8 Best and Simple Ways to Make Money at a Flea Market
A flea market also sometimes called a swap meet is like mall garage sales. The organizers set up stand spaces.
People rent those spaces and sell things. As a customer at a flea market, you get the advantage of being able to browse multiple stores at once.And usually the items are sold at deeply discounted prices. Some of the more common items sold at flea markets include
And usually the items are sold at deeply discounted prices. Some of the more common items sold at flea markets include.
- Used articles
- cheap new items
- Crafts or handmade furniture.
You may find vintage clothing or furniture there. Some flea markets may allow the sale of fresh produce or baked goods. The point is that there are a wide variety of products that people can buy at a flea market.
This means that there are usually many customers at a flea market if the organizers market correctly. And that means more potential income for you. Here are some tips for making money at a flea market.
1. Choose what type of flea market you want to sell at
Organizers handle flea markets differently. Some flea markets are long term markets. They run on a regular basis something like shops. Some are in, some are out.
Long-term or permanent flea market owners will charge you a fee per month to have a booth. Also, long-term flea markets sometimes have employees.
This means that you could decide if you would stay in your own booth or not. You can set up a booth, but customers need to take their purchases to the market cashier to pay for them.
Vendors rent and run their own booths at these types of flea markets, paying a flat fee to have booths. This is good because you as a seller will immediately know what you need to do to break even.
Other flea markets are short term or travel markets. They go from one place to another for short periods of time, usually on weekends. Or, they just open up in one area for a few days.
Some short-term flea markets may not even charge a fee for a booth. They just spread the word and let the vendors and customers come.
This is the type of flea market business my dad occasionally ran when I was younger. You would have heard of a place that is somewhere within an hour’s drive from your home.
He collected the items he wanted to sell and spent a day or a weekend at his booth. And he had come home with cash. Sometimes it was a little, sometimes it was a lot.
It was one of the ways he chose to do multiple streams of income.
You have to decide what type of market is best for you. Think you want to do flea markets on short notice and travel a bit? Or just do the markets that are close to your home? Or would you rather have a long-term or year-round flea market business?
2. Find a good location
Whether permanent or temporary, you’ll want your flea market to be in a good location.
A good location gets a lot of traffic. It is close to main roads and/or highways. Or, is it close to other shopping places.
Some people come to a flea market on purpose. They look for them and leave with the intention of buying and getting a lot.
Others, however, are surprise buyers. Maybe they didn’t know a short-term flea market was going on that day, but they can’t pass up the chance to find a great buy.
Other flea markets run at the same location, on the same weekend, every year. If it’s a good market, people will know and expect it.
Look for markets that are well known or in highly populated areas where many people pass through.
3. Sell the right things at your flea market stall
It is important to know that some flea markets have guidelines and rules about what you can sell. Others don’t. Be sure to ask upfront what you can sell at a particular flea market before renting a booth.
You may be wondering what you should be selling at your flea market stall. We talked about this a bit above, but I’ll expand on it now. You have a vague idea of what people sell at flea markets.
Here are some ideas of what you can sell at your flea market booth. Over time, you’ll learn what sells for you and your particular location, and what doesn’t.
old toys and games
People love to buy toys and games that remind them of their youth. When I was a kid, one of my favorite games was Uncle Wiggily.
My uncle had given it to me and my brothers and I played all the time. Being an animal lover, I loved the different colored rabbit characters they had as player tokens.
They have new versions of the game in the stores, but if I could find an old version, I would buy it in a heartbeat. This reminder of days gone by is what helps sell vintage toys and games at flea markets.
Know that if you are going to sell vintage toys and games, they have to be in good shape. No missing parts in games or broken parts in toys. Some wear and tear is fine as long as the item is usable.
Vintage or discount clothing
Vintage or heavily discounted clothing can also be sold at flea markets. Once again, people love to be reminded of their youth. Also, clothing styles go on a bike. Those 80s leg warmers will be back in style soon if they’re gone.
Look for vintage items that aren’t too flashy in color, but can be paired with basic traditional clothing. As for updated clothing, people just want a lot.
jewelry and accessories
Jewelry and accessories, such as scarves, often do well at flea markets. Once again, pricing is key. The main thing that flea market buyers want is a lot.
The jewelry and accessories you sell can be current or vintage in style. And don’t be afraid to put chunky or wildly colored pieces out there. If nothing else, they can help draw attention to the other items you’re selling.
Home Furnishing Items and Tools
My father always had great luck selling these items at flea markets. Once again, pricing is key. If Dad had two $100 power drills at home, he would have to sell one at a flea market for $15 or $20.
Dad made money on an item he didn’t need, and the customer got a great deal. The same goes for home decor items. Some people love to decorate their houses with fun and different flea markets.
Or, decorate with pieces that match your style or interests. For example, my dad bought a great photo at a flea market of a girl leading her horse through a small stream.
Got it for my oldest daughter for her birthday because she loves horses. She didn’t care that she came from a flea market. She loves it because her grandfather gave her something that is totally her.
And, Grandpa got the photo beautifully framed for a song. It’s this kind of uplifting deal that makes flea markets so popular with buyers.
If you can find a great deal on vintage or other cool furniture, consider selling it at your flea market booth. Vintage is big at flea markets.
People want things that no one else has. But know that transporting furniture to flea markets can be cumbersome. I’d keep furniture pieces to a minimum unless you’re renting a booth long term.
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If you find yourself weird, WOW, I’ve never seen anything like this before, that might be a consideration for your flea market stall.
Once again, people like to buy something that no one else has. Discreetly, of course. If it’s ugly or too fancy, your buying audience may decrease.
Note It can work for selling expensive items at flea markets if they are one of a kind. If you find a good deal on an expensive item, don’t be afraid to try to sell it for a higher price.
4. Buy the right places for the items you sell
Fortunately, there are plenty of places where you can get items to sell at your flea market stall. Here are some ideas.
Buying home items to sell at your flea market booth has one major benefit: it’s free! Go through your cabinets, drawers, and storage areas. Find all those things you don’t need or want. Browse jewelry, clothing, furniture, toys and games, collectibles, etc.
Anything you find you don’t want, include it in your sale. I remember my father selling everything from unwanted tools to home decor.
Your local thrift store
You can often find things at local thrift stores that you can resell for more at a flea market. The key to being successful at this, however, is finding thrift store items that are a great deal.
People who shop at flea markets want great deals. So you want to make sure you’re shopping for even better deals if you want to resell them at your flea market booth.
When shopping for resale items at thrift stores, consider purchasing merchandise that meets these criteria
- clearance items
- Discount percentage, such as when stores are 50% or 75% off days or sections
- Very underrated stuff. Sometimes thrift stores have ridiculously low prices.
- Free junk items. Some thrift stores have bins or free areas. See if you can hook a lot on them.
But don’t plan on trading your thrift store finds if you’re paying a fair price. You have to go for heavily discounted items.
local garage sales
You may be able to find things to flip at your flea market booth through your local garage sales. Some people price garage sale items extremely low. They just want things to go away.
I once had a garage sale with a friend. She was selling a mint condition long leather coat for $10. The coat was worth at least $100 on eBay. Those are the kinds of deals you’ll want to look for at garage sales.
Check garage sales, especially citywide sales with many people selling in one area. Look out for those amazing deals and grab them fast. Shop with cash and don’t be afraid to haggle.
In the area where I live, people often leave things on the sidewalk for free. Some cities have big trash days, when the city will pick up furniture and other unwanted items.
If you find a resealable item on a curb, grab it! Make sure it’s in good condition and something someone else wants.
Another place you can find items to sell at your flea market booth is on wholesale websites. These are sites that sell large amounts of items for super cheap.
Browse sites like AliExpress and see if you can find cheap items that you can resell at a profit.
Shop carefully though. Don’t buy too many things until you have a good idea of what’s selling well at your flea market booth.
Facebook Yard Sales
You may be able to find items for your flea market booth on the Facebook garage sales page. Just search for the garage sale when you’re connected to Facebook.
You must fill out a list of items for sale near you. Keep in mind that some Facebook garage sale items are good deals, others are not.
You need to be able to find a deal on an item that you can resell for more at your booth. So pay close attention to the price. And factor in the travel time and gas money to get the items, too.
Another place to find items to sell at your flea market is on Craigslist. I’d start with the free section. From there you can browse other sections that sell what you want to sell at your booth.
Again, it is important to consider the time and gas spent to obtain the items. Keep in mind that in the profit you may (or may not) earn when you resell the items.
Now that you know where to get your items, you need to know how to price them for the best selling results.
5. Price your items wisely
Price your items wisely is another key to making money at flea markets. Start by buying the stands of your competitors. See what they are selling and how much they are valuing it.
Pay special attention to very crowded stands. Try to determine what is drawing customers to that particular booth. He then imitates their techniques.
Price is important at a flea market stall because people go there to get good deals. This means you need to know how to price your stuff for two end goals.
- Price to make a profit.
- Precio para atraer clientes.
If you can find a balance between these two goals, you’re on the right track to making some money.
6. Organize your booth for easy shopping
The organization of your booth at the flea market is vitally important. People want to be able to walk up to your booth and find out what you have for sale.
If it all comes together in a bunch, the customers will just leave. Here are some tips for flea market booth organization.
- Position similar objects together. Put all the jewelry together, all the accessories together, etc.
- Use bulletin boards, shelves, racks, and stands to display your items carefully. For example, have clothes on hangers and hangers on racks.
- Label and price of each item. Make it easy for customers to see what you have and what you’re ordering.
- Have electricity available if you are selling items that need it. Bring an extension cord and surge protector.
- Similarly, keep fresh batteries or charged batteries in items that need them. You want to be able to demonstrate that they work properly.
By clearly organizing and labeling what you have, customers will be more likely to buy and purchase.
7. Know how to negotiate
Trading can be a big part of making money at flea markets. This is because it is a market that is well known for haggling. Here are some tips for trading profitably
- Know how low the price can be before you no longer make a profit.
- When you make a deal, feel free to offer a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 special.
- Be okay with saying I can’t go that low if you really feel like you can’t.
- Sell very cheap if you need items that have been sitting around for a while. It’s better to get rid of that inventory and make room for something more profitable.
- Make negotiating with customers fun and joyful. After all, it’s just money.
Now that you know how to bargain on items, here are some pro tips for flea market success.
8. Follow True and Tried Tips for Flea Market Success
As with any business, there are things you can do to make your flea market more successful. We already talked about buying the right items and organizing your booth.
Here are some other things you can do to help make your booth more successful.
change your inventory
If you are renting a permanent or long-term booth, be sure to change your inventory. Don’t let items sit too long before adding new items.
Many people buy the markets for the long term on a regular basis. They like to see new things available for sale.
Connect with customers
Connecting with customers is vitally important. Smile. Say hello. Ask them if they have found any good deals. Don’t do this in an insincere way, but in a way that says I really care.
Put down your smartphone and make your time at your booth personal and interactive. If you’re friendly and fun, customers will keep coming back.
To be prepared
Being prepared is also important for good flea market sales results. As I mentioned above, make sure you have electricity and batteries if you need them for the things you sell.
Be prepared for weather problems. Dress comfortably. Bring a chair to sit on. Have shopping bags for customers (reuse the bags you get at Walmart and Target).
Have a mirror available if you are selling clothing or accessories. Bring a change box with a bunch of $1 and $5 bills and quarters.
Keep extra price tags on hand to change the price of things. Pack a lunch, snacks, and drinking water. All this preparation will help you feel more comfortable and customers more appreciative.
As with any business, a flea market business can take time to build. You may be successful on your first outing, and you may not.
Keep trying Experiment with different items to sell. What works for one person might not work for you. Or, you may find a niche item that sells really well for you.
Hang in there and don’t give up until you’ve spent some serious time trying.
Know when to quit
That being said, you can try a weekend in a market and decide it’s not for you.It is important to know when to quit if something is not working for you.
If you’ve given it your all and it’s not selling, or if you just don’t like it, give up and move on to another idea. Don’t keep working on your booth if you can’t stand flea markets in general.
Flea markets can be a great way to earn some cash. However, you have to make an effort to know what you are doing.
If you find selling at a flea market interesting, follow the tips above and see what you can do. You could just make a legit side of your efforts!