Flea market vendors can expect parents to shop and spend more during the upcoming back-to-school season than they did last year, according to ShopperTrak. National retail sales are expected to rise 4.3 percent in August 2013 over the same period last year. Vendors eager to jump on these expanding back to school budgets should consider carrying some of the essentials as well as trending merchandise.
Predictably, consumers will need writing utensils, paper, notebooks, backpacks, lunch boxes and apparel, and vendors who stock these staples stand to profit. In addition, as technology infiltrates schools of every grade level, the desire for fashionable cell phone cases, flash drives, calculators and LED notebooks will continue to increase.
Hot trends include clothes and supplies in neon colors and branded items tied to the “Monsters University” movie and boy band One Direction. Vendors can draw customers into their booths by carrying and spotlighting items they are selling for under $1. Also put trending items up front where it will catch your shoppers’ eyes. Here is a round up of products and supplies many sellers are carrying to help you stock up for back to school sales.
Pens, markers and laptop holders
CKB Products, a wholesale distributor that sells merchandise for 40 to 90 percent below retail, has a wide variety of back to school supplies. “We have just about every product needed to fill back to school supply kits,” says Chris Barton, owner. Priced-to-sell products include correction fluid, erasers, bookmarks, pencil sharpeners, pens, pencils, markers, notebooks, paper and scissors, many of which wholesale for well under $1. Backpacks and computer accessories, such as laptop holders, are also in demand.
“Laptop holders have been doing really well, and vendors are refilling their shelves,” Barton notes. While retail prices vary by location, a good markup that still allows vendors to remain competitive is 20 to 25 percent, he states. It is easy to review CKB Products’ merchandise along with wholesale pricing. From the company’s homepage, click on “Bulk Opportunity Buys,” and then choose “School and Office Supplies.”
Fashion and licensed backpacks
For vendors who want to stock up on the latest and most popular backpacks, Leather Links offers a broad selection of designs and styles. In order to meet the needs of all school age children, from pre-school to college, the company has several lines of fashion and licensed backpacks, including Disney. Popular sellers include Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Spiderman and Dora the Explorer. Several styles are available, in rolling and large backpacks, as well as some that include lunch boxes. New styles are continually added. Leather Links provides quick delivery from its East Coast location. The company has additional merchandise, including wallets, luggage and blankets, to help vendors round out their product lines.
Back to school pallets
Discount Wholesalers, Inc. is another supplier who makes it easy for flea market vendors to prepare for back to school sales. The company sells pallets, including school supply pallets which may contain backpacks, activity books, coloring books, game books, folders, binders, notebooks, small school and office supplies, and more, at a cost of $.25 to $.35 per item. Pallets wholesale from $400 to $800. Vendors are invited to call Discount Wholesalers for a complete list of pallets available. Buyers are able to look through a manifested list of pallets and pick one based on what is inside.
Discount Wholesalers Inc., with a large showroom in Pennsylvania, primarily sells shelf pulls and original case products that are made in the USA. “We sell everything at a fraction of its original wholesale value,” says Saja Stark, executive sales manager. “Being all clean and original cased goods, flea market vendors can charge less than normal retail prices and still double and even triple their investment.”
Fashion socks in zebra and cheetah prints
Y Weng Trading is a direct importer of a wide range of products, many of which vendors will want to have on hand for the back to school season. “We offer low prices because there is no middleman,” says Shannon Miller, office manager. “Markers are a hot back to school item for us and they are really reasonably priced.” Colored and black marker sets of 12 wholesale for $18 for 25 pieces. “Flea market vendors often sell them for under double the wholesale price to have them move quickly, but they could triple and quadruple their money,” she notes.
Y Weng Trading recently expanded its sock line for kids and teenagers. “Socks are a great item for back to school. We have many new fashion socks, in different designs and colors, including zebra and cheetah. Animal designs are really hot in many products right now.” Other back to school merchandise from Y Weng includes pens, pencils, mouse pads, cell phone cases, notebooks and calculators. Solar calculators, for example, wholesale for $28 for 20 pieces. The minimum order is $100 and product usually ships the same day.
Cell phone cases, batteries and headsets
Accessories for cell phones are great products to have on hand for back to school, as many parents equip children of all ages with this communication device. Aoko Group has a vast collection of cell phone cases that cover most mobile models, and they come in the hottest colors, designs and styles. Headsets, chargers, tablet cases, stylus pens and screen guards also are available.
Aoko’s new TPU Protector Cover for Samsung Galaxy S4, for example, has a kickstand and is offered in several of today’s fashion colors. The company’s three-dimensional Diamond with Metal case for iPhone 4/5 and Galaxy S3/4, shown in several standout colors and patterns from floral and hearts to bows to skulls, is another hot item. Aoko’s huge line of cases includes animal themes children will love. Vendors are invited to call the company for wholesale pricing information.
Back to school, whether it is pre-K or college level, presents huge opportunities for vendors to make the grade with staples as well as the latest must-haves. If you have not carried some of these items in the past, now is the time to consider adding them to your product lineup.
CKB Products Wholesale
8900 Directors Row
Dallas, TX 75247
Toll Free: 888-252-2897
9408-H Gunston Cove Rd
Lorton, VA 22079
Discount Wholesalers, Inc.
1985 Ticonderoga Blvd., Suite 27
Chester Springs, PA 19425
Y Weng Trading
4770 Navarre Rd Sw Unit B
Canton, Ohio 44706
Toll Free: 866-251-6878
AOKO Wireless Inc.
1181 Broadway, Store #2
New York, NY 10001