There are advantages to running a selling environment as adaptable as a flea market booth. The nature of vending affords owners the chance to spruce up their spaces in response to predicted trends whenever they please. Booths can be rearranged, products can be reorganized and new items can be ordered on the go with minimal planning required. Before another minute of 2013 passes, consider these sales trends and how you might make them work for your flea market business.
Impulse items. Products that provide instant gratification or fill an immediate need are a great way to boost your sales. Anything that can be carried away easily, like beauty products, kitschy accessories or tools, can be attractive to your customers and invite them to peruse your other items, as well. Think outside of the box on this; something edible also counts as an impulse item, such as popcorn, candy, bottled water or fruit. Look for items you would want if you were looking for a “grab and go” buy that could be easily purchased in bulk.
Customized and one-of-a-kind products are all the rage right now. Even if you don’t stock this type of merchandise already, think of ways to make your wares more about your shoppers. This may mean personalizing items, but could also mean getting crafty with design. Many products can be altered with paint, stamps or a little elbow grease. If you’re artistically inclined, try something new with an existing product. Remember, merchandise that has been hand-embellished can earn a higher markup without requiring you to spend much, yourself.
Creative merchandising and narrative displays are essential to grabbing shoppers’ attention. If you think the storefront windows of specialty shops are the only places for elaborate merchandise displays, think again. Take inspiration from retail shops and adapt those techniques to your booth. If there aren’t any rousing sources for ideas in your area, Pinterest pages like this one can be a fantastic place to look. Every flea market vendor can benefit from efforts made to keep abreast of how vendors, retailers and even online merchants present their products.
Flash deals are a popular way to increase sales. Many consumers will often hunt online to find the best deal, searching for promo codes or coupons on any number of websites. The best thing a vendor can do to compete, or to replicate similar customer traffic to other types of stores, is to offer a flash deal to customers. How do you do that from a flea market booth? Find out if your market has a website or Facebook page, then promote your booth through the market. Another option is to offer coupons at your booth, or consider cross-selling deals, such as two-fers or buy-one-get-one offers.
Finally, make this the year that your booth tackles social conversation. If you haven’t gotten involved with social media yet, you’re already falling behind. There has never been a better time to go mobile. Use technology to engage with your customers and keep them coming back. For more tips on being a tech-savvy vendor, be sure to look at your upcoming February issue of the Merchandiser magazine.