A Lesson At The Flea Market by Vera Raposo

For those of you that don’t know, I started my business 9 years ago at the flea market. I think back of all the fun that I had and when I started selling off odds and ends that I had around the house.

After being there for a while I noticed something quickly, that I could buy certain products from the “newbies” who were coming in and then throw it on my table for more $ and voila a valuable lesson.

This is what I did for 2 years! I went through my second pregnancy spending every weekend at the flea market. I got bit by the flea market bug.

I kept my tables set up for each weekend and had a following of customers. When people saw that I had unique items, they kept coming back to check out what I had.

Now fast forward 9 years and no, I’m not selling at the flea market anymore. That was before I knew about eBay. So what is the recent valuable lesson I learned recently from the flea market?

My husband loves framing pictures, he went to school for it, got the equipment, and now does framing for friends, family, and co-workers. It’s a fun hobby that he’s turned into an extra stream of income for our family.

Recently, we’ve been going to the flea market on the weekends, it’s still in our blood. lol. Often you’ll find companies that want to off load product, maybe it’s slightly damaged, etc. Well, he made a contact with a man who was willing to sell frames to him for so dirt cheap, only because of a mark here or there that we can easily paint over.

Now we are able to pass those savings onto others and at the same time have some great frames for ourselves.

All of this got me thinking about how I can hand over this lesson to you.

As an auction seller you might have not thought of the flea market being a great place to get products, but here’s some great tips that I learned from those flea market days:

1) If you want to get the “best” finds, you need to go looking at the market first thing in the morning, even while they’re all still setting up. And of course before the other sellers have a chance to purchase from new vendors. This usually means being there around 630am on Sunday.

2)A lot of times what happens at the end of the day is people have made most of their money so they are willing to off load their items at a cheap price or even give it away to you. Just go and hang out when people start packing up, and I’m sure you’ll hear some sellers shouting out “5.00 for the rest.” They don’t want to carry anything home, especially if they don’t regularly set up at the flea market. (Our flea market here is so popular that I know a guy that’s been selling there for 8 yrs and still can’t get a “regular” spot.)

3)Approach the owner of the flea market, let him know that if sellers leave anything behind that you’re willing to grab it up. Now, don’t be choosy, because he would rather donate it, than sit with a fussy person. So, if you offer this then be prepared to take most or all of what he’s offering.

4)If you find someone that has a great product for sale approach them and exchange phone numbers, maybe he’ll want to just sell straight to you, and that saves him some time from having to set up at the flea market. (it’s a great motivator)

5)Take it a step further, and offer to sell their items on eBay for them. You’ll often find retailers who frequent selling at the flea market to get rid of extras they can’t sell in their store.

A tip to remember when going to the flea market, keep in mind of the eBay prices of certain items. Look for unique gift items, cds, dvds, clothing, & costume jewelry. I’m sure there’s a ton more things that I could mention but it’s very important for you to do your own research and see what’s selling. It won’t take you too long to figure out what’s the best items to grab at.

You can find lots of great prices on second hand items at the flea market, and lots of new items too. So try out the flea market, I’m certain you will find lots of treasures there.

About The Author

Vera Raposo has been making a living with online auctions since 1997. With thousands of completed auctions under her belt, Vera is now sharing some of her best auction strategies in a free 90-minute interview at http://www.auctionstrategists.com/special.