Q: We're moving and we have so much to get rid of. Is it worth running a flea market? And how do we make sure it's not a dud?
A: This can be a blasting yard selling year and if you take the time to set up yours properly, you could succeed. “There are avid flea markets doing this every weekend,” says Ava Seavey, owner of GarageSaleGold.com. "They have pent-up energy for it because they couldn't do it for a year because of the pandemic."
Here are a few ways you can make your business a success.
Look at your inventory: Before committing to a sale, take a look at what you actually have. Flea markets work best when you have a variety of products that appeal to a wide range of buyers – home improvement looking for tools, new parents looking for baby equipment, antique dealers looking for fancy finds. If your goods are limited, consider asking a neighbor (or a couple of neighbors) to join a group sale. Multi-family sales have other advantages as well. It's easier to get the word out, and you can set up selling in the busiest spot.
Get the word out: Advertise your sale on social media, especially in neighborhood groups. Advertise on sites like Yard Sale Search and Garage Sales Tracker. Place an ad in your local newspaper's flea market. On the day of the sale, put up signs on the nearby cross streets. And check with your local authority to see if permits are required.
The facility: Put price tags on your items so customers don't have to ask. Price reasonable. According to Ms. Seavey, new items can sell for 65 percent of the retail trade while lightly used items could sell for 50 percent. For vintage items, see what they're buying on a site like Etsy or eBay and price a little higher as buyers don't have to pay shipping costs. Present your things neatly on laid tables, shelves and clothes racks and sort the articles according to categories. Items like jewelry, decorations, and furniture generally move well, Ms. Seavey said.
security: Go to the bank and get lots of small bills and change. Always keep the cash in your possession. Lock the doors to your house as people will be around. Make sure you work with a partner so one person can handle the sale and another can keep an eye on the crowd.
Timed coordination: Set up before breakfast to catch the early risers. Consider holding a multi-day event starting on Friday. "Then come all the dealers, resellers and collectors," said Ms. Seavey. Hopefully the inventory should all be gone by the end of the day on Saturday.
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