Storage Auctions

Setting up at a new "flea market"

Setting up at a new "flea market"
« on: March 31, 2013, 10:38:07 PM »
In Raleigh, there is a new flea market that is attempting to gain popularity. It is right outside a large shopping center. I'm considering setting up a space there.

Here's the deal.. $149/mo. gets you an 8x16 POD to store your stuff, you can sell anytime during the week, meet your craigslist buyers, sell on the weekends (of course). I visited there on Saturday and checked out the flea area, which is behind a used furniture store/thrift store. The pods are not very neatly lined up, the ones who had pods just had stuff thrown in the pod with no organization. The tables outside the pods were largely disorganized.

I'm thinking of setting up a pod and selling from this location, because in the hour I spent there, the traffic was steady.. Not crazy busy, just steady. I could also set up in a nice, presentable manner, and attract attention just by being neater than my competition.

Here's my hesitation...

The store, and subsequently flea market, owner is a fellow storage auction hunter. I learned this during my visit. He's a super nice guy and we've chatted during auctions in the past. When he saw me in his store, he ran over to me excited to see me. A very nice guy.. But, do I engage in this sort of business with a fellow storage auction attendee? My wife says don't do it, because I don't want to show my cards. I think it's a way for me to get a bit more friendly with the biggest buyer in the city. Perhaps he'll think twice when bidding against me.

I'd love to get some thoughts from the peanut gallery!

Re: Setting up at a new "flea market"
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 10:13:29 AM »
If he is not wanting you to sign a lease, and you can pull out anytime you want it sounds like a good deal.
How much would it cost to sell at a flea market per day?  Not having to load and unload is priceless.

On a different note,  I'm in Virigina and do the auctions in Norfolk and if you need any info on them let me know.

Re: Setting up at a new "flea market"
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 04:14:17 PM »
I don't know about the lease. That's a good point. If there's a lease, I'll leave it alone I think.

Around here, the biggest flea market is $25 a day for a space, without tables. I'd have to get up at the crack of dawn to get a decent spot, too. There are many smaller fleas that are all indoors and go for about the same price.

Thanks for the connect on Norfolk! I may need it one day!

Re: Setting up at a new "flea market"
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 02:57:29 PM »
Here is my concern from what you have described.

1) Are the buyers under a covered walkway?  IE is the market nice or more fly-by-night
2) The store - what does it sell, can you undercut them or have other items they don't have.
3) The lease as you already mentioned.
4) Traffic - was people buying or just looking.

We have 2 flea markets not 1 mile from each other.  One is clean for a flea market, with regular store stalls, etc.  The other market is covered also but has the pod type storeage buildings with a few stores.  It's dirtier then the first.  Cost is about $5 different for a table.  Not sure on the stalls.  More people will visit and buy at the first then the second.  IMO, when I've gone to the second I breeze by those that I look in the pod and see stuff just tossed in.

Re: Setting up at a new "flea market"
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 06:57:23 PM »
Biggest question for me would be "how safe is my stuff?" security,lighting,fences,etc...if it's secured and the terms are ok,like some of the rest state,sure,why not.... The biggest hitter in this area and I have slowly come to be congenial, he's big in thrift stores and swap meets... I consign some larger / bulkier stuff with him ( and he actually MOVES it! and SELLS it) and I do a lot of ebay listings on stuff he consigns to in mho I think broadening contacts always is the way to go

Re: Setting up at a new "flea market"
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 11:44:38 AM »
I went in and talked to him today.. I'll get to that after I address some of the earlier comments..

1. It's not covered, no permanent fences. He has a fence for his driveway to the back, but it's not locked from what I can see. He sells furniture and home decor. Mostly new and the units he buys are all ULTRA CLEAN. He also has a thrift store portion of a store which is more junky, small stuff.

It'd be easy for me to undercut his pricing but with not as nice stuff. He does not do consignment, but he did offer some benefits to me like using his electricity and some specialized cleaning supplies when available, etc. Nothing major, but certainly more than I would get at a typical outdoor flea market.

Today I went in and talked to him about a deal we could work out. He is mulling over the deal, but is allowing me to move in tonight so that I can clear the units I bought on Monday and we'll figure up a deal in the next few days.

What I offered was a website built in exchange for 2-4 months of rent depending on which options he wants for his site. Basically, if he just wants a basic site that's like 5 pages, in exchange for 2 months rent. If he wants more of an online store with inventorying capabilities, a shopping cart, etc. 3-4 months rent depending on the amount of inventory I set him up with initially.

We also talked about the presentation of the flea market and he is willing to discuss ground rules for myself and other tenants as the way they opened up their pod(s) for sale is very junky and not appealing at all. He knows that I've had retail stores in the past and I think we're on the same page as far as what it takes to make his venture successful. So it's like I'll almost be a consultant for him as well.

I also have the opportunity to barter more rent for promotional products in the future, so potentially I could be getting into this much cheaper than the $149/mo.

Re: Setting up at a new "flea market"
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 03:37:24 PM »
I do microsites on the side. I might do like 2 a year.. No monthly fee. Typically charge $100 a page, plus $120/yr. for hosting and support.

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