4250 Patterson Ave, Winston Salem, NC | Directions 2710536.169522 -80.263701
I love Cooks Flea Market every where you go I feel at home. It's just like being home in Mexico. Don't get me wrong, I love America but Mexico is my home, and it's rare that I get to speak my native language, but a Cooks I make it a rule to only speak Espanol!
There is a downside to Cooks though, there is a lot of smoke in the place even though I heard they've adopted no smoking policy, they don't seem to enforce it very well. I even saw a Cooks employee smoking in the building. I guess old habits die hard.
I like browsing but there really are not any good deals, except on coffee. 90 percent of everything for sale is brand new, and the vendors want basically full blown retail price, and some even charge sales tax, never heard of that in a flea market.
It's not really a dangerous place as some have told me, but it does come across as 'shady'. Mostly because they sell drug paraphenalia and even pornography. That shocked me because Cooks claims to be a family friendly place, but the you see XXX shops with hidden entries, which you can't see into. For all you can tell from the outside there could be prostitution going on in there. Just like someone mentioned in another comment somethings just should not be in the same building as children. XXX shops are 1 of them.
FIRST AND LAST VISIT – Just moved here from New Jersey and thought I would check out the local 'flea market'. First of all at a flea market I expect to see lots of used merchandise for low prices, instead what I found was a lot of low quality 'new' merchandise at full retail prices. I thought to myself, 'Why didn't I just go to Wal-mart?' Most of the sellers seem okay, but each aisle has a minimum of two agressive sellers. You know the kind that make it uncomfortable to walk passed. I like to browse and I wasn't able to do that here.
There are alot of people selling the same type of stuff here. Like the stuff you see on those late night commercials with Tom Bosley...SMC but there are no bargains to found and I tried hard to find something for my neices and nephews.
I see from the other reviewers that people don't like smoke which surprises me since this is Winston Salem the cigarette capital of the world. I guess there was some smoke but since I'm a smoker it doesn't bother me, except for the clothes smell a litttle, but I'm used to that I guess.
The best thing I can say about Cooks is that its big and I got alot of exercise walking around for nothing. The worst things I can say is 1) it's not really a flea market 2) it is a bad neighborhood 3) they sell beer and people can drink it while walking around
Beer and children do not mix, to me that's just commonsense. I was shocked and amazed to see Cooks pouring tall boys into plastic cups...on a Sunday no less...
Needless to say, I'll not be returning.
Cooks has a dangerous atmosphere and smokey – I have to agree with the people who mentioned the second-hand smoke problem in Cooks, depending on the day, sometimes you can hardly breath in there, but no matter what day it is you'll leave with your clothes smelling of smoke similar to as if you've been to a bar. The dangerous aspect of Cooks has mostly to do with aggressive sellers and the gang bangers that hangout there. There's even an indie rap label selling there. On the positive side, being a Mexican-American I like that about half of the vendors there speak Spanish.
It's "Fun"!!!! – I found a husky dog for the man who stole my heart....giggling. To this day I have a special place in my heart for COOKS, I love to walk around the place. I have found treasures in there - literally!.
All the vendors are very nice and respectful, it is always a comfortable tempurature in there, good food, music and a gentle atmosphere.
If you look UP! you can see cameras outside and inside so it is very safe, and I'm a single female. Just because someone is a horrible seller, negative and judgemental does'nt give them the right to put down this family owned business. It was one of my most favorite spots to go to on my days off and I work full time.
I could get lost in there for literally "hours". You've got a mixture of all walks of life, levels of income and everyone is very polite and respectful.
Please disregard the "other" negative posts. I seriously think they are miserable people. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!...Shayla + aka...Shae-Shae
Low hanging hze – I'm sure this will not be a popular observation here in Winston Salem, but I took my small children there to look around this weekend only to discover they allowed smoking inside. That's their choice, I'm not debating that. But I wish I had known, I would not have gone, certainly not with my little girls.
Be warned, there is an intense low-hanging haze of smoke through out the building.
Scary – I did not feel safe visiting the Cook's Flea Market. I went because a friend said that one of the booths had something I was looking for. Parking was difficult and I did not feel safe walking to the building - even though it was the middle of the day. Inside it was crowded and the vendors offered the junk you'd expect to find at a flea market. I don't plan to return
Its not COOKS, its CrOOKS – The hallmark of a good flea market is that a shopper can find a good deal, but that isn't what you find at Cooks. Cooks management favors certain sellers over others, which leads to higher prices for shoppers. For example, if a vendor sets up a booth to sell a product and one of Cooks management's favored sellers complains about the competition Cooks management will force the not favored seller to move their booth to a different part of the flea market. This disrupts the unfavored sellers business and allows the favored seller to sell items at inflated prices. I saw this over and over again while I was a vendor there. I too was forced to move because a favored seller complained about my great low prices. And when you look at these favored sellers you notice that they all look like about the same, because they're family. Cooks management has family members operating vendor booths all over building in all the prime locations. They spend a fortune on their booths, and clearly do not have to worry about paying space rental. The game at Cooks is rigged to favor the catcher mitt faced family of the owner, and that cheats of the shoppers of getting good values on items because it dampens competition. Shop somewhere else, and if you're a vendor, sell somewhere else because if you start making any money, Cooks management will hassle you because they view it as taking money from their favorites. I was making good money, and then suddenly a competitor started showing up in my booth, next it was the manager, then the owner, then the office manager. Then they told me I had to move my booth because another vendor was 'raising hell' because I was selling the same products she was. They move me to a terrible location, and I only broke even one more time before I moved. On top of all this, they acted as if I had committed a crime by selling and being successful. These are kind of people that act overly nice, and you wonder why. Then you find out why, they're crooks. Its a nasty bunch running Cooks, I call it Crooks now.
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