Best swap meet businesses

15 Shopping Tips at Flea Markets & Swap Meets - What to Do & What to Avoid

best swap meet businesses

Starting a small business at a swap meet will teach you valuable skills that can While some may simply start by cleaning out their closets, it is always best to. Apr 23, Explore Annette Gomez's board "swapmeet ideas" on Pinterest. | See more ideas about Display ideas, Flea market booth and Vendor booth. You can find a lot of good deals if you walk around the beer garden is fun sit have a beer with friends meet new one listen to people sing you may be lucky and.

Depending on your city, county, and state requirements, you may need a tax ID number or resale license. Try to reserve a booth as close to the entrance as you can. This will ensure that buyers entering and leaving the flea market will see your booth first, and then again as they prepare to leave.

The more visibility you have, the better! Pay for your spot in advance if possible. Sellers all tend to arrive at the same time and stand in line for a spot. Ask the flea market owner if they provide any additional services to their vendors. Some provide a newsletter to their vendors that gives them business tips, local auction dates and times, recommended places to buy products, etc.

Choose the highest traffic booth space, if you have a choice. Invest in a pop up shelter, as well as some good folding tables and folding chairs.

Tables should be clean, or have some table cloths preferably solid colored to cover them with. Presentation is very important to buyers and will help increase sales. Setting up a canopy will not only give your space a professional store-like appearance, it will also give you protection from the hot sun or rain. After setting up your tables, arrange your merchandise in an organized manner.

Remember, a junked-up messy area can take away from the value of some items. It can also cause people to start tripping all over the place.

best swap meet businesses

If you need electricity, bring extension cords! Most flea markets have power outlets available but they are not necessarily going to be near your booth. You want to have everything ready to sell when the customers arrive, and they will arrive the moment the flea market opens. At the booth, keep the cash box close by and out of sight.

Leave the kit packed and ready to go each time. Be prepared with the following: If you sell clothing, fashion accessories or shoes, make sure you have a full length mirror in your booth. Bring more than you intend to sell. Full stands attract more buyers!

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  • 15 Shopping Tips at Flea Markets & Swap Meets – What to Do & What to Avoid

There is a market for everything and at the right price, anything goes! If you can, bring someone with you. Not only will it be helpful to help you set up and tear down without spending hours on it, but it will also allow you to step away from the booth for a few minutes during the day and see what others are selling at the market.

Having someone with you can also help wait on customers and watch for shoplifters. Professional shoplifters often work in pairs. One person will distract the vendor with questions, while their partner steals items. Make and bring change! Make sure you have all kinds of coins especially quarters and small bills.

best swap meet businesses

Bring a cooler with ice packs, water, small snacks or anything to hold you over through the day. Business Issues Back to Top Know your audience. Know the demographic and cater to them by placing attractive items to that demographic at the front of your booth.

If your flea market caters heavily to teenagers for example, be sure to put items related to that demographic where they can be seen at a glance. Keep track of accounts and customer records. A simple notebook to write down your sales may be enough at first, but it is much easier to keep track of sales and inventory with proper software such as Intuit or Quicken, as well as CRM Customer Relationship Management softwares.

Make sure you know how much you bought of something, how fast you sold it and what your profitability was. Take advantage of technology and tools.

How to Find Things to Sell at a Swap Meet: 10 Steps

If you only accept cash or check payments, consider accepting credit card payments. This will make it easier to close sales with customers who may not be carrying enough money in cash.

best swap meet businesses

Consider obtaining a merchant service account with your bank and take advantage of Smartphone applications for Credit Card processing. Accepting credit cards can increase your profits. These days, you can purchase a small adapter to turn your smart phone into a credit card processing terminal the Square app. Catch customers who have run out of cash! If you have no designated cashier, consider wearing a fanny pack or an apron with large pockets to avoid leaving a cash box unattended.

Have a notebook or receipt book handy for customers who may request a receipt for their purchase. Customized receipt books are also a great way to market your flea market booth! Keep a notebook on your table to make notes of what customers are looking for, to keep up with trends, and to make notes of what merchandise will sell well.

Know your tax liability. Check with your local revenue department to determine your tax liability. The laws are different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so get all the facts before the day of the swap meet. Unless you plan to allow returns and exchanges, you may want to display an? Starting out at a lower price is often the way to go. Calculate what you need to get for an item based on your purchase cost for it, the price of your gas and your stall rental.

Remember you are trying to get a feel for the markets and your products. If you raise prices, remember to do it gradually — never spike a price.

best swap meet businesses

Make sure you price all of your items visibly. When customers see no prices they assume the price is high. Many will walk past you, afraid to ask for fear of having to then tell you, no thanks.

Favor volume over profit margins. Offer volume discounts when possible. Offer combination deals like? Lower your prices as the days go by. If you have multiple flea market days, charge your premium pricing on the first day. Focus on moving everything as quickly as you can.

People who ask you to hold something for them rarely come back, and you have lost out on a potential sale by taking the item off of your table. Make it a family affair. Involving your children in the flea market business is a wonderful way to spend quality time together while teaching them about customer service, accounting, sales, marketing, and responsibility.

You can even encourage them to sell some their old toys, clothing, and electronics so they can make their own money. Write down your experiences. Write down what you brought, what you should bring next time, what you could have done without. Write down what was effective and what was not, and anything else you learned. Reinvest a portion of your profits into more merchandise. Find a combination that works for you, but always reinvest a portion of what you make to help you grow your business.

Merchandising Back to Top Use clothing racks to merchandise clothing by size. Avoid wasting time answering questions about whether you have this item in a particular size. Mark your racks by size and tell customers that everything you have in that size is on that particular rack. Use inexpensive mannequins or mannequin torsos to display attractive pieces of clothing prominently. Merchandise shoes by size, outside of their retail boxes.

Allow customers to see what styles are available in their size at a glance without opening and closing dozens of boxes.


Sort through mixed lots of merchandise and organize them by type of item. Digging through mixed bins can be time-consuming and is visually less attractive than an organized layout. If you sell hats, consider using mannequin heads to display the most popular styles. If you sell cosmetics, try to avoid laying them out on a table.

This can invite a high amount of theft and devalues the merchandise.

Tips for Selling at Flea Markets & Swap Meets - Flea Market Success

If you sell small items like jewelry, gemstones, cosmetics or small electronics like cables and adapters, consider using locking display cases. Use a retail display to display jewelry attractively. If that is not an option, use simple hooks to hang necklaces and bracelets from the top of your booth.

Quick, easy, and much easier for buyers to see the items! One flea market vendor we visited had a series of handmade rings displayed inside open egg cartons. Each ring had its spot, and people stopped to admire the creativity of the display, at which point she could engage them to purchase. Instead of having items on racks, in boxes or stacked out of reach, create a sample table at the forefront of your booth to show samples of what you have for sale deeper inside your booth.

Starting a Swap Meet Company – Sample Business Plan Template

It is known that there are differences in the way men and women shop. If your booth caters primarily to men, make sure your presentation is more direct — everything in a logical, obvious place.

Women prefer to browse and dig for treasures, while men typically prefer to find what they need easily, pay and leave. Cover the front and sides of your tables to hide all the empty boxes and stuff you have stored underneath. Consider using plastic table skirting that already has adhesive on it.

Place this all around the outside of your tables to make your display look cleaner. While some may simply start by cleaning out their closets, it is always best to remember that your customers are looking for great prices on great products.

Trying to sell the junk that you have around your house may not be the best idea. Buying items in bulk is one of the best ways to get started.

Online resources such as liquidation. Speak with the swap meet owners or management. They will probably have an application that you need to fill out explaining exactly what you are going to sell.

This is used to control the types of things that are sold at their flea market.

best swap meet businesses

Unless it is a specialty swap meet such as a wedding or jewelry expomost owners will limit the number of vendors that are selling similar items. Doing your market research at the swap meet first will minimize the chances of your application being rejected.

Set up your table, display your wares and interact with the public. Always remember that being pushy is not a great way to sell. People go to swap meets for great deals, but it is also a form of entertainment.