Storage Auctions

flea market noob

flea market noob
« on: August 24, 2011, 10:35:15 AM »
i have been trying my hand at craigslist and cant seem to sell much as in my areas not many people have money. but after my first unit i dont have many items that are low priced most the things i have are 50-200 dollars easily and theres about 15 items or so of that and only a handful of items that are on the cheap end.
 
i guess my question is... is it reasonable to sell my high priced items at flea markets or how should i go about doing that? i was thinking just going to them with a certian price on them but also have a sign that says make offer to try and get rid of these items so i can go to more auctions faster.

any advice on this would be helpful or if someone could let me know a good place to sell these high value items fast would be great also.

Re: flea market noob
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2011, 01:16:50 PM »
Do a little recon first.  Does your local flea market already have 4-5 people selling the same type stuff as what you have.  If so you will have to price under them to have a chance of a sale.

Also, if there are more then one flea market check out the crowds at both locations.  What is the price to setup?  Can you get a spot with alot of foot traffic or are you regulated to the back wall.

People that hit flea markets are also looking for good deals.  Americans don't really barter or negotiate price as much as the rest of the world.  That said, give yourself some wiggle room.  So that you can offer the item cheaper after some haggeling and still come out happy.

One thing I did notice the other day at my local flea market.  More and more middle and upper-middle class are going to them for items.  As the economy gets worse and purse strings get tighter people re-think second-hand items.  Where before they wouldn't think twice about spending a grand for a new couch, they now hit the other stores to only pay $250-$500 for the same couch.

Offline Cobia

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Re: flea market noob
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 02:58:55 PM »
i have been trying my hand at craigslist and cant seem to sell much as in my areas not many people have money. but after my first unit i dont have many items that are low priced most the things i have are 50-200 dollars easily and theres about 15 items or so of that and only a handful of items that are on the cheap end.
 
i guess my question is... is it reasonable to sell my high priced items at flea markets or how should i go about doing that? i was thinking just going to them with a certian price on them but also have a sign that says make offer to try and get rid of these items so i can go to more auctions faster.

any advice on this would be helpful or if someone could let me know a good place to sell these high value items fast would be great also.

You just have to remember we are RE-sellers. Think about those used car lots in your town that are selling $50,000-$80,000 BMWs, Mercedes, etc. only 5-10 years old, look practically new for like $8,000-$15,000.

The same is true for us. In my experience, if I find a $1000 retail value sofa, like new, less than 3 years old, I still have to sell it for $300 plus or minus $50. If I want to move it really quick, I sell it for $150. If I want to squeeze $500 out of it I would probably have to hold it for 6 months.

I suppose if you had an upscale shop in a wealthier part of town, you could probably get away with selling $1500-$2500 retail furniture for $750-$1250 resale, but then you have to think about the additional overhead of running that shop. The other problem would be winning enough units to keep the shop full of upscale inventory but I guess you could supplement with estate sales, auction houses, & yard sales/moving sales.

To get back to your original question, once you have made your money back plus what ever profit you want, sell the rest cheap! Don't get bogged down in what YOU think the value of the stuff is, you are just going to get MORE stuff at the next auction!

Re: flea market noob
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2011, 03:06:55 PM »
Well the place I go is on monday mornings. Its first come first gets spot. Farmers/flea market. They sell everything from clothes to antiques to animals to food and everything. Its set up in a big horse shoe with people in the middle and its all outside. Tuns of foot traffic everywhere. I was just curious about prices since the only things I see selling for a lot are the many of guns. But since I do live in michigan and not many of people have much money I was lookin into lowering my prices. Since I have already made my money back selling a king size cheapo bedroom set and taking back a new brake rotor still in box the rest is just profit. But spots are 5 dollars and about the size of a parking spot plus trailer you can sell on so there good size.

 Good point copia. I know even if I lower prices I will triple my money easily. So im just going to lower prices to move them faster. Ive already missed a few auctions I wanted to go to.

Re: flea market noob
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 03:12:33 PM »
That is the hardest thing for me to do....sell for way less than I think it is worth just to turn over the inventory. However, it is something I am going to have to do as I have filled the space I rent to sell out of and my basement is full.
I passed on the first reasonably priced unit I have seen in months yesterday because the unit was full of large furniture and I had no where to put it. The leather couch was worth the sellng price by itself.
I believe that the more units you buy, the better the odds of hitting the big (or reasonable big) payday. However, you can't buy more stuff if you run out of room. Hopefully, I can stop looking at the money I feel I am losing by selling the stuff underpriced and convince myself to look at the money I am actually making and the potential income from the next unit.

Re: flea market noob
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 03:50:07 PM »
The only two things I dont mind sitting on right now is the craftsman tool box full of tools and the fluke multimeter as I know what I can truely get out of them and im not going to shorthand myself that money which I know I can get at least 250-300 for the toolbox and at least 100 for the fluke meter. But I know what yall mean by selling cheap to make a quick profit to buy the next unit. Im going to do that.

Re: flea market noob
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2011, 07:25:40 PM »
So out of curiousity what is the key to selling at a flea market? I went to one today sold 13 dollars worth of auction items but after table rent and food and gas I actually lost money. Any tips would be most welcome from all you pros.

Offline Cobia

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Re: flea market noob
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 08:06:33 AM »
So out of curiousity what is the key to selling at a flea market? I went to one today sold 13 dollars worth of auction items but after table rent and food and gas I actually lost money. Any tips would be most welcome from all you pros.

To quote a mentor of mine.."you have to stack it deep, and sell it cheap!"

Take a whole bunch of inventory with you to the flea market and realize you are only going to sell a small percentage of that inventory. Don't sell for what you think the goods are worth, sell for what the market is willing to pay. it is probably all profit anyhow. I sell 90% of my inventory I get out of storage units for $5 or less at the flea market and I still end up taking back home 70%-80% of the inventory I brought to sell.

The primary problem is competition. So many other vendors are selling the same merchandise that you are selling. Unless you advertise your goods extremely cheaply, many shoppers are going to look around the whole flea market before making a decision. Unfortunately many shoppers forget about the goods they liked at your table and don't return.

Take advantage of the professional vendors who who will buy in bulk from your table. Yes, they are going to low ball you because they are just going to turn around and sell it at their table for a profit, but at least it's of your hands, you have made a profit, and you have potential contacts to move more inventory you get from storage units.

how much stuff did you take with you? If you are not taking a truck or trailer load it is not going to be worth it when you account for fuel costs and table rentals, unless you are selling high end products.

Re: flea market noob
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 08:55:24 AM »
I took a truck load with the ext cab full and also my dads jeep cherokee full. There were a lot of lookers mostly female but there husbands would talk them out of buying the items. I am selling below what its worth and what I would like for it. If I can get enough money/profit im going to buy my biggest fullest locker for labor day monday at the market but I guess I will lower prices more since I need to make room for more stock.

Offline Cobia

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Re: flea market noob
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 09:39:05 AM »
Sounds like you had plenty of goods. The other thing I forgot to mention is how much foot traffic does the flea market get? I had to set up and sell at several different flea markets before finding the one that had enough foot traffic and paying customers to make it worth my while. It just so happens that the most profitable flea market for me is also the one furthest from my house and has the highest table rental fees.

I know at least two guys that do storage auctions who don't get enough paying customers at the flea market closest to our neighborhood that set up on the side of the road or in commercial parking lots on the weekends and do much better sales.

Re: flea market noob
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 11:04:17 AM »
Well all the flea markets around here are 5 or 10 dollars. But I found out a bit ago that the closest market people go just to talk. Lots of foot traffic just not many buyers. But going to another one a few miles further away,then the other that gets tuns of people and even more buyers. So i'll just see what happens tomorrow morning

Re: flea market noob
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 02:15:19 PM »
In my area the flea market is only open on Saturday and Sunday.  There are two markets about a mile or two from each other.  One is very well advertised but has higher table fee's and you mostly sit out in the sun.  The other isn't as well advertised but is lower fee's and shaded.  I'd say more people travel to first then the second.  However, most of the storage regulars say they do better sales at the second less popular market.

Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: flea market noob
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 02:49:09 PM »
Alot of what Im going to say is specific to my area and my experience but flea markets in my area aren't much better than garage sales in terms of the prices your going to get for items.

We do have one kind of upscale flea market in the area but its like $150 for a spot instead of anywhere from $5-$25 so you gotta sell that much more to make your money back if you even do.

Flea markets and garage sales everyone wants something for nothing, I'll throw out wheat I think is a ridiculously low price like $2 just wanting to unload stuff nad people will offer me 0.50 cents or a dollar.

I hate the flea markets where everyone has stores with new stuff in packaging i like the ones with people like me with tables nad unique items. I think at these people see your not as store like as others and think prices should be next to nothing.

My attitude is this, I make my money back nad a decent profit on craigsilst, resale shops, ebay and everything else is basically free stuff thats 100% profit to me. If I sell it for a dollar its still all profit.

I think the hardest thing to do I know for myself an I imagine others is to let stuff go for hte price people are willing to pay and not holding onto stuff for this made up price you have in your head. i have come to this realization and still struggle with it. Obviously there's a balance between looking for the right buyer and giving stuff away but you got to find it.

To the op, you mention high price items. This is totally an assumption on my part nad may not be accurate at all but I imagine your $200 items are really $80 your $100 items will go for $50 and your $75 items will go for $20.

I love watching dave on storage wars say these vending machines 5k a piece, yeah right i see brand new ones on craigslist for like 2k everyday.

things are worth what someone will pay for them. if they are not selling you are not exposing them to enough people or arent marketing them right or the price your asking is too high.

im always surprised when an item i think will fetch seveal thousand dollars goes for $120 but othertimes a used fishing knife I would have sold for $3 winds up selling on ebay for $100

Re: flea market noob
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 04:29:13 PM »
@craiglstauction
Most the flea markets around here are well publicized as they been around for a long while and all outdoors for the fact that I live out in the country thats how we do things here.

@ rulesforrebels
Basicaly what your saying is go cheaper that what I want to? Just keep trying to double my money on each unit and if I get more than great if not then I just doubled my money, is that what your trying to say. Sell cheap and fast. Also you mentioned ebay. I havent gotten much to sell even for really cheap. I will be reposting my items on there for half of what there worth just to unload. CL is hard since I live far from people but I still have some luck. But tomorrow I will lower prices to get rid of items to make room for my weekend inventory for labor day flea market in which uf I dont get there by noon the day prior I wont get a decent spot.

Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: flea market noob
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2011, 06:19:22 PM »
Terrorbow, I guess it all comes down to strategy and we all have our own but after much trial and error I have decided I woudl rather flip items quickly and make some money as well as clear out some room and move on to the next locker as opposed to sitting on an item for 6 months waiting for the right buyer just to squeeze an extra $50 or $100 out of an item.

Obviously you want to make your money back on a locker and a profit so make sure your not letting things go too quickly but one locker that I always think of in relation to this strategy of mine I had probably made about 3k off of a $300 locker and I was still trying to squeeze every last penny out of good items when what I should have been doing is just getting rid of stuff as everything is pure profit and I'd already made a killing off the u.

That 3d last supper pic is one of the last items Ive been sitting on long term. I have no doubt in my mind I could one day find the right buyer at about $500 however its heavy and takes up space and what I should do is sell it for like $80. I think I may just keep it for myself though as its a very unique piece and I like colllecting wierd stuff.

One other strategy for if you live in a rural or hard to get to erea is maybe post a bunch of your "featuer" items on craigslist a few days before you go to the flea market. Say in the listing or when people contact you, I will be at such and such flea market friday adn saturday from 9-4. That your at an easy to get to location, your already there so no time wasted trying to meet upu with people, etc. I've found this strategy to be pretty effective. I did the same thing for my recent garage sale. I figured I'd be sitting around at home doing nothing for 8 hours a day so why not try to get some craigslist postings going as othertimes I'm wasting my personal time waiting for someoen to show up 30 minuets late to buy an item.


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