Archive for August, 2014

PROMOTE ANOTHER BUSINESS AT THE FLEA MARKET

While you are selling your merchandise why not promote your other business if you have one or for a friend or business associate. Cheap advertising – great returns. Let me explain. I sell security items, like stun guns and pepper spray. I give out information on home security alarm systems with my name on them. When people get an alarm system I receive two months of free security monitoring services for my efforts. This is valued at $33.00 per month. Flyers and business cards take up little space. Easy money. Now that I got back into the construction business specializing in HVAC, I display a furnace and AC unit with magnetic business cards and flyers and set up appointments for estimates each Sunday. I use the market two ways – to sell merchandise and promote my business on the cheap. The result: going to the same local market each Sunday is getting better with time. At first results were slow by selling furnaces in May, June and July in 80-90 degree heat, and being new in the business, but it works and the sales are getting better and better. The bottom line results for me are very good with the HVAC business and selling my merchandise is becoming pocket change per say.
Starting a new business today is costly, but I overcame that problem in spending thousands of dollars to advertise. It cost me $18 a Sunday to promote my HVAC business and the returns are great. This business was started with no money, just an idea. For the best part, never say you cannot do it. I never installed or repaired a furnace or an AC unit in my life, but owned a fire insurance restoration business for twenty years and sold it in 1999. Now in 2014 I started a heating and AC company. I found a qualified installer to handle the work as a subcontractor with two helpers. Then I set up the business legally on a large shoe string and I am 63 years old. I have no equipment on parts; just ambition, a display furnace and an AC unit (at no cost) to sell my services. Later this summer I will have my 1999 van which is in top condition lettered to advertise the business even more. This will be a moving billboard where my two displays are kept with flyers and business cards. I have talked to a lot of people about furnaces in May and June, but being its 80-90 degrees, they are not in a hurry; however, I know I will have 40-50% of them for installation this fall. Two months later I have a website and starting to give free estimates each week with great results. Try it today. It works.
Vendors at flea markets are sales people. That is your main asset; use it. My website it: http://www.threeriversinteriors.com for reference. If you need a website built, let me know. The person I use can build you a website for approximately $300-$500. Just contact me with your complete contact information and phone number. He will design and set up your site and it’s up to you to promote it. In addition, a business Facebook account can be set up for you if you want for a small fee. You can email me at trwr at Comcast dot net. It takes about 3-4 weeks for the site. We can talk first prior to releasing your contact information.
I will advertise also on Angie’s List, Craigslist, network with contractors, and join the local real estate association.

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ADVICE ON BUYING AND SELLING CELL PHONE ACCESSORIES

There are two types of products to buy – certified and non certified chargers. Certified cost more and have a warranty and that they work with the phones. Non certified is cheap quality junk. Example: USB Bullitt for car chargers 3.2 cents each direct from China and must buy 1,000 units at $32.00 delivered. Great price, poor quality. If lucky, 50% of them work for a short time. Then you get a reputation as selling junk. Buy the certified units. I sell these myself and pay approximately .68 cents each for a lot of 100. I sell them at $5.00 each and they are the same quality AT&T and Verizon sell at $20 each. If your buyers say that is too much, tell them the difference and then shut up. Other vendors sell non certified for $3-$5 each which are junk.

Buying Other Merchandise
To get the best price pay cash and buy the entire deal. You never will get a good deal buying in small amounts. Remember, you need to make 400-900% on your cost; otherwise, you work for free.

GOOD MARKETS OR BAD MARKETS

Good markets are large enough for 150-300 vendors. Anything over that you are a needle in a haystack. Your location is very important. You can determine this by visiting and watching peoples’ traffic patterns, like near the entrances, parking lots, food vendors. Every market is different. Research and time is required prior to setting up.

Bad markets are new markets and/or markets with a few vendors. You need the vendors to draw the buyers. If you arrive at a market to sell and you haven’t taken the time for research and prior visits, you lose. Why? You are wasting your money. Research and visits are a must prior to selling. Unless you are going to a well-established market that you received information on from trusted vendors you know. Even then, do your research in person. That is the best.

Specialty markets for collectors, antiques or crafts are only for those types of items only unless you are a food vendor. Consider doing county fairs or special events if you have the proper merchandise to sell. Your set up cost is high compared to a flea market. And there are certain rules to follow. They get the traffic in most cases. Never just set up without first viewing it yourself as a buyer. Then weigh the cost and if permits are required. You may have to pay in advance which today is the norm. If the weather turns nasty on you, your set up fees are gone. You then lose. Watch yourself on this area of selling – you can hit a gold mine or quick sand. Some vendors think just because they get traffic you will make out. This is not so. There are a lot of factors to consider – type of merchandise needed, location and location is number one, hours that you have to be opened and do you have the help you need.