In the sleepy town of Hartville Ohio, lies the Mecca that bargain hunters dream of: Hartville Marketplace and Flea Market. As it is referred to by locals, „Hartville“ is to inexpensive and second-hand products and fresh produce what McDonald’s is to hamburgers. It is the largest, most modern and most patronized facility of its type in the Akron/Canton/ Cleveland area of Ohio.

Only 20 minutes south of Akron, 20 minutes north of Canton, and 1 hour south of Cleveland, Hartville is convenient to a large customer base. Traveling off I-77, 6 miles heading east on State Route 619, and you’ll reach the Shangri La of the frugal. Vendors travel from distances such as Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Upstate New York for an opportunity to sell at Hartville, and most do quite well financially.

Founded in 1939 as a local livestock auction, a new Hartville Marketplace and Flea Market opened in September 2002. Presently Hartville Marketplace has approximately 175 privately owned indoor shops situated inside the 110,000 square foot Main Building. Selling furniture,jewelry, housewares, clothing, DVD’s and hundreds of other items, there is something for everyone. Also indoors, Sarah’s Grille offers reasonably priced food in a cafe style setting. Occasional featured events such as a Crafts Festival, Car Show, and Classic Motorbike Show is a small sampling of the diversity offered.

Step outside the Main Building, and encounter 200 vendors in pavilion spaces, protected from the elements. There, one can purchase farm fresh produce at a fraction of retail grocery cost, and even taste a sample. Other new and second-hand items such as outdoor and sporting equipment, toys, books and electronics can be viewed and a sale negotiated. Available grocery carts and close proximity to parking make for easy transport of discovered treasures. Additionally, ample seating is present, affording the weary consumer an occasional well earned rest.

Ohio's Hartville Marketplace: Where Bickering, Dickering, and Slickering Are Welcome
Ohio’s Hartville Marketplace: Where Bickering, Dickering, and Slickering Are Welcome

Beyond the pavilion spaces, 800 outdoor vendor spaces sit, exposed to the elements, but rich in atmosphere. This is where the common folk go to sell, barter or trade unwanted items. Granny had the hip replacement? Trade her walker for a three wheeled lawn mower.

The best reason to visit Hartville Marketplace, from a personal vantage point, is experiencing the interaction of humanity in a venue of commerce. Money not only talks, occasionally it screams, whines, and unfortunately lies.

„Yep Sonny, that there Luger Pistol yer holdin I took from a dead Nazzzi at the battle of I“msofullofs***.“
„That bag of sequins came off the King himself, see, I used to work at a mortuary and one night they brought Ole Elvis in and….“
„$23 for that watch? Well my daughter just bought a genuine Rolex 3 rows over for $10, I’ll give you $3“

I really didn’t mind pushing the cart loaded with 200 pounds of produce my wife bought to our car. I wanted to leave before the Elvis guy brought out Old Blue Eyes actual Blue Eyes.