How to Become a Flea Market Vendor

The United States is home to thousands of flea markets, focusing on everything from antiques to vintage clothing to movie memorabilia. Although vendors face plenty of competition, if you have something good to sell and market it effectively, you can rake in the profits by selling at flea markets. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Find the right market for your business. Some flea markets feature a mixed bag of vendors, while others are more specialized. If you’re selling vintage dresses, you’ll likely want to push your wares at trendy urban markets like Brooklyn Flea, rather than a budget-focused market out in the country. Check out an online directory such as Flea Markets Across America to find a nearby market that’s a good fit for what you’re selling.
  2. Reserve a vendor booth. At some popular flea markets, you may need to reserve a space weeks or even months ahead of time, while others will let you pay for your space on the day you intend to sell. Check in with the flea market to find out about availability, prices, and whether or not you’ll need to bring your own table.
  3. Pay attention to presentation. When it comes to selling your products, the more attractive your display area looks, the more customers you’ll receive. Instead of spreading out your items haphazardly, space everything neatly, making sure to place the nicest items where customers can easily spot them.
  4. Lure customers in with a good deal. Once you’ve caught someone’s attention with an attractive deal, he’s likely to check out the rest of your products. Spotlight one particular item that you’re selling at an absolute steal, and you’re likely to make up any potential loss with sales on other goods.
  5. Be willing to haggle. Unlike most retail stores, flea market customers are used to bargaining—so no matter what the price tag says, many people will try to purchase the item for a lower rate. Prepare yourself for the haggling process by adding some wiggle room in your initial pricing, so that you’ll be able to come down by a few dollars while still making a profit.

- Kathryn Hawkins

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