’m IN LOVE with the storage piece you made out of the trunk. Is there anyway to see more pictures of that project? I can’t find any online!

    1. Once I post Day 3 – I should have more pictures for you. :)
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  10. Enjoy the show. Why aren’t $ points awarded for those who actually do what the flip list says the best? Basically, everything seems to end up being “take something old and make it usable again”! why not reward contestants who actually do what the flip list was asking?and provide a little bit of suspense as who gets the extra $$!!!!!! And! Did you all know that Lara always looks at the couple who did not win as she dramatically turns and points to the winners!!! Always!

    1. That’s funny!! I was so determined to do the actually flip list because I hate when teams don’t even do what the actually challenge is. Totally agree with you – there should be some way to make the teams do the actual challenge or remove some points for not doing that. Good thinking! :)

  11. This is a silly question I just watched flea market flip and flipping bingos, there was a couple on there who was friends, lisa and pat, being an avid flea marketer myself so hard to find a guy who likes to do same, he is a cutie pie, and if aired in ny i would think he is local nj or ny, if you know him(and he is truly single) lol, would like to meet up at a local flea market here in nj, so silly I know, but hey ya never know :)

    1. He wasn’t recorded the same week as we were so I don’t know him. So sorry!! :(

  12. I asked what happens to the items not sold on the market flip program and as of yet I still haven’t seen an answer to the question. some of the items are great and some are stupid as ever. so what’s the answer to the question?
    thank you and happy labor day week end.

    1. We were told that the show keeps the unsold items and I’m guessing either donates them or sells them. :) Hope that helps!
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  13. Well, what DOES happen to the unsold stuff?
    I’ve been at this since 1957 – can’t tell you how often I have seen stuff I did a million years ago being done in your contest – but that’s a good thing!
    Our kids grew up in thrift stores, garage sales, burn pits ( mission oak furniture in the 60’s and up). Now they are teaching their significant others, children to do the same.
    My first stop with my clients is consignment shops – if that doesn’t scare them, we go to thrift stores, etc. (I do provide all the usual product as well.)

    1. We were told that the show keeps the unsold items and I’m guessing either donates them or sells them. :) It is an awesome show!!! Loved being a part of it! Hope that helps!
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  14. FMF should open an online store to sell the unsold items from the show. Give the money to charity or something.

    1. That’s a great idea!!! :)

  15. My wife and I love the show lara Spencer is great with guests,do the losers get any money for being on the show,do they ever try to resell in Connecticut or it always NYC.You have made my wife flea market shoppers.

    1. No, the losers don’t get anything at all for being on the show. Except a super fun few days and getting to say they were on national TV. :)
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  16. Are sellers prompted on what price they want. I know if someone came to me raving about an item, negotiations are limited. Of course to see myself on T.V. would let me sell at little to no profit.

    1. The staff helps you pick prices that will sell but in the end, they let each team choose whatever price they think is best. :)
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  17. Can one buy the things that dont sale on the show?

    Lynn Perry

    1. Unfortunately, not that I know of. Sorry about that! :(

  18. My girlfriend & I so would like to do this ! Who do we contact?

    1. I’m the Casting Director for HGTV’s ‘Flea Market Flip’ and we’re currently casting creative and fun teams for the upcoming season!

      We are only casting for a few more weeks so if you want to compete, please send us an email today for submission information.

      Sammi Mendenhall

  19. How do you sign up to be on Flea Market Flip? I love this show :-)

    1. I’m the Casting Director for HGTV’s ‘Flea Market Flip’ and we’re currently casting creative and fun teams for the upcoming season!

      We are only casting for a few more weeks so if you want to compete, please send us an email today for submission information.

      Sammi Mendenhall

      1. Hi Sammi!
        Thanks for all the info and for having us on the show! We absolutely loved being part of it!! You all are amazing!!
        -Sarah from FunCycled

  20. Do the losers get any money to keep at all?

    1. No, they don’t get to keep anything! :)
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  21. Same Question, what do they do with the items that don’t sell?????? Why do we get no answers?

    1. We were told that the show keeps the unsold items and I’m guessing either donates them or sells them. :) Hope that helps!
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  22. I love ❤️ the show! Would love to be on with my daughter or my son! My son is so frugal he can make anything work!!

    1. Hi Karey,

      You should try out for it! It’s pretty easy to get on!

      -Sarah from FunCycled

  23. How come Sammi Mendenhall will only answer the question about how to get on the show, but not the question everyone wants the answer to, what happens to the unsold items? Also, what happens to the money mad on the show?

    1. Hi Hellen,
      We were told that the show keeps the unsold items and I’m guessing either donates them or sells them. The show also keeps the money that was made. :) Hope that helps!
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  24. I have always wondered , what do the losers get. Other than lots of fun.

    1. Hi Sandra,
      The losers don’t get anything at all! It’s still worth the experience in my opinion though. :)
      -Sarah from FunCycled

  25. Is it really filmed 3 days in a row? I was just watching an episode where they were in shorts and tank tops at the flea market and then they were bundled up and freezing on “day 3”.

  26. Is it really filmed 3 days in a row? I was just watching an episode where they were in shorts and tank tops at the flea market (day 1) and then they were bundled up and freezing on “day 3”.

    1. Yes, it’s filmed 3 different days, but not always in a row. Ours were once a week for three weeks, but I know others have gone once a month for three months.

  27. For the extra $100 you get to build your products do they have a catalog or store they send you to? Do they pretty much have everything you can imagine? And do they really let you do whatever you want or they have to approve?

    Are the buyers staged or get an incentive for buying from you?

    1. What required fields see I answered stared fields???

  28. FMF is a great show, my one big issue is that the contestants are given a flip list, but the categories are soooooo vague, and if the contestants pieces dont really work with the category, no one says anything, and or they are not penalized for it. i think they should be given extra points (money credit perhaps) for the team that makes pieces that best fit the categories given.

  29. I agree with the suggestion about rewarding the team whose items best adhere to the flip list. I really like that idea. Also selling the unsold items on their page. AWESOME SHOW!!!!

  30. I just got finished watching an episode of the show. I think it was totally unfair because one team won by $15. The reason I thought it was unfair is because the winning team was offered $100 for their motorcycle fender coffee table and before they could accept or reject the offer Lars got involved and ended up getting them $180. She should stay out of the selling and negotiating. The other team would have won if she had of stayed out of it.

    1. We agree! Have loved Lara since Antiques Roadshow, but it was really unfair that she helped that couple get more for their item. She should stick to just hosting, not butting in. Not sure we’ll keep watching…

      1. How long do you have to sell your items at the flea market?

  31. Are the buyers staged ? Who moves the items bought at the flea market to the shops to be renovated?

  32. I just read this stream of comments. I agree, I don’t enjoy Lara Spencer making suggestions to the contestants. I usually don’t agree with her suggestions. I think she should not get involved. I just saw the episode with the fender table and that truly was unfair. I wish I could have bought the last table that didn’t sell on the last episode, it was some kind of mold – it was amazing. Should auction online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *