APPEARANCE AND SET UPS

Stop if you cannot afford to invest a little in your set up. Appearance and being organized means 80% of your sales. Just go to market and see for yourself Making do on all of your equipment set up only works to a point. Invest in yourself, buying quality tables and table covers. A commercial E-Z Up Tent is reusable for years if you maintain it; it will last. Aside from equipment set up, your merchandise needs to be clean and neat when selling your items. If it gets dirty, which it will, you need to spend the time to clean it up. Who wants to buy dirty new items? Not me or anyone with half a brain. I was told a long time ago that when you do something, do it right or don’t do it at all. Make sure your vehicle is clean also, inside and outside. Personal appearance is a major deal also. Buyers and other vendors all notice these things so do it right from the start even if you need to borrow some equipment at first. Having clean equipment doesn’t cost a lot of money – only some time and soap. Follow these simple steps and watch your sales increase.

ITEMS NOT TO SELL

1. Used, dirty household items — who wants to buy other people’s dirt? There are a lot of non professional vendors selling this every week. These sellers are lazy when it comes to cleaning household items.
2. Cheap dollar store junk.
3. Out-dated food.
4. Knock off merchandise. Watch out for plains clothes police or U.S. Marshals. They are usually at larger markets looking for vendors that sell knock offs. Then the police will get involved.
5. Items that several vendors are selling. For example, (applies to smaller markets–up to 200 vendors) if 5-8 vendors are selling sunglasses, forget selling sunglasses unless you low-ball the price, and then you will not make a profit. No one wins except the buyers. Now at larger markets with 500 vendors or more, it won’t matter since it’s a much bigger market. Try to get a spot near food vendors, rest rooms or customer parking. Try different spots and see which is the better traffic area.

You will never have a market with no competition in most cases, and that’s okay. Getting a good location is the key. On making profits you need to learn how to buy. First, buy the entire deal that will give you the lowest buying price. Even if it is too much for you, you can wholesale some of the excess to other vendors. Try to double your cost if possible. Note: you do not want to sell merchandise that you sell yourself to other vendors at the same market. Stay away from this or you will start a price war and everyone loses money.

Make sure you check with the markets to see if they allow the merchandise you want to sell.

HOW TO DEAL WITH COMPETITION

First of all, do not worry about it. If you purchase your merchandise at the right price and offer added services to the customer with a good selling price, you win. Some markets may have 4-8 vendors selling the same item cheaper, but maybe the quality is not the same. Some vendors believe that if there price is the cheapest, they will get all the sales. If it’s too cheap they are selling junk and buyers will realize that. Adjusting prices to a point may work or not. For over thirty years I still see new vendors trying to low-ball their selling price all the time. These vendors do not last in this business by low-balling their prices and/or selling cheap quality junk. Watch and see for yourself. Be professional and offer quality, service and price. Then, after a period of time, you will be known as a good quality vendor to all.

HOW TO PRICE MERCHANDISE

Merchandise is not sold at the same price at all markets. You have to adjust your selling price based on market conditions. Some markets you can sell items at a higher price; and other markets you need to lower your price. You need to be flexible. For an example, if selling USB car chargers one piece units — most markets you can sell at $9.00 for premium units. At other markets where there is a lot of competition, you will have to sell them at $6.00 – $7.00 each. If you purchased the items at the right price, you will still make a good profit.

 

It is better to sell your merchandise than to take it home, but remember to never give it away. If the market you are selling at is a poor market, find another market to sell your items. This is where time and research pays off. Remember, this is a business; you need to make a profit or do not do it.

 

Special Note: A lot of buyers compare your merchandise with the retail outlet “Five Below”. Well, “Five Below” is selling over-priced dollar store items — low quality junk — period! I, myself, and several other vendors purchased some of their items and found out it is cheap junk after testing the items for durability. Buyers who only purchase items that are cheap are cheapskates. You, as a professional vendor, do not need them. These type of buyers are nothing but problems.

 

MERCHANDISE FOR SALE

I have several lots of new merchandise (bargain priced) for sale.

Email me at trwr at comcast dot net for a current listing.

All sales are in cash or paypal only. I can ship merchandise, or better yet you can pick it up in person to save shipping costs.

Here are some examples of some of the merchandise on the current list:

American Eagle – jewelry, belts, hats, wallets

Recipe magnet books

License plate frames

Ladies/Teens Watches – shopping club buyout

T-shirts, hoodies, shorts, etc. – printing company buyout

Fragrance burning oils (pure) – hand made – 1 oz. amber jars – 83 scents

Cell phone car chargers

Foster Grant sunglasses – clip ons

Body jewelry

Antique glassware deal – several boxes

Cell phone cases/pouches for flip phones

Remember, buying the whole deal saves you a lot of money in the long run.

 

 

FINDING DEALS

There are deals out there, and that is where research comes in by searching the web on sites like Craigslist and other vendors, etc. Be prepared to buy and always have cash in your pocket or enough to put some money down on a deal. If you need time to think about a good deal, forget it, it will be gone and then you lose. Always buy the whole deal even if it is more than you need. You can always wholesale some of the merchandise to other vendors from other markets. You need to know basic negotiating skills. First, ask questions, then figure out the money.   Second, ask what they want, then shut up. Even if they say what will you give, say how much do you want. Whoever speaks first looses involving merchandise and money deals. Buying low puts you in control, and in turn, you can resell the merchandise for less than a store does making good profits for yourself. Always go and see the merchandise first hand in person when dealing with vendors or anyone from Craigslist. Check everything out, which means each and every case or box. Take your time. If the seller wants to rush you, forget the deal or be cautious — something may be wrong. It’s your money — be careful how you spend it. Not all deals you will find will work out. Here’s one example:

This vendor had 100 cases of Hershey chocolate candy bars. He wanted $20 per case of 144 bars, what $.14 each, which is dirt cheap. Too cheap! I pulled a case out of the middle of the skid and opened it up to find white powder. The candy was two years old and worth nothing.

When you are the buyer beware and trust no one. If you have the cash to buy, then stay in control. This one vendor is a crook and there are many of them out there. Not everyone is honest. Most people in this business are honest, but it only takes a few to ruin it. If you ever run across a seller-vendor like this, spread the word.

 

 

HOW TO SELECT A MARKET TO SELL YOUR MERCHANDISE

After several tests, the findings are:  Sundays are the best days.  Moving to different markets each week or every other week will increase your sales.  It is a proven fact, however, you will need help.  One person can do it, but it is hard.  I know because I do it myself.  My daughters did help me when they were in school, but unfortunately, they are grown up and off on their own.  You will save a lot of time having help setting up, selling merchandise, and tearing down.  Plus, you will have time to check out other vendors and look for deals as well.

The one question that is asked of me a lot is “what do you pay your kids”?  They deserve to be paid and they will learn a lot, and in return, can make you more money.  When my girls were ten years old, they started at flea markets until they were eighteen years of age.  I paid them a minimum of $20 or 10%-15% of the total sales plus breakfast.  We always took our own drinks and lunch.

A friend of mine sells at different markets every weekend for a period of 4 to 7 weeks then repeats each market from April through October each year.  His sales have increased 40% by moving around instead of staying at the same market every week.  He also has six kids to help him set up, sell and tear down.  This seems to work out good for him.  I, myself, sell at the same market every Sunday due to the fact that I offer services — watch repairs — and I am the only one at the market who offers this service.  My friend, on the other hand, travels out of town to other states within a 150 mile radius.

In Pittsburgh we have only three markets to select from.  I chose the market where the customers who patronize this market appreciate a true bargain and are willing to pay my price without trying to low ball my merchandise and wanting it for nothing.  When you run across cheap customers, you can tell them one of two things:

1.         I do not pay people to take merchandise; or,

2.         This is a flea market, not a free market.

Remember to speak up.  Never let cheap people tell you what to do.  They never buy anyway.