According to second-generation wholesaler Dan Mottsman, his family has been in business long enough to know what sells at flea markets and swap meets. “We have a lot of different items and a lot of smaller items that sell well at flea markets,” he says, “We stock very marketable Western items that sell very well.”
And although the family company, Western Express, primarily carries Western gear, these products appeal from coast to coast. “We sell to flea market people all across the country,” Mottsman says. “It sells all over.”
He has some specific examples. “We specialize in hats, and we have a lot of new hats that are doing well at flea markets this year, especially the straw raffias,” he explains. “They are an impulse buy, and we offer a lot of hats with one-size bands, which are very easy sells at flea markets.”
Two more examples are shirts and belt buckles. “We sell lots of tee shirts to flea market people, and we’re coming out with a lot of new styles. Belt buckles and belts are good sellers, too,” says Mottsman, who is now the CEO of the company his parents started more than 30 years ago.
But great products are not the only way Western Express appeals to flea market and swap meet vendors. “We do very quick shipping and we want to meet customer meets. We can ship to meet vendor needs because we know they travel, and we can get things out very quickly,” says Mottsman. Moreover, the company has a modest $125 minimum order. “A lot of our competitors have much larger minimums,” he adds.
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