By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Lancaster Marketplace
Address: 1304 Lunenburg Road (Route 70), Lancaster
General Manager: Sebastian Valera
Contact Information: 866-400-3532 or www.thelancastermarketplace.com
What is the Lancaster Marketplace?
“It's a year-round indoor flea market that has been going since 2003. We'se open Sundays only, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's air-conditioned, and we have about 50 outdoor tables as well, in the summer,” said Sebastian Valera, general manager of the 60,000-square-foot market, which has 315 booths and 40 indoor table displays.
What will shoppers find here?
“You's be surprised at the things I'se seen. We have gold, silver, stamps, power tools, stereo equipment, flat-screen TVs, vacuum cleaners. We have vendors who sell only new items, such as women's clothing, shoes, work jackets and pants. Several people sell new gift items – Oriental gifts, incense, candles, quartz pieces. We have antique and collectible dealers, candy makers, craft people, people selling old tools.
“The deals are unbelievable and the prices are right. Vendors turn over their inventory quickly. You just have to come and look. You'sl find things you never knew existed. Forget about the shopping list.”
Who are the vendors?
“About 80 percent of our vendors are permanent. This is their store, and many have been here since 2003. Customers come in every week and know where they are and what they sell.
“We also have indoor tables that rent for $25 a day, so some vendors come in every week and reserve a table. A lot of first-timers come in and then it's habit-forming. Once they take a table, they just keep coming back, like a yard sale with guaranteed traffic. You can sell your stuff and nobody knows where you live. If you'se cleaned out your basement or attic, bring it here.”
What services do you offer?
“We have our own 1950s-style diner, the Lady Lancaster, with full breakfast and full lunch. We sell state lottery tickets, ice cream, cotton candy. There's a kiddie carnival with six rides, including a 1958 carousel. We have an ATM machine. Most of the vendors take cash, but we do accept credit cards on their behalf.
“Admission is $2, $1 for folks 55 and older. Children under 12 are free. You can find coupons everywhere, including our website, www.thelancastermarketplace.com.”
How many people visit on a Sunday?
“This time of year we see about 30,000, but this is not our busiest season. We really pick up right after Christmas through May. People go to malls to buy Christmas presents; after Christmas they come here to buy for themselves. In the winter we'se the only show in town. In the summer, we see about 1,800 to 3,000 a week.”