The Flea Market Flip Algorithm

Posted by Jon Scott on 31st Dec 2023

The Flea Market Flip Algorithm

What's the chance your team loses if talked to first in the showdown?

Quick Answer


     If you are anything like me, you have probably had your car serviced at some point and in the waiting room is a TV. On this TV is mostly easy going shows like talk, news or diy(do it yourself) tutorials. One of my favorites is a show called Flea Market Flip. I caught a few episodes at Les Schwab and it peaked my interest.

Author of this article is Jon Scott

Jon Scott- Author and Owner Scott's Essentials

How the show works

Here is how the basis of the show works. There are 2 teams of 2 people. Each team gets $500 to buy items to refurbish. They are given topics for their pieces to follow, such as modern, face-lift, restored to its original glory and freestyle. They are given some time with the TV shows master craftsman and an extra $100 to add embellishments to their 3 pieces.

Modern designed furniture is often used on Flea Market Flip

The winning team receives $5,000 if they sell their pieces at the highest profit between both teams. The profit difference between cost and sale amount determines the winner.

Example of how it works:

Team A buys 3 pieces for $350

  • They sold all 3 for a total of $900

Team B buys 3 pieces for $405

  • That sold all 3 for a total of $855

When the totals for cost and sale are figured out, the winner will be Team A.

Team A made a profit of $550

Team B made a profit of $450

Famous Moller Chair Find & Transformation (Full Episode S1, E1) | Flea Market Flip | HGTV

The Algorithm

Normally a show like this is just fun to watch. It gives me ideas for making my home nicer and more original pieces will be made by my wife, daughter and myself. Always great for family bonding.

The Algorithm is really just something I began to notice the host do in the show. I have an analytical ADD brain and I pick things apart all the time.

During the final round of Flea Market Flip, the host Lara Spencer will have both teams stand on either side of her as she explains what each teams pieces sold for. She walks through the amount bought, what was done on each piece and finally if they made any money on the item.

Well to put it plain and simple the host, Lara Spencer will need to talk to one team first. If your team is talked to first you are definitely not happy about it. It became quite noticeable that if your team is talked to first then you have a very good possibility that you did not win. If your the team that is talked to second I noticed they won what felt like an large amount of time.

I decided to look at every episode I could for the final moments. Here are the solid numbers.

Chance your team loses if talked to first:

  • Season 1- *100%
  • Season 2- 64%
  • Season 3- *31%
  • Season 4- 33%
  • Season 5- 64%
  • Season 6- 71%
  • Season 7- *36%
  • Season 8- *43%
  • Season 9- 36%
  • Season 10- 43%
  • Season 11- 71%
  • Season 12- 40%
  • Season 13- 50%

Overall percentage(Seasons 1-13) of not being the winner(losing) if Lara Spencer talks to your team first in the final showdown:


In closing, it looks as though my theory was correct. It may be by a small percentage but it is proof that being talked to first or second in a showdown could mean your outcome is already told before Lara announces it officially. When I am finally on Flea market flip I will make sure to ask Lara to talk to our team 2nd. Who knows? Maybe she took the time to read this article.

If you would like to see the actual season by season results that i found for this article please click here.

*At times during the show Lara talks to both teams at the same time, which makes it a little hard to say which team was addressed first for this article. These times are not included in this algorithm for simple math.