Savvy tricks: Increase your flea market profits…

Tips and Tricks to Increase Your Profits From Flea Market Sales

start a flea market business

By Nathania Stambouli

1. Research the flea market where you plan to sell. Schedule a visit before you source your merchandise and find out what other vendors are selling. Once you know what your competition is like, you will be better equipped to source the right merchandise. You want to sell merchandise that fits within the scope of what is sold at that flea market, but won’t have too much competition that might take away from your business. (For example, if it is a flea market that sells primarily clothing and shoes, try purchasing some fashion accessories that could differentiate you from the competition while still being relevant. Or, try to source branded clothing and branded shoes to offer the more in-demand versions of what other vendors are selling).

2. Check for any limitations the flea market places on the type of goods you can sell or the number of sellers allowed to sell a particular product category. Some markets put a cap on the number of vendors of item x that can be present. In order to avoid being turned away on the day you set up your merchandise, make sure you fall within their quota on whatever you choose to sell.

3. Avoid large and heavy items (like furniture for instance). It is heavy and difficult for you to transport to the flea market and set up, and probably even more difficult for your customers to haul away. You are likely to have better luck with smaller, lighter items that can be easily carried out.

4. When sourcing product, make sure you go after assorted lots. Single-item lots are great for store sales but less so for flea markets. If you end up with too many of one item, you risk finding yourself with a lot of excess inventory to move. If you purchase mixed lots, you are more likely to find buyers for a larger variety of items and you won’t have much excess left over.

5. If you do end up with excessive inventory of one kind of item, don’t despair – use those items as promotional giveaways. Let’s say you bought cosmetics and clothing to sell, but you ended up with way too many of one kind of lipstick in the cosmetic lot. Put up a sign on your stand that says “buy a t-shirt and get a lipstick free.” You will entice more customers to stop and buy, all the while moving that excess inventory.

6. Track your sales and know where you stand at the end of each day. Keep a simple notebook with you and mark down the items sold and at what price, or use your cellphone or laptop if you want to do it digitally. You will then be able to back track and compare your sales to your purchase price to determine your overall profits. As you move forward, you’ll be able to see which product categories sold best and what items you should focus on in the future.

7. Have some knowledge about the products you are selling. Spend some time researching the items before you price them in order to make sure they are competitive with the other items offered at the flea market. Take some time to visit other vendors and see what price they are selling items for.

8. Display and merchandise your goods attractively. Lay them out nicely on the table and keep valuable or smaller pieces closer to you to avoid theft.

9. Offer merchandise instead of discounts whenever possible. Put in place “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” type promotions to help you move more inventory.

10. Try to increase the average purchase amount by offering volume discounts for bulk purchases. For instance, “1 for $10, 3 for $25!”

Via Trading is a wholesale liquidation company that provides solutions for everyday retailers to clear their unwanted inventory and offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to obtain products to resell at a fraction of their value. Via Trading supplies eBayers, flea market & swap meet vendors, discount store owners, auctioneers, exporters an other wholesalers with a huge variety of merchandise at prices well below wholesale. Via ships all over the world and provides world class service to customers big and small. Visit the company’s 240,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Los Angeles, open to the wholesale public. http://www.viatrading.com

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