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Flea Market-ing 101

7 Aug

I began flea marketing (as a seller) a couple of years ago. Mostly it was out of the fact I live in apartments so even if I did find yard sales safe, I could not have one. I also like lots of stuff and every so often, I feel the need to purge and replace. So to the flea we go.

I have learned a couple of things about flea markets in the last few years, and I realized that given the correct conditions I can sell pig shit to a pig farmer and make a profit!

I equate flea marketing with merchandising with food preparation. I would often be an expediter in an independent living facility’s dining hall. I would argue with the girls that they should garnish, wipe away stray sauces, and never ever let anything wilted leave the kitchen. Presentation is half the battle.

I then worked alongside an ex boyfriend. He has a resale shop (mostly in electronics, but since has exploded into everything and anything!) and it was always a mess. I learned a lot from him about how to make money and two of the biggest things I learned from him is “everything is technically for sale” and the “power of the donuts”. The latter phrase is in relation to people. You have to smooze and you would be surprised with what you can get! There is more to that phrase, but for another time (like when I write my book!)

I use those principles when setting up my flea stands. I do not have much of the swag- I only have two folding tables (one card 4×4 and one 8×3 that folds into a 4×3 handy carry table. I have a comfy chair to sit in and a Mr. T thermos brand lunch box that holds my supplies.

Supplies: blue painters tape, white duct tape, and masking tape. I have a handful of different sized safety pins, clothes pins, and alligator clips. I also have 3 sharpie markers, various sized and colored papers in squares and rectangles, and small bungee cords.

I also will occasionally pull out a small clear glass fish bowl with origami stars and green glass stones. This is my “fishes or wishes” jar. I will explain that and my other special items on another post.

This weekend, I got rained out on Sunday. I sold a beautiful 12person serving (plus all of the accessories!) of pristine NORITAKE for $250 and will be using that to buy an EzUp tent and a second 8×3 folding table.

I will often just turn over the container or box that I am transporting my merchandise in and put a nice textile on it and use it for a display “table”. But with the rain nearly every weekend, I am afraid to use my cardboard boxes as display because when they get wet, they fall, and all of my stuff will come with it. So another table I will get.

Here are some pictures taken this previous weekend.

This was my small table, on Sunday. Notice it is the same Churchill from first photo, it just is displayed better. I also remembered my linens (I bought matching cheapo linens from big lots for both of my tables.)

This was Sunday. Around 10am. I am sitting inside of my truck, sadly looking out. I could have run and saved my stuff, but I made sure to not put anything out that cannot survive a good soaking. I was SOAKED

After I sold my last suitcase, I had to come up with another display set-up on the spot for this pretty English set. Aldi and their free boxes did the trick. But they are all now mushy cardboard. Dang Rain!

I sold 3 other suitcases earlier in the day. This was my pride and joy one. The lining and the condition, as well as the unique square shape was to die for. I really had no intentions of selling any of them, but technically everything is for sale. I priced high ($40) when asked and most looked at me like I had 3 eyeballs. Another just handed over the $40 and was smiling ear to ear. I should have priced at $50!

I was trying to go for a “theme” I find the biggest issue with most people buying something that is broken or in need of TLC is they do not see it as being re purposeful. By displaying in a realistic manner, (and every time something sold, I replaced it with more in the theme) people stopped a little longer than they would have other wise. Then you reel them in with your charm, and they hand you money. It is a pretty easy model to follow.

I was displaying these on the side of my mini SUV, draped over and could not figure out why they were not selling. So I re-strategiezed and came up with this idea- use my garment rack and display them at an angle and low and behold, all 4 sold within the hour.

This was Saturday’s mini card table display. Not sure if you can enlarge the image, but my little sign on the right (the green sign) says “ALL BOWELS” “ALL BOWLS” “ALL…” “Dang-it” “$1 each!” I was not satisfied with this display, but I left my table linens home and It was just a hodgepodge of stuff.