Fleamasters Fleamarket in Ft. Myers, FL is a 400,000 square foot venue with more than 900 shops plus 20 restaurants and snack bars. The venue has been serving locals and tourists since 1986. “We are a great tourist attraction and we get about 1.4 million visitors annually,” says Linda Steele, marketing director. “Our success has to do with the assortment of merchandise for sale and the diversity of the people who buy and sell.” Fleamasters Fleamarket offers an eclectic mix of unusual products including tourist items, such as one-of-a-kind alligator heads and tee shirts, as well as arts and crafts, antiques and collectibles, kitchen products, clothing and shoes, luggage, and jewelry and watches.
The market is open year round, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Two large buildings, both under roof and open air, accommodate 400 to 500 vendors. Many sellers are long term and new vendors are always welcome. “We have some of the best rates in the state,” Steele assures. “A regular 10 by 12 foot space is about $70 for the three-day weekend and there is a small discount for vendors selling only used household items. Sundays have evolved into a garage sale day, and we have seen an increase in the number of sellers who come in with collectibles, household items and antiques. They are here all three days, but Sunday is bigger for them.”
Advertising, promotions and events
Fleamasters Fleamarket works hard to promote the market and support its vendors. “We really want people who rent here to succeed, and we do everything we can to make that possible. We offer our sellers advertising opportunities, and we advertise in every type of media. We do a lot of broadcast ads and we are in the local papers,” Steele continues. The market also hosts events throughout the year, the two biggest of which are a watermelon festival in May and a Pumpkin Festival in October.
Shoppers are invited to celebrate the fall harvest season at Fleamaster’s annual Great Pumpkin Festival October 11-13. The three-day event features plenty of pumpkins, shopping and free entertainment. Musicians will stroll the main market, and others will perform on the Music Hall Stage. Featured performers include the Blue Dirt Dixeland Jazz Band, country artist Colton James, Sanibel performer John Stey and accordionist Bob Lech. The Bayshore Elementary School Cloggers will dance Saturday at 1 p.m. and Hot Flashz Dancers will perform Sunday at noon. In addition, shoppers can adopt a pumpkin for $5 to $15 each at the Pumpkin Patch to personalize and take home as well as create a special Pumpkin Festival memory at the Pumpkin Farmer’s Family Photo Spot. The amazing Way Too Tall Torrie will navigate Fleamasters’ aisles and face-painter Twinkle Toes the Clown also will be on hand Saturday and Sunday. “It is a very popular event that always brings a lot of new people to the market,” Steele adds.
For more information:
Dr. M.L. King Jr. Blvd.
Ft. Myers, FL 33916