Storage Auctions

Startup Costs

Startup Costs
« on: December 31, 2011, 08:24:46 PM »
So I'm trying to figure out how much money I have to save up before I can start doing flea market sales. Like I said in my introduction post, I'm 18, in school but unemployed so I don't exactly have a disposable income.

the necessities I can see myself needing: a money till, some tables, a chair and gas money.

As for the till, I can get one for less than $20 so that's not really a problem. I can also borrow one of those nice folding relaxing chairs from my parents. The thing that I'm really worried about are the tables. I've already asked my neighbors, but none of them have any of those easy folding tables you see. I looked up their prices and they're $50 minimum each online so I'm sure as hell not going to buy them. I was really wondering if flea markets have some sort of rental service for vendors. The flea market here in Raleigh is massive and everyone seems to have the exact same tables. What do you guys usually do? Do you have your own tables or do you borrow them?

Also, I don't want to seem lazy, but I was also wondering if anyone labels their prices in any way. It seems like a bit of a pointless hassle since prices are either cheap or negotiable.

Thanks!

Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2012, 01:25:08 AM »
I worry that you may be getting a little ahead of yourself. First, the answers to a lot of your questions are going to be depdendent on your circumstances.

But before we get into working a flea, I have to ask, do you have, or how will you get, your inventory?

To me it sounds like you need to build your bankroll. My suggestion is to start with some low-dollar picking at thrift stores and garage sales. Make a few dollars here and there, reinvest in new merchandise and keep building. Heck, look for stuff on the free section of craigslist that you might turn into $5 and just keep plugging away.

While you build your bankroll, you can start acquiring the tools you need. You may come across your tables for cheap on CL or such. One thing I just thought, if you see a retailer closing, they will often sell the fixtures. Most stores will have a folding table or two in their breakroom. Never hurts to ask.

I feel that if you start in such a manner, you will know when you're ready to expand into flea sales.

Offline money4nothing

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Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2012, 05:46:59 AM »
  The flea market here in Raleigh is massive and everyone seems to have the exact same tables. What do you guys usually do? Do you have your own tables or do you borrow them?

Most Flea Markets have wooden tables as part of the rental fee. If they all look the same then they come with your space. Should tell you on with the space size comes with one table so many feet by so many feet.  They supply the tables to control the booth and walk space.


To me it sounds like you need to build your bankroll. My suggestion is to start with some low-dollar picking at thrift stores and garage sales. Make a few dollars here and there, reinvest in new merchandise and keep building. Heck, look for stuff on the free section of craigslist that you might turn into $5 and just keep plugging away.
I feel that if you start in such a manner, you will know when you're ready to expand into flea sales.

Same advice in the intro thread.  ;D

Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2012, 11:00:47 AM »
Same advice in the intro thread.  ;D

Great minds, and all that.  ;)

Offline money4nothing

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Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 11:26:06 AM »

Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 01:04:13 PM »
The classified ads are rather dead in our local newspaper, but craigslist is always roaring so I suppose that makes up for it. I never thought about consignment because who would want to go into business with an 18 year old with an unreliable schedule due to school? I do know of a thrift store very close by that I may check out... I don't know.

As for yard sales etc, I know for a fact that there were at least 50 locally (within 20 miles) the weekend before Christmas (17th/18th). Unfortunately, my interest in these sorts of things came right around the holidays so I'm not sure about statistics during the rest of the year. I figure I live around a ton of suburban areas so yard sales should be rather easy to come by.

Thanks so much for your advice! I never thought about doing strictly yard sales for a while. Should really help! Time to do a bunch of research regarding prices and such!

I'm going to an auction this Friday. As of the 30th, there are still 13 units left for auction so I feel pretty decent about my chances of snagging a really cheap unit. Even if I don't, that's 13 experiences where I can assess my value determining skill.

Offline money4nothing

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Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2012, 05:26:00 PM »
Glad we could help  ;D

I never thought about consignment because who would want to go into business with an 18 year old with an unreliable schedule due to school?

Think you are miss understanding a consignment shop. You take them stuff and they do all the work of selling it. They charge for this service though. Ours charges us 20%, most in our area charge 50%. Some have rules of what they will accept. Hope that clarifies it.

Have fun at the auction and let us know what you learn.


Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2012, 07:07:37 PM »
Yes I was misunderstanding it. I thought it was something contractual and that I had to bring in a certain amount of inventory. I looked up some locally and found an outlet for kids stuff (clothing, furniture and toys), one for furniture and one for high quality women's used clothing. Furniture was my biggest worry and hopefully I won't be restricted by it since, apparently, there's no such thing as a locker without furniture.

Thanks again!

Offline money4nothing

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Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 05:52:02 AM »
Sounds good. You don't make as much money with consignment but does free your time of selling ect. But there is money to be made.

CL is good for furniture sell low and it will move fast.  :)

Good luck

Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 08:40:05 AM »
Startup cost at your local flea should be the cost of your rental spot, gas money to get there, and what ever you are doing for lunch.  You need to have some 1s and 5s for change but that is money you are keeping anyways.

I price large items or items I know that draw lots of attention and "how much" questions.  Most everything else either goes in a box/tote that has a price label or I don't list.

Money and Matches covered everything else.

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Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 08:04:02 AM »
You will not need a till. You keep your money in a cigar box. 
You could find folding table for cheap at garage sales or for now put a blanket on the ground. It is better to have you stuff up so people don't have to bend over.
You need inventory (this will be you biggest start up cost)

How did you make out at your auction with 13 units ?     Just because there are a lot of units don't mean you will get one cheap.  You might have 60 people there thinking the same thing.

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Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2012, 10:12:32 AM »
As far as the table, I know it's kinda getto but in a pinch you can always use two saw horses and a plank of wood. Cover with cloth.

You can get all the materials from a construction site to build saw horses.

Though they are big and awkward. Don't fold. So hope you have a truck....


Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2012, 05:37:18 PM »
As far as the table, I know it's kinda getto but in a pinch you can always use two saw horses and a plank of wood. Cover with cloth.

You can get all the materials from a construction site to build saw horses.

Though they are big and awkward. Don't fold. So hope you have a truck....



I actually picked up a couple of janky metal folding tables for $30. Should be fine if we drape something across them. I found out that my flea has a rental service at $8 per table. So these should pay for themselves in 2 days. Good deal. Still looking for more tables, though, since these aren't that big. They'll do for now, though :D.

Offline money4nothing

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Re: Startup Costs
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2012, 05:26:22 AM »
I found out that my flea has a rental service at $8 per table. So these should pay for themselves in 2 days. Good deal. Still looking for more tables, though, since these aren't that big. They'll do for now, though :D.

Our Flea gives you one table per space and with table rental to new stuff only, Used items are limited to only one table, and you can not bring in any tables to use. Can use shelves or the ground.  ::)

You might want to double check what their policy is. Our just play dumb until they tell you can't bring tables in.  ;)


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