My Top Tips For Selling At Flea Markets
Last week was my first flea of 2019 and kicked off my third year doing markets/shows! I’ve learned so much over the last few years about how to prepare, how to decorate my booth, and how to make it through the day itself! I could talk for days about how the look of my booth has evolved, but I believe a huge part of your setup is based around what product you’re selling. What I want to share is tips for being prepared for your flea, no matter what you sell!
1. Make lists
Make lists for everything. A packing list, a to-do list, things you’ll need day of, what types of promo you want to do leading up to the flea. I’m a big list person always but for fleas, something you’ll do again and again, save these lists and refer back to them. This will make every subsequent flea that much easier. Make notes afterwards to update things that may need to be tweaked. But having this base is a great way to feel prepared and like you’re not forgetting anything.
2. Plan your booth
This is something I didn’t do enough of early on. You want your space to be enticing and easy to shop, this is how you make sales! Take some time early on to think about how you want everything laid out. Maybe even sketch out your ideas or set up your tent in the backyard and have a trial run. Where you put your business cards or how you’re going to have your bagging station arranged should not be things you’re deciding 30 minutes before customers arrive!
3. Have an inventory list
If you use Square or any payment app it’s so helpful to have all your inventory added into it. That way you don’t have to try to keep a list of sales, you’re able to look back at the end of the day and see exactly how much you sold of what. This may not seem like a big deal but more times than not I get to the end of the day and don’t have a clear memory of every sale. Looking back at your popular items or colors/sizes/etc. will help you know how to prep for the next one.
4. Check your sales tax
Again, if you’re using a payment app this is as easy as looking up the sales tax % in your area and adding it into your Square account. This is an important thing to remember because when it comes time to pay your sales taxes the last thing you want is for them to come out of your profits because you didn’t collect them from customers!
5. Have lots of branded and promotional material
This one goes back to making your booth as shoppable as possible! You want people to know who you are, what you sell, and how they can stay in touch with you. Have a sign with your name or logo that will make people want to stop and look. Have your instagram handle posted somewhere. Make sure you have lots of business cards, and don’t forget that email sign up list!
6. Pack snacks, water, and a charger
Hopefully you will be busy all day talking to customers, that’s why it’s important to keep yourself and your phone at a full charge! You may not want to eat a big meal (even though fleas usually have some delicious vendors!) or even have time to step away. Have some snacks you can eat quickly and make sure you have water too! I’ve made the mistake too many times of drinking coffee all day and getting really dehydrated. If you want to last all day, ya gotta stay hydrated! Lastly, using your phone to take payments can take a lot out of your phone. Bring a portable charger to make sure you’ve got plenty of power for smooth sailing!
These are just a few things I’ve found to be super important when participating in flea markets. Most of them I learned from just doing it. And then doing it again and again. Pay attention, your customers will tell you what they like and don’t like (with their actions, hopefully no one will tell you they don’t like something!). The best way to improve is to observe and adjust.
What are your flea market hacks? What do you look for as a shopper? Let me know in the comments!