Archive for February, 2012

SELECTING MERCHANDISE TO SELL

Well, that is up to you!  There are literally thousands of items to sell.  But, remember, in today’s poor economic times, people are watching what they are buying.  Buyers are looking for deals and savings on items they need and want.  Only about 5% of the population attend flea markets, but these numbers are increasing every year.  I have done some surveys on what buyers look to buy at flea markets and the following items were popular at most markets regardless of a good or bad economy:

1.         Food!

Food made to order.

Packaged food items in date or near out date not over 30 days old.  (NEVER sell outdated baby food)

Fruits and vegetables, especially fresh farm produce.

Homemade baked goods and candy

2.         New Merchandise

Items that are needed by most people.  NOT luxuary items.  Selling price must be cheaper than any brick or mortar store.

Having large quantities displayed.  Appearance is everything!

3.         Gently used baby items

4.         Tools

5.         Antiques and Collectibles

6.         Used Household items that are gently used and spotlessly clean.  Sell these items at giveaway prices.

As with everything else, you are the one that must decide what to sell.  Remember, people always eat and will always buy food because it’s needed.  Flea market sales in general are impulse sales, so the proper display of your items is extremely important.  Flea market buyers are by far the smartest shoppers around.

 

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HOW MUCH MERCHANDISE DO I NEED?

There are pros and cons on this subject.  Remember, you are not a Walmart.  You are a professional flea market vendor.  From my years of experience, I found that it is better to have fewer items but in larger quantities displayed.  Buyers are drawn to a display of 400 pairs of various styles of sunglasses as opposed to just a few displayed.  If buyers are interested in purchasing a pair of sunglasses, they will be drawn to a larger display.  More selection!  Try to become a so-called specialist in a few items, rather than many items.  Know your merchandise, the store retail on your merchandise and the benefits of your products.  Then sell it at a true savings to your customers.

 

SELLING NEW VERSUS USED MERCHANDISE

Never mix new and used merchandise on your table.  Sell one or the other.  If you try and sell both at the same time, buyers will just bypass your table.  Buyers know what they want to purchase prior to visiting a flea market.  Some just buy used; some only want new.  Decide in advance what you will sell.  It takes planning and research and this equals profits.

KNOCK OFF MERCHANDISE

Stay away from all knock off merchandise!  Yes, you can purchase a lot of knock off merchandise for cheap.  Beware!  The authentic companies employ undercover people, US Marshalls, and local police departments to check flea markets for this kind of stuff and more so than ever before.  When you get caught, and you will, they will arrest YOU, confiscate YOUR merchandise, YOUR money, and YOUR truck.  There goes your profits!  And YOU go to court.  Is is worth it?  There are tons of deals to be had, spend the time to do your research and buy quality items that people need and want.

 

SELLING MERCHANDISE CHEAP

Selling merchandise cheap just to make sales and move your merchandise will not work.  Just because you purchased an item way below wholesale doesn’t warrant selling it at a cheap price.  Sell it at a fair price offering your buyers a true savings that they will not receive elsewhere.  If you sell merchandise too cheaply, buyers will perceive it as “junk” merchandise and bypass your table.

 

TRUE COST OF YOUR MERCHANDISE

Before pricing an item for resale, it is important that you know your true cost of that item.  To calculate true cost, add your shipping costs to your purchase.  Cost of purchase plus shipping costs divided by the amount of items you purchased).  This is the true cost of your purchase.  Can you sell the item 40-80% cheaper than a brick and mortar store front?  If you can, you have a winner to sell at the flea market.  You are then offering a true bargain.  Buyers will realize this which equals more sales for you.  This is word of mouth advertising from your buyers.  It’s great and it’s FREE.

 

A TIP ON MAKING A HIGHER PROFIT

 

Buy your merchandise in the off-season and stockpile your merchandise.  This is like money in the bank.  For an example:  On January 20, 2012, I purchased 350 pairs of new quality sunglasses for $199.00 which included delivery ($.57 a pair).  Great deal!  However, the seller sent me 415 pair (a bonus of 65 pair).  This will equal $325.00 more profit for me when selling a pair at $5.00 each.  Nice to get a raise; try it yourself.  If I waited to purchase these same glasses at the time the flea market season begins (which is usually April/May), the cost for me to purchase these same sunglasses would be $1.00 – $1.50 per pair.  And note this:  Just two weeks later, I checked the price of these glasses for purchase, and the price went up from $199.00 to $299.00 for 350 pair.  So, as the saying goes, you snooze, you lose.