How to Sell at a Flea Market
So you've read our flea market rental rates and checked out the vendor policies, but you're still not sure about HOW to sell at a flea market? Whether you're trying to get rid of some garage sale items taking up space around your home, or looking to start a new career selling antiques, handmade crafts, new or used merchandise, hopefully these tips will help!
Give good customer service.
Smile, say hi, and try to treat your customers as you would like to be treated! A grumpy flea market vendor will almost never sell as much as a happy, personable vendor selling similar merchandise. Greet your customers and offer assistance if needed, but don't be a pushy salesperson either.
Accept as many forms of payment as possible.
Be sure to come to the flea market prepared with plenty of change, both small bills and coins. A cash box can be handy, but can also be an easy target for would-be thieves. Many long-time flea market vendors prefer to keep their money in a simple tool apron with pockets that they wear.
The Flea Market at Menge does offer an ATM on site, but rather than sending your cash-less customers away and hoping they'll come back later to complete a sale, you can take advantage of technology and easily (and affordably!) accept credit cards at your booth through a service like Square.
This service works with any iPhone or Android mobile phone: you simply install the Square app, enter some basic information and add a checking account where you'll want your payments deposited to, and Square will send you a free wireless credit card reader in the mail. The device is free, there is no contract or monthly fee, and Square charges just 2.75% per transaction on all major credit & debit cards. Considering people often spend more, and sooner when paying with credit or debit cards, many vendors find that it is well worth it!
Like a Boy Scout, a good flea market vendor never leaves the house unprepared. In addition to plenty of change, there are a few other items that most flea market vendors will probably want to have on hand.
Your space at the Flea Market at Menge will include 1 table (plus electricity if you get a pavilion spot), but you might also want to bring:
- a chair or stool (some vendors prefer stools or tall outdoor director's chairs so they can sit at eye-level with customers)
- pen, pencils, permanent markers
- a notebook for writing down what you sell
- price stickers or tags
- extension cord
- bungee cords
- zip-ties or reusable Velcro straps
- spring clamps
- safety pins
- shopping bags for customers
- antibacterial wet wipes and/or hand sanitizer
- business cards
- bug spray
- aspirin / ibuprofen
- a small cooler with water and freezer packs for summer
- a Thermos and blanket for winter
Make your displays eye-catching and easy to browse.
Your space at the Flea Market at Menge will include a table, but you might consider making your booth more attractive through the use of a tablecloth.
How you display your items will depend on the types of products you sell, but using different levels is a great idea to maximize your space and make your booth more appealing. You can use clear acrylic risers, boxes, or wooden milk crates to display your products at different heights. Some vendors prefer gridwall or other free-standing displays to merchandise their wares.
Here are some more tips on creating an attractive flea market booth display:
- How to display items at flea markets and swap meets
- Ideas for a Flea Market Booth Display
- Visual Merchandising Tips
Keep in touch with your customers!
If you plan to set up at the flea market regularly and really make a business out of it, it's time to start thinking about how to keep in touch with your customers. Many small businesses and flea market vendors set up a Facebook page or other social media accounts to stay in touch with their customers.
There's also something to be said for collecting the email addresses or phone numbers of your best customers so you can let them know when you'll be set up, and when you get in new merchandise they might be interested in! A service like Mailchimp offers an affordable way to send professional looking emails to your customers. (And it's free if you have less than 2,000 people on your mailing list!)
Need more tips on how to sell at a flea market?
Check out these great books & articles on selling at flea markets: