Drive past that same spot on a Saturday morning, and you'll see that the Newport News market is a hub of shopping activity. Vendors are busy trucking in goods and setting up tables under the wooden pavilion as early as 6 a.m., while shoppers start to trickle in around 10 a.m.
To gain attention, some of the vendors take a more direct sales approach, calling out to potential customers as they walk past. Yusuf Shabazz of Newport News lounges quietly behind his table full of bed sheets waiting for the shoppers to come to him.
Situated at the front of the market with bed sheets labeled as 1,000-thread-count Egyptian cotton, Shabazz finds that customers make their way to his table on their own.
"I don't need any publicity," he says with a smirk. "I've got plenty of customers."
And with soft-to-the-touch sheets selling for as little as $25 a set, Shabazz knows he has an edge over stores like Macy's which, he says, sell the same sheets for hundreds more.
But bed sheets are just a fraction of the merchandise selling for yard sale prices at the flea market. Christmas decor, toys, tools and kitchen gadgets are among the thousands of products laid out for customers to devour.
The flea market has been the subject of police scrutiny in the past, and some booth operators have been arrested for selling counterfeit merchandise.
Police say that shoppers should still be wary of buying counterfeit products, though they haven't seen any of that merchandise in plain view during recent checks.
In fact, most of the stuff for sale is reminiscent of items at a neighborhood yard sale.
One recent Saturday morning, a set of red and green holiday boxes were priced at $3. Nearby, a brand new turkey roaster was selling for $20, and used Xbox 360 games were marked down to $12.
Even the vendors shop when the customer flow is slow. Donald Howard of Newport News says he gets most of his tools from his flea market compatriots.
And market owner Louis Ramos says he's had to stop shopping the market altogether because he's purchased so much from his vendors that he could open up a booth himself.
That makes Ramos an especially good source for bargaining information. Make friends with him, and he'll give you advice about how to negotiate with his vendors.
"Talk cars to that guy over there, and he'll give you a good price," he says with a smile. "You get know the tricks of the trade around here."
In addition to the outdoor market, there are dozens of indoor shops that sell everything from bridal wear to computers to sports memorabilia.
Joe Santos of Newport News spends his weekends manning his children's store inside the flea market. He works as a teacher's assistant during the week, and sells furniture, toys and collectibles to make a little extra money.
The furniture is his best seller. It's what has kept him at the market for three years. But the brightly smiling fellow is proud of the quality and selection of toys he can offer his customers.
"This ain't your grandmother's flea market anymore," he says.
News to UseWhat: Flea Market
Where: 10171 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News
When: Some of the indoor shops are open for a few hours on Thursday and Friday afternoons, but the real action happens on the weekend. The open-air market and indoor shops are both open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Extra tip: 9 a.m. Saturday morning seems to be the perfect time to visit this market. You can still find a parking spot, all of the open-air vendors are ready to sell and the indoor shops are slowly coming to life. At 10 a.m. most of the indoor stores are ready for business. Hours vary for most merchants.
What: Super Flea
Where: Denbigh Park Drive, Newport News
When: Like the Jefferson Avenue flea market, this flea market opens for a few hours on Thursday and Friday afternoons, but the best shopping happens on Saturdays and Sundays.