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Flea Market Tips - Generate traffic, extra sales, etc.

Flea Market Tips - Generate traffic, extra sales, etc.
« on: June 02, 2011, 10:29:18 PM »
I've only been a vendor once at a flea market.  I did pretty good in my book for what I was selling (cb radio equipment, sports cards, dvds, and misc. items).  I also had a table set up to show and sell wood burnt art, but didn't sell any at the flea market.

First and foremost, I made it a point to say hi to as many people who past the table.  Not just a general hi, I would do my best to make eye contact with them.  About 60% to 70% of the time the people would at least slow down to take a glance or stop and chat it up for a bit and leave with a purchase.

A couple of tips that I used when I went to the flea market to generate more traffic and get extra sales:

1.  Advertised on craigslist (I had a lot of people stop by just because they saw my ad on there.
2.  Advertised on free radio swap shops (again, people sought me out just because they heard the ad).
3.  Advertised on local hoby forums, such as for fishing and hunting.  (got traffic from them).
4.  Printed up a lot of business cards.  One for each of my main product line business. (sports cards, cb shop, and custom wood burnt art).  When someone was looking at a line specific table, I would introduce myself and hand them a business card from the table.  


I neted about $450 to $500 at the flea martket.  With the business cards, I netted about another 200 or so after the sale.

When I had someone really looking at certain items, like with the sports cards or cb radio equipment, I would offer to make bundle deals.  When they were buying sports cards, and they were at a certain dollar amount, I would offer free cards of their favorite players.  When they would look thorugh to find the cards they wanted for free, they would find more that they wanted to pay for.  So, once again, I offered more free cards in addition to the ones they were buying.

Also, when they looked through the sports cards for certain players and did not find what they wanted, I offered to go through the rest of my collection when I got home and would give them a call or an email when I found stuff for them.



I know there are a lot of different tips people have for flea markets.  These are just a few that I used.  Please add to this thread.  I would like to know how others make the flea markets better for themselves.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Flea Market Tips - Generate traffic, extra sales, etc.
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2011, 10:52:27 PM »
Excellent tips "RR" !  A personal (and personable) approach like yours could work for a lot of people.

I'll try some of your ideas this Saturday at the flea where I have sold in the same spot for 7.5 years !  ;D

Re: Flea Market Tips - Generate traffic, extra sales, etc.
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 11:08:44 PM »
Let me know how they work out for you. 

I have only been to the flea market the one time so far.  I can't wait to get back again so I have more times to compare it to.


I listen to the swap shop on a couple of local country stations (those are the most that do them).  The ones around here offer an email address along with a phone number to get your information to them.  I aslo did a search on google for radio stations around here for that have swap shops or over-the-air classifiedes.

These tips not only work for flea markets, but they also work for yard/garage sales.

At one of my yard sales, I had a couple of big rigs that heard about it on the swap shop and detoured through the area I was at just to check out and buy some equipment.

If you have a lot of items that will appeal to old farmers and ranchers, the country radio station swap shops is a great place to advertise.  Not only do the farmers that are listening to the radio in the morning hear it, in small towns like this, they end up somewhere drinking coffee and talking to their friends.  Word of mouth goes a long way.

Re: Flea Market Tips - Generate traffic, extra sales, etc.
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 11:24:04 PM »
I just thought of another tip that worked great that day.

If you are on soft ground, make a sign that says what your special item is.  Keep it brief.  Make the letters large.  Pre-make your sign to make sure it looks good.

My sales were going a little slow in the morning on the second day, so I took a carboard box and wrote in big letters  "SPORTS CARDS!".  I made mine on the fly with a cardboard box and a marker.  I improvised and made it look like a little kid did the lettering, and it got a lot of attention. 


I was the only one at the auction with a real selection of cards, so word spread.  The only other people with cards was an old couple that had a few thousand cards in boxes from the early 1990s.  They were trying to ask a couple hundred for all of their cards, and what they didn't know was they had about a couple bucks worth to any collector.  All they had were like 1990 donruss baseball and football.  They had a few others brands and sports, but everything they had was during the extremely mass produced CRAP era.  No-one who collects cards would give them a second look.  What they were trying to sell, I was giving away free with sales, which made customers happy and rid me of cards that won't sell.

Now, with my cards, I had all sports besides wrestling.  I had autos, jersey cards, patches, auto/jersey cards, rookies, stars, semi-stars, commons,  inserts, basically a wide range of cards.  I had cards all the way back to the 50's.  Everything was pretty well organized, plus I had my laptop with wireless internet.  I was able to go to my Beckette online subscription to check out any card and give real-time prices if I didn't have an idea in mind, or if the customer wanted to see the real value.

Offline jrossjr79

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Re: Flea Market Tips - Generate traffic, extra sales, etc.
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 12:59:49 PM »
Very good tips in the Flea Market section you have been posting. Very informative, and I look forward to reading more of your post :)

Re: Flea Market Tips - Generate traffic, extra sales, etc.
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 02:12:22 AM »
Very good tips in the Flea Market section you have been posting. Very informative, and I look forward to reading more of your post :)


As I think of more ideas that pop into my head, I will throw them out there.

I can't wait to get back to the flea market.  That day was probably one of the best experiences I have had in selling used stuff retail. 

When I get do do them on a regular basis, I may start a blog about the experiences, kind of like the storage blog I have been reading from one of the members on here.  If you can't tell from my rather lengthy posts, I love to talk and teach about the good and bad experiences with anything that is of interest to me.  If I find something that "tickles my fancy", I can go on for hours on end.

Anytime I find new ideas that work or don't work, whether it be flea market, yard sale, online sales, or any other venue, everyone will hear about it on here.


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