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Messages - rollinradios

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Flea Markets / Re: Miscellaneous Flea Market Stories
« on: June 02, 2011, 11:34:34 PM »
Movieman - Great tip for anyone selling in a public setting.  Anti-counterfit pens can be picked up at pretty much all office supply stores like Staples and Office Max.  Walmart used to sell them, but I haven't looked in awhile.

I just checked Staples online.  They have the pens as cheap as $3.49 each!  Well worth the investment.  They even have a UV light set up that you slide the bill under to check it, $31.49.

There is nothing worse than thinking you made a great sell, and next thing you knew you lost money.  It is even a good idea for people selling for cash on Craigslist.  If someone feels threatened by it, just tell them you had been taken on a previous sale, and have to protect yourself.

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.

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.

Flea Markets / Re: Anybody?
« on: June 02, 2011, 10:46:30 PM »
One of the biggest suggestions that I was given before I tried a flea market was to not sell what everyone else is selling.  Do have the items that others are selling, but also have a niche of your own.  On top of having your own niche, research it and have as much knowledge as you can for the customers.

My niche at the flea market I set up at late last year was cb radio equipment and sports cards, and those are what made my most profit.  I have been in the cb radio business for 6 years and have been into sports card collecting/trading/selling since the early 90's.

Another great suggestion I was given was to do hands on research of the flea market you are going to set up at.  Make a few trips to the flea market a few times before you set up.  See what all is available for sale and what a lot of people are actually buying, what times of day the most traffic is there, and what areas have the most traffic.  Also, take notes.  Not only while you are researching, but while you are selling.  If you can't go to the flea market yourself, have a friend or family member go check it out for you.

Remember it is kind of hit and miss on what sales and when it sales.  The more you know the better you will do.

Flea Markets / 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.

Welcome to the forum...and if you do a lot of posting, we might be calling you RR for short !

You'll enjoy this business.  ;D

You can call me what you want, just make sure you call me if there is a good auction around here.

I hope I do get to know everyone on here.  You will see me post sporadically.  I am a member of a few different types of forums I frequent, and when I get real excited about that hoby/business, you will see me post like crazy, then I might not post for a short bit, but rest assured I will be back.

I have read probably between 1/4 to 1/2 of this forum.  I hope to read it all before I do hit my first auction.  I will probably have a lot of questions as I go along.

If anyone hits auctions in my area, let me know.  i might run into you sometime soon.

Thanks for the welcomes.

I know of one store in my area that does really well but it's not your typical resale shop more upscale
I would love to run a resale shop someday. Personally my strategy would be to try to run a store and have walk in customers but I would really utilize craiglist. Many of the things that I personally think are not enough money to justify messing with craigslist, finding common times, meeting up, etc I could then list on craigslist and have people come by teh store to pick up since I'm sitting there all day anyway.

Tha is a great strategy.  I had a cb repair shop in the office of a small mechanic shop my dad and I had a couple years ago.  I used that strategy for the cb radios.  People would see me on craigslist, come by the store to buy an item, and usually buy more stuff or bring some radios for me to work on. 

To bad the mechanic shop didn't make enough money and the cb shop didn't generate enough to justify the overhead.  Truthfully, though the cb side did ok, I do better now working out of the house part time.

Flea Markets / Re: How do you price clothing at flea markets?
« on: June 02, 2011, 02:49:39 PM »
Great information.  I was thinking about asking the same question.  I know I will eventually get a locker full of clothes, now I have an idea on what to price them at.

To bad I was not into this about 5 years ago.  I bought an abandoned 17' travel trailer.  I popped the lock and it was full of the last owners house hold belongings.   Everything from cothes to tools and electronics.  I didn't know what to do with the clothes since we live in an extremely rural area and would have no garage sale traffic.  I just donated all of the clothes to Goodwill.

Flea Markets / Re: Flea Market Revenue ?
« on: June 02, 2011, 02:40:55 PM »
Well, I already posted my introduction, so I guess I am ready to hit the broads, I mean boards.

Though I am very new to the Storage Auction scene and have not been to an auction yet, I have been into retailing used items for a couple of years now (part-time).

Last October I went and set up at my first flea market, Canton Trades Days (Canton, TX).  I primarilly went to show off and sell my wood burnt art  (outside spot).  It lasted from Wednesday to Sunday.

On Wednesday, we set up only art (big mistake).  I drove back 65 or so miles to Mt. Vernon to pick up a lot of my cb radio equipment from my shop, about half of my sports card collection, and about 100 dvds.

From Friday to Sunday, my wife and I grossed about $850 and netted probably around $450 to $500.

All in all it was agreat experience for the first time.  I can't wait to buy some lockers one of these days and try it again.  We had a blast!  The best part was, I used 4 days of my 2 weeks of vacation from truck driving.  So it was a win-win situation.

Hi everyone.  Not only am I new to the forum, but I am brand new to storage auctions.

I live in Mt. Vernon, TX.  It is about 100 miles east of Dallas.  If you have ever been to BFE, keep driving about 20 more miles and you will see my mailbox.

I signed up last night, and have put in at least 8 to 10 hours of reading time on the boards.  Drew just approved my account, so I am ready to get on the ball and learn all I can from you guys.

There is a lot of excellent information I have seen so far.  Because of one of the posts, I have already started compiling a call list of local storage units within a 50 mile radius.  I think I am up to 49, and that is with just a couple of small phone books.  I know there are a lot more, I just have to hit google up for the answers.

I was going to hit one of two auctions in Greenville, TX today.  I saw them on  I would have made it, but I finished reading this morning at 5:30am and woke up 30 minutes late.  Oh well, there will always be more.

Well, If you are wondering, My wife and I are wanting to get into the storage auction scene because I drive 18-wheeler full time locally, work my cb radio sales and repair shop part time out of my house, pick up autos to repair and sell, and finally do wooe burnt art.  I would like to eventually generate enough income between all of my small businesses to quit driving truck full time and be able to concentrate more on my cb radio shop.  

I am guilty of liking to watch Storage Wars.  Though it is not realistic, it is entertaining.  I actually had the idea of doing this when I had my pizza restaurant back in 2003.  I thought of doing it to make a little extra income.  Well, the pizza restaurant bit a chunk out of me and I never had the "extra" money to do it.  Now, I can afford to drop some here and there to get started.

Well, I am looking forward to hearing and learning form everyone.

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