Selling at flea markets and swap meets is long, hard and grueling work that can pay off beautiful for all those who put in the time and effort. As people look to increase their earnings on weekends or supplement part-time jobs with their own side business, the flea market and swap meet industry is still alive and well. Depending on who you talk to, every flea market vendor will have his or her own set of tips and tricks that has worked for them over time. We interviewed several flea market vendors and the following 8 tips came up consistently as some of the best ways to merchandise your goods effectively and entice customers to buy rather than browse.
- Offer volume discounts. People are after a great deal! Wherever you can, offer volume discounts if a customer purchases more than one item. Make package deals like 4 for $20 or 2 for $10 for items that make sense. Make note of the deals other vendors around you are offering and make sure you are competitive with them but not so competitive as to risk your profits.
- Use clothing racks to merchandise clothing by size. Depending on where you obtain the items you resell, you'll find that most wholesalers or liquidation suppliers sell in mixed, assorted lots with various sizes and styles mixed in together. Merchandising the clothing by the size makes it a lot easier for you to deal with and for your customers to find what they're looking for. Put all size Smalls on a rack, all Mediums on another, etc. Let your customers browse through the racks and enjoy fishing for their treasure!
- Use mannequin torsos to display some of your clothing items. While racks are great for displaying large amounts of merchandise in a minimal amount of space, it is difficult to see the styles of the clothing. Merchandise a few beautiful pieces on some mannequin torsos hanging around your flea market stand to catch shoppers as they walk by.
- Don't assume incomplete sets won't sell! The beauty of selling at a flea market is that people are after a good deal, and no necessarily so intent on purchasing a complete set. If you are selling tools and you find out that many of your hand tool sets are missing parts or pieces, they'll still make you money! Take the tools out of their sets and sell the individually by the piece. You'll move every single piece from your inventory and won't get stuck with incomplete sets that don't sell.
- Use floor standing retail displays to merchandise your cosmetics and beauty items attractively. Try to steer away from having small items individually laid out on tables as this can invite a good amount of theft and isn't the most effective use of space in your booth. Retail displays make things eye-catching and attractive, enticing more customers to stop by. Alternatively, consider putting the items in small bins organized by color to make it easier for your customers to find specific items is also a good option.