Making money selling at flea markets and swap meets is quite easy but many people shy away from it because they are unsure of what to sell when they are starting out.
Most people have a limited amount of money available to spend on items to sell. They are quite often in such a position that they can not afford to tie up their money in items that take forever to sell, needing a rather quick turn-around.
Plus, it can be rather intimidating to many who have never sold at flea markets before. Having such a limited amount of money to spend on something that, for them, is untried and unproven, can make them hesitant to do so.
As I often tell my friends, it’s a crap shoot. You pay your money and you take your chances, but there are ways to put the odds more in your favor to guarantee success.
Never try to sell something people do not need nor want.
There is a distinct difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’ and it’s important that you know what that is. People do not always buy what they need, but they always buy what they want.
People need toilet paper, obviously. But will they always want toilet paper? No, especially if they already have enough at home.
But people will always want things that they don’t really need, such as things that will make them happy, will make them look good, will make them feel better. will make them laugh, will make them more money.
Children need food, clothing, shelter and love. Do they ‘need’ a new toy every week? No, but they ‘want’ one and parents open the wallet and buy them because the parent feels better when the child is happy. Nobody appreciates a crying, screaming youngster! (And if they have two children, they can’t just buy one toy because the kids will fight over it, so they buy two.)
Do father’s really need a new wallet? Sometimes, yes, but usually no, but a new wallet is nice, better than the one they have. They will buy a new wallet simply because they ‘want’ one.
The same goes for women and shoes. Many women have ten pairs of shoes in their closet that they haven’t touched in months, yet they ‘want’ another pair of shoes even though they do not ‘need’ another pair.
A new purse always makes a woman feel better, doesn’t it?
Think of your base desires. People are the same. We all want to have more money, we all want to look good and feel good, be healthy, be happy, feel important, feel needed and loved.
Now think of items that accomplish those things. Makeup helps women look good and feel good about themselves. Clothing that makes us look good also makes us feel good. We always feel better in a brand new pair of shoes, don’t we?
We love to be entertained. Movies will always sell. Most are on DVD yet a lot of older titles are only available on VHS tape, so VHS movies still sell!
Now let’s take this one step further to increase sales and sell things that do not last long, things that are ‘consumable’, meaning your customers will use what they purchase from you, will run out and need to come back and buy more later.
Such as shampoo, skin lotions, perfume, makeup, printer ink and cartridges, paper products, food products, soda pop, etc.
Even DVDs are ‘consumable’ although they do not wear out quickly. People buy them, watch them a couple times and ‘want’ a different movie.
There are many items that are ‘consumable’. I’m sure you can think of more.
Making a sale is good but there is a way to make even more money on each sale. That would be by selling items that go with other items.
It’s called upselling.
People always need sunglasses. They break them, scratch them, lose them, and need another pair.
Since they scratch them, perhaps they would like to also purchase a case to put them in? So don’t just sell sunglasses, sell sunglass cases, too! By boosting the amount of each sale, you’ll boost your daily profits and be even more successful.
Same with shoes. Need an extra pair of shoestrings or a shoehorn to go with that?
What about this lovely belt to go with those pants?
Something else to consider is sizes. People come in lots of different sizes, so if you decide to sell shoes, you’ll need them in many different sizes, making it rather expensive to get started.
The same goes for clothing, many different sizes. Arms and legs are never the same length for two different people.
Children’s clothing, however, may be worth getting into even though children also come in different shapes and sizes because children’s clothing almost never wears out before the child outgrows them. If the child isn’t quite large enough to fill that shirt or coat, they’ll ‘grow into it’. Many people sell used children’s clothing at flea markets and swap meets.
Specialize. Some vendors, especially those who sell used items, sell everything and anything. They are not known for any particular type of item. Sellers of brand new items, however, would do well to specialize in a certain ‘type’ of merchandise.
If you sell DVD’s, for example, it would be ill-advised for you to also sell tools, clothing and all kinds of other things. Selling one particular type of merchandise will help boost your bottom line as your customers will tend to think of you as an expert in that merchandise. If I’m looking for a particular movie, I’d tend to see the DVD man rather than that guy who sells some DVDs plus a whole bunch of other stuff. The DVD man would know more about what I’m looking for and would be better able to help me find it.
If you also want to sell tools, car stereos, clothing and what not, why not spin each off as a separate business? Rent a space for each of those ‘types’ of merchandise.
It’s always good to be the only one in the flea market selling a certain ‘type’ of merchandise, but selling the same thing as everyone else is not always a bad idea.
Walking through a flea market, notice what the vendors are selling, and also notice how many vendors are selling the same type of merchandise. There may be five or ten different people selling DVDs. Why are they selling the same thing? Because they make money. If they weren’t making money they wouldn’t keep returning each weekend and setting up.
Larger flea markets can easily support several people selling the same thing. Some people will buy from you before they see the other guys selling the same thing and vice-versa.
There is no one particular item to sell at flea markets, there are many. The most important things to remember when deciding upon what to sell would be if it is something people will ‘want’ (not just need), and how easily you can get more when you need to restock your display.
One last thing to consider: new merchandise outsells used merchandise two to one. New items such as computers, stereos and the like also come with paperwork, warranties and the feel of ‘new’ that you never get with something that is used.
Selling new merchandise also means getting more of the very same items is as simple as making a phone call.
Did you ever imagine there could be so many different things to consider when deciding on what to sell at flea markets?!
Hopefully, you will now be able to spend your money confidently on something that will provide the quick turn around you are looking for and allow you to become an instant success.