Flea markets offer small businesses the opportunity to succeed without the massive overhead of a brick and mortar shop. When getting into flea market sales, there are many considerations, one of which is finding a reputable liquidator whose wholesale pricing allows for a healthy profit margin. One of the first things to consider is how long the liquidator has been in business. Choosing a well-established wholesaler who has been in business a decade or longer helps minimize risk when getting into the flea market business. A well-established wholesale liquidator often will have customer reviews available enabling vendors to know what to expect, how much damage and throwaway to anticipate from pallets or truckload purchases, and the condition and salability of desired items. Another thing to consider is whether or not vendors are allowed to inspect merchandise prior to purchase. Some liquidators force people to purchase sight unseen from mere descriptions. Others offer pictures or videos of overstocks and shelf pulls. However, the most reputable liquidator will allow vendors to make appointments and physically inspect goods prior to purchasing them. If traveling to inspect the wholesale merchandise is not feasible, having the option is indicative of the liquidator’s integrity.
Once vendors have found a reputable wholesale liquidator, they need to consider what items they want to sell. The best way to see what items are in demand is to physically go and visit the flea market at which you want to sell. Walk the aisles, find which vendors are attracting crowds, see what is selling and make notes of what purchases customers are carrying around. There’s no better research than getting in the thick of the action.
Another way to learn about current trends is to look on the eBay Pulse page. EBay Pulse provides current information on the most popular searches, the largest stores and the most watched items on eBay. eBay is the number one site for online resellers and gives an accurate picture of what people are buying.
Once vendors have decided what they will sell at their flea market booths, they’ll want to incorporate some basic flea market tips to help their businesses succeed.
1. Make the booth easy to navigate. The best way to alienate customers is to make a booth too crowded. Sure, the best way to make sales is to have a variety of products, but displaying those products is also crucial. If a booth doesn’t have aisles big enough for even one person to walk in, it’s likely that people won’t enter to browse.
2. Stay in one place. Beginning flea market vendors make the mistake of moving their booths to a different area of the flea market. All types of businesses thrive on repeat customers and a flea market business is no different so vendors should choose one spot and stay there.
3. Rotate merchandise. While it’s tempting to continue to display the same merchandise, vendors should make sure they have enough inventory to change up product offerings and make displays look fresh.
4. Pay attention to potential customers. Vendors who have done their jobs correctly will attract consumers. Now it’s time to convert them to paying customers. Vendors need to engage customers in conversation and ask if there is something specific they are looking for. They may be looking for an item that isn’t displayed, but can be easily accessed in current inventory.
5. Don’t get emotionally attached to merchandise. If something isn’t selling, try a different price point or sell items as a package deal. Some wholesalers will let vendors exchange merchandise if it isn’t moving. Vendors need to think creatively and ask questions.
The flea market business is a worthwhile endeavor and can be financially lucrative provided vendors approach it with the right mindset. By utilizing market tips and tricks, the flea market business offers great opportunities for success.