Selling items at flea markets can be an easy way to set up an additional revenue stream for your household. Flea markets often happen on weekends, so they don't conflict with your Monday through Friday job. They're a place where you're guaranteed to have a steady stream of customers walking by your goods. Here's how to tap into a local flea market or swap meet, and get the most out of it.
Visit a Flea Market and Take Notes
The newspaper in your city will usually have a listing of flea markets you can check out. Depending on the time of year and climate, they can be held indoors (in a warehouse or arena), or outdoors (in a parking lot or some other open space). Walk around and talk to vendors at your local flea markets. Note how the booths or tables are set up, and see which displays are attracting the most attention. Ask flea market sellers what strategies they use and take good notes. If you already have a product or products in mind, look to see how much competition there is for those items. Since flea markets usually feature inexpensive or second hand goods, you'll want to spend some time considering what you'd like to sell.
Decide on Your Flea Market Niche
Here are some questions to consider when choosing what products you want to sell:
- Am I knowledgeable about the product? Potential customers may have questions for you.
- Can I acquire these products through a wholesaler or some other inexpensive source?
- Can I make the products or crafts myself for a cheaper price?
- Is there too much competition for the items I want to sell?
- Will I be able to make enough of a profit through flea market sales for it to be worth my time?
Start Your Flea Market Business
Once you've determined what products you'll be selling, it's time to get to work. Flea market vendors typically pay a fee to an association or to the host site, in order to reserve their own space.
- Set up your table(s) or booth in a way that invites your customers in, such as a 'U' shape that's open to the aisle.
- Don't sit across a table from your customers. If they can walk into your booth, they're more likely to ask you questions, and you can make direct sales pitches to them.
- Arrange your goods in an attractive manner. Don't just throw them out for people to pick through.
- Highlight special products or items in such a way that customers will notice them.
- Be friendly and helpful. No one wants to give their money to a cranky salesperson.
- Make sure you have plenty of change, because most people will pay cash at a flea market.
One of the great things about a flea market business is that you don't have to market your products yourself. Customers will come simply because they know there are a large variety of inexpensive goods to peruse. Your fees that pay for a booth go to marketing costs, which the flea market association handles. This way you can focus on acquiring inventory and selling.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.