If you have sold stuff at a garage sale before, another way to earn extra cash is to set up at a flea market.
I have never tried an indoor flea market, but I have set up at several different outdoor ones. We actually set up at one this past Saturday. We didn’t do too bad, but it was really hot and started to rain in the afternoon. Even with all of that, we made over $200 in about five hours time.
Here are some tips for selling at a flea market.
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#1 — Visit the Flea Market
I always go to a flea market for a visit and see what it’s like before selling at it.
Some flea markets have more new items; some have a lot of antiques and furniture; and some have a variety of both plus more.
The flea market where we were, had about 60 vendors. They had space for 300, but I think the weather kept some people away. This flea market had new stuff, antiques, crafts, produce, clothes, flowers, collectibles, plus much more.
The reason that it is helpful to visit ahead of time is that you can see if the kinds of things you have would sell at that particular flea market. If for example you want to sell furniture, but no vendors sell furniture, it probably is not the right flea market for you. If someone is looking to buy furniture, they will probably visit a flea market that they know will have furniture.
#2 — Decide Whether You Want Indoors or Outdoors
The flea markets we have set up at have been outdoors. Outdoor flea markets are mostly during the summer or early fall. Some are every weekend while others are only 3-4 times the whole summer.
We used to go to a flea market that was held on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. They would open on a Sunday evening and all day for Memorial Day or Labor Day. For Fourth of July, it would be open the evening before the fourth and then all day on the holiday. This set-up worked really well for us. Because it was only open three times for the summer, there would be up to 1000 vendors and a lot of people coming to buy.
It cost $45 for a 20’ x 20’ space for set up on the holiday only. It was an extra $25 to set up on the day before. Even with all that, we made $1000 selling toys (like Fisher Price, Care Bears, My Little Pony, etc.). We stopped going when the property owners decided to end the flea market.
An indoor flea market will usually be open year-round. You will probably have less people coming to it since it is always open. You also probably have a small space for a higher price. The upside is that bad weather doesn’t matter because you are inside.
#3 — Find Out the Policies of the Flea Market
At the market where we set up, you can arrive and pay the day you set up. That means that you don’t have to pay in advance and hope the weather is good. This is especially important if it rains.
Whatever flea market you are thinking about selling at, you should read up on all their rules for selling such as what you can and cannot sell, what times you have to be there and leave, and anything else that you might need to know.
#4 — Compare Space Rental Fees
Our flea market over the weekend was $20 for a 20’ x 20’ space. That is a really good deal.
We bought two spaces and loaded both of our cars full. We also could park our cars in the space because we had extra room.
If the rental fees are really high, it might not be worth your time to sell at that flea market. You have to take into consideration how much stuff you have and how much you will likely get from it.
#5 — Charge Higher Prices Than a Garage Sale
People expect to pay more at a flea market than a garage sale. They will also probably ask if you will take less on some of your items. Price your items accordingly.
If you don’t want any less than $10 on an item, put $12 on it. That way if someone offers you less, you will still get what you want out of it.
When I have a garage sale, I charge $0.50-1.00 for jigsaw puzzles. At the flea market, I will charge $2.00-3.00. This is just an example of the differences in prices.
#6 — Pick Up Cheap Items at Garage Sales to Sell at the Flea Market
We only sell at a flea market once or twice a year. I will buy cheap items to sell that are nice in order to sell them at the flea market for more money.
For instance, I visited a thrift store that had too many books. They were selling all books for 10¢ each. I bought the ones that were really nice that I knew would sell such as Dr. Seuss, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rick Riordan series, etc. Then, I turned around and sold paperbacks for 50¢ and hardcovers for $1.00. I didn’t have a problem selling them.
#7 — Use an Awning if Outside
We have two fold-up awnings that we set up at the flea market (and sometimes at a garage sale). It gives us some shade and some protection in case of rain.
#8 — Bring Some Sheets of Plastic if Outside
#9 — Make Sure You Have Change and Bags
Make sure you have enough small bills for change. Many people will give you a twenty dollar bill, and it is a good idea to have lots of ones, fives, and some quarters.
Also, make sure you bring bags to use when people buy things. Most customers will not bring their own bags. This makes it easier for customers to shop at multiple vendors as they walk around the flea market.
#10 — Be Friendly
Try to talk to people when they stop at your booth.
We have sold a lot of items to people by talking to them and learning what things they like to buy or are looking for. A lot of times we have just what they were looking for, and they just didn’t see it.
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Have you ever sold stuff at a flea market?
Selling at a flea market is just another way to make some extra money. It can be fun, and you can get rid of some stuff you don’t want.