10 Selling Tips for Flea Market Success

The last couple years have been tough economically for us all and there is no doubt that some great bargains can be found at flea markets and that there is money to be made selling at flea markets. It is estimated that there are well over 25,000 flea markets across the United States with sales over $6 Billion dollars….and this is for flea markets that operate on weekends only! Pasadena’s famous Rose Bowl Flea Market is said to have over 3,000 vendors with approx. 50,000 shoppers! Professional Flea Market shoppers are reported to arrive between 7:00 am -9:00 am in the morning with flashlights if still dark out when vendors are just setting up and are ready to treasure and bargain hunt.  You have got to watch”A Flea Market Documentary“. WOW!

1. Becoming A Vendor: First things first, in order to start selling at flea markets you need to get yourself setup as a vendor at a particular flea market. Check with your attorney or accountant on what is recommended by your state and the Feds as far as setting up a business name, business checking account tax ID number and anything else you need.  Also, check with the particular flea market on what paperwork and licenses they will need from you.

2.What To Sell: You most likely already have an idea of what types of merchandise or products you want to sell as you probably have visited flea markets before and probably visited the flea market your booth will be at a hundred times or so. You have developed a sense of what sells, what is “hot”, crafts that seem to sell well, antiques and collectibles that sell etc.. and you hopefully already have amassed several items to sell or have secured a method or contact for inventory be it a wholesaler or your local thrift store and neighborhood garage sales, or you have made up a bunch of crafts etc..

Also, a way to earn extra money is to sell beverages and snacks in your space. Nothing is better on a hot humid day then a cold drink! Have a cooler or if you have electricity a small refrigerator stocked with bottle water and soda pops and think about this for a moment – why not have some labels made up of your space name and logo and stick them on the bottles of water or if you sell bags of chips or granola bars then stick the labels on these as this is a great way to market your space!!

3. Pricing: Pricing – because you have spent a lot of time already visiting flea markets or have friends that are vendors at flea markets or have done your pricing research another way, you know what your pricing should be. Do not over analyze your pricing and merchandise, as right now it is most important for you to wisely “dive in” and get your booth setup and Start Selling!


Many people will say that a great strategy is the key to attracting buyers. There is no doubt that you are one vendor amongst thousands of vendors so having the right merchandise and a good location is key.

6. Attracting Buyers: Be sure to have enough merchandise on hand. Nothing is worse than an empty looking space so be sure to have plenty of stuff to sell and either store the excess under your tables or in your car. Also, have around a total of $500 of change in $1, $5, $10, and $20. Keep bags, newspaper, sacks, and boxes handy so folks can easily and comfortably haul their treasures away.

7. Be an Expert: If you sell antiques and collectibles you will agree that the more you know about the items you are selling the more you will sell as your customers will see you as the EXPERT and people feel confident buying from the Expert and paying the higher prices as items sold by an Expert can command top dollar.

Engage in conversation with folks that enter your space as vendors with personality and the ability to story tell about their items will have more sales as shoppers enjoy being told as much information about what they are buying, and part of the enjoyment of flea markets is all the neat vendors you meet!

8. Setup: Setup your space to visually make sense and be comfortable. So, if you sell books then have them setup with spines facing out and neatly stacked so they are easy to read, if you sell clothing be sure to hang the items up on racks or have them neatly folded on tables and do put out items that are dirty or have holes as no one is looking for this. Have your pricing clearly visible. If you have access to electricity then have a couple fans plugged in to blow cool air as noting feels better on s super hot day then a fan blowing on you and when people feel comfortable they will spend more time shopping your space. Also, if you can arrange for some type of cover or canopy to shield from rain and sun it will not only make you the seller more comfortable but your shoppers too.

If you use signage make sure they are neat and easy to read and grab attention from folks passing by. Tie a bunch of balloons around your space to attract attention and have a drawing for a “free” prize every 4 hours or so and this will draw lots of attention to your space.

9. Hagglers: Be prepared to handle hagglers in advance. You should not be surprised if people start to haggle or negotiate with you. Many people feel that haggling is part of the Flea Market experience. Decide in advance how much you are will to accept on an item and be good-natured when dealing with hagglers. Remember that being flexible with your pricing can mean more sales for you!!

10.Tips For Vendors: A couple things to keep in mind when selling at Flea Markets is to have a receipt book and pen handy as many folks will ask for a receipt if they are a business. If you sell vintage or retro items that can be repurposed, make up a bunch of handouts that tell the buyer the types of crafts and projects these items can be made into and even have a free craft detailed that they can make.  Keep sunscreen nearby and even have some for sale, as you will be surprised how sunburned one can get walking around a flea market and selling at a flea market!!

We hope these tips and tricks have been beneficial to you and urge you to visit www.crazy4me.com in the near future, as we are finishing up a fantastic guide on Flea Market Bargaining and Haggling Tips!