Do you have products you want to sell at a flea market? If YES, here are 20 flea market pricing strategies and tips to help you sell stuff fast at flea markets.
For whatever it is you sell, this current age has provided several online and offline avenues to market your wares and build your profits. Although there are a variety of virtual retail options, they do come with their own set of threats. Aside the fact that you need to learn the art of online marketing, you also have to worry about packaging, shipping, and meeting tight deadlines.
But selling at a flea market can be a totally different ball game. There is money to be made in this line of business, and you will enjoy several other advantages with this traditional, offline avenue.
Why Take your Goods to a Flea Market?
A Flea Market is perfect because it offers a physical location to sell your goods. If you have been selling for a while now and are looking for a way to expand your shop and increase sales, then you can try selling at a Flea Market on weekends. A lot of Flea Markets are open on either Saturday or Sunday, while some are open on both.
Since most Flea Markets are open during the weekend, this works well for someone just starting out because it allows you to keep a full-time job and run your business on the weekend. Depending on the Flea Market, the price for renting a space can be as low as $15, sometimes less, of course that’s on the low end. A more realistic expectation should be around $50-$100 with premium spot’s costing up to $250 or more.
Another major advantage of selling at a Flea Market is that you are not stuck in a yearly or even monthly contract. As a small business or a new business, this offers great flexibly as you are not mandated to sell in the same location. The thing to do is to simply sign up with a different Flea Market at a different location.
Since you just started the business newly, people may likely not know that you exist, that is why boosting your brand or company awareness is a necessity. It’s advisable that you get out there and let people know that you are selling! Flea Markets offer lots of foot traffic, every weekend people like to go shopping, so you need to find a way to take advantage of this traffic.
If you are interested in selling a product or starting a new business in a flea market, below are 20 tips to help you sell your merchandise faster.
How to Sell Stuff Fast at a Flea Market – 20 Tips to Help You
- Make up a Cash Box ahead of time and be Prepared
It’s very important that you organise a cash box with plenty of change, and note down the total amount so that when you can take out the day’s receipts, the box is ready for next time. At the booth, keep the cash box close by and out of sight.
You should also use a tote bag to assemble a kit of things you will need such as tools, marking pens and tags, tape, paper towels, etc. Leave the kit packed and ready to go each time. It will save you time on sale day and helps ensure you don’t forget anything.
Be prepared with the following: pens, pencils, markets, a notebook, price stickers or tags, extension cord, bungee cords, zip ties or Velcro straps, safety pins, shopping bags for customers, wet wipes or hand sanitizer, tape, scissors, calculator, business cards, sunscreen, bug spray, aspirin/ibuprofen, a small cooler with water.
- Provide Many Payment Options
Have it in mind that customers in flea markets have a variety of payment preferences. Some want to pay with credit cards, some with checks, and some with cash. So, if you can provide options for your customers, you will be more likely to increase your sales over the course of each day.
It simply means using a Square or similar credit card reader, allowing customers to pay with checks, and having enough change for people who just want to pay in cash. Also, if you can offer layaway options, it can help your ability to sell some larger items that people might need time to gather the funds for.
- Change Up Your Inventory
If you are renting a permanent or long-term booth, it is very necessary that change up your inventory. Don’t let items sit for too long before adding new items. Many people shop the long-term markets on a regular basis. They like to see new stuff available for sale.
- Sell Regularly at the Same Markets
Note that you can also garner repeat business even from those who do not follow you on social media simply by being consistent. Have it in mind that if someone collects a particular item that you specialize in, maintain a consistent appearance schedule so that they know where to find you when they are ready to shop.
But it does not mean you have to only ever sell your items at one location, but you could have a consistent schedule where you sell at the same market every Sunday or on the first weekend of every month.
- Make Your Business Cards Easily Accessible
A lot of flea marker customers might not want to buy from you even if your booth looks great and your products are awesome. But you can give them an easy way to connect with you later. It’s advisable that you provide business cards to passers by so that if they see something they like, don’t buy it, but return home and decide they want it, they can reach you and make the purchase.
Also, you can offer shipping as an option so that those customers do not have to make a return trip. Consider providing your social media accounts so they can follow you from market to market each week.
- Use a Retail Display to Display Jewellery Attractively and Always Show Samples
If a retail display is not an option, use simple hooks to hang necklaces and bracelets from the top of your booth. Its much easier for buyers to see the items. Meanwhile, if you have items that you aren’t sure how to display, be creative! Also, instead of having items on racks, in boxes or stacked out of reach, create a sample table at the forefront of your booth to show samples of what you have for sale deeper inside your booth.
- Create a Facebook Page
Have it in mind that your business is likely to sell more if you actually treat it like a business. In this modern era, that means having some kind of an online presence. And since so many consumers use Facebook already, that is a natural place for flea market vendors to connect with potential customers. It is advisable that you give yourself a professional business name, add some photos and use Facebook to share information and connect with potential customers.
- Convey Approachable Body Language
In a business like a flea market, you are more or less the face of your business. Customers will be more likely to stop and look at your products if you look friendly and approachable. And if they stop and look at your products, they are more likely to buy. If you are sitting and do not smile or attempt to engage passersby, they will actually pass you by.
- Learn to Advertise in Advance
Just like we stated above, social media and similar online platforms can also be helpful when it comes to advertising your offerings. For example, if you go to different markets or locations each week or month, you can post on Facebook where you are going to be each week and what types of new products you will have available. You can even pay to boost your posts so that you can reach even more people.
- Add Height to Your Table
Have it in mind that upside down crates, bins or staggered shelving gives you a place to display more special items on your table. Bins or boxes that you carry the items in can be inverted and/or used as extra tables in a pinch in front of or to the side of the original table. Just as long as people have a clear path to get to the table to pick up items.
Also, instead of stringing a series of tables together in a line at the front of your booth, put your tables in the shape of an inward “U” so customers have to enter your display space in order to view products. This allows you to speak to customers away from the busy walkway, and it draws them in to see all the items you’re offering, away from the bustle of the passing crowd.
- Learn to Accept Reasonable Offers
Indeed, bargaining and negotiating is a major part of running a flea market business. Although you do not have to accept every single offer that comes your way, at least try to be open to reasonable offers because it will help you increase sales and clear up space for new inventory. The longer you hold onto things, the less space/money you have to acquire new things to offer for sale, and the more your money is tied up in inventory that isn’t selling.
- Try to Stand Out in the Crowd
Note that you can make your booth a selling point for potential customers. The more reason you should not make it just look the same as everyone else’s. Choose that red canopy instead of that blue one, and spend the money to have some large signage that you can prop up on top of it. Making your booth look nice and eye – catching can cause shoppers multiple rows away to notice your booth and make a point to stop by.
- Reduce Your Prices as the Days Go By
If you have multiple flea market days, charge your premium pricing on the first day. For every subsequent day that those same items haven’t sold, discount them until they’re gone. Your main focus should be on moving everything as quickly as you can. Never “hold” any merchandise unless it is paid for. People who ask you to hold something for them rarely come back, and you have lost out on a potential sale by taking the item off of your table.
- Offer Discounts to Your Social Media Followers
You can consider offering special discounts to your social media followers to encourage repeat customers. For instance, if you are selling at a particular market on Sunday, shout that out to your followers and provide them with a 15 percent discount offering if they mention your social media post. Followers who may not have intended to go to the market that weekend may be enticed to go if they know a 20 percent discount is waiting for them.
- Favour Volume over Profit Margins
Please note that in the long-run it is more lucrative to move your inventory quickly, make money for the next load and keep bringing in fresh inventory. If customers see the same stuff over and over that has not sold, it lowers the perceived value of the merchandise. Remember to offer volume discounts when possible. Offer combination deals like 5 for $25 Instead of 1 for $6.
- Leverage Professional Signage to Convey Trust
Don’t forget that a professional looking shop sign can also convey a sense of trust to your customers. Instead of just seeing a bunch of random items strewn across a table, they are more likely to see an actual business with products that are high-quality and valuable.
- Connect with Your Customers and Always Demonstrate
Connecting with customers is vitally important. Smile. Say “hi.” Ask them if they’ve found any good deals. Don’t do this in an insincere way, but in a way that says “I really care.” You should also put down the smartphone and make your time at your booth personal and interactive. If you are friendly and fun, customers will keep coming back.
Also, if you are selling any item that requires assembly or that is a bit unusual such as an “As Seen on TV” item, sports equipment or cool kitchen tool, consider demonstrating how it works. People will stop out of interest and will immediately feel engaged. You can also opt to show a video of how the product works, which can be enticing and informative.
- Give Repeat Customers/Collectors Deals
Learn to encourage repeat business by offering deals to those loyal customers. If someone buys from you every week or month, and they have done so at least three times, you should consider cutting them a break and begin giving them good discounts. You may get a bit less for the item than you intended, but you will sell more in the long run because they’ll be sure to keep purchasing from you if they feel you’re treating them like a special VIP customer.
- Cover the Front and Sides of your Tables
This will enable you hide all the empty boxes and stuff you have stored underneath. You should also consider using plastic table skirting that already has adhesive on it. Place this all around the outside of your tables to make your display look cleaner. When setting up your tables, always leave enough room for three people to walk side by side between your rows of tables.
Note that this will encourage browsing as people do not typically like to be crowded. Don’t forget to set up one or two folding chairs near the front of your booth as an invitation for tired or elderly buyers to have a seat and rest. Learn to place special items (those you know will be good sellers) where they will be seen easily.
It’s bad to bury them in a crowd of lower selling items. When you have items that aren’t moving as well as you would like, move them around every hour or so. This will give your booth and tables a new look that may encourage browsing, even by folks who have already been to your booth.
- Post Pictures of New Items for Sale on Social Media During the Week
All through the week leading up to your flea market appearance, you can attract more people on social media to shop with you by posting pictures of the items that you’ll be offering for sale. If they’re interested in something new they’ve seen on social, they’ll be sure to show up that weekend at the market to buy it.