Every flea market is different, and the ability to identify good items to sell is critical to your success as a vendor.  To stand out from the crowd and maximize sales, read more about the best stuff to sell at flea markets and how to set up your vendor booth for success.

Identifying Hot Items to Sell at Flea Markets

No matter what flea market you visit, you’ll often notice a pattern in what the vendors offer.  Each location is unique, so it could be anything from clothing to food.  If you sell the same types of products as everyone else, you’re in direct competition, which makes it more difficult to make money because you don’t stand out from the crowd.  Instead, try offering products that few (if any) vendors have.

General merchandise is just one of many successful vendor booth ideas that can differentiate your business.  It’s a blanket term that includes a wide array of retail product categories from appliances to tools.

General merchandise is the best stuff to sell at flea markets for these reasons:

  • Popularity – Ever been to a retail store like Walmart or Target? They advertise heavily across all media channels.  You see them on TV, hear them on the radio, and browse their websites online.  They offer an enormous assortment of merchandise, and millions of people purchase their products, meaning that the goods are in high demand.
  • Necessity – People use these products in their daily lives. You need a lawn mower to cut the grass, a blender to make your post-workout shake, pet food to feed your dog, and feminine pads for female hygiene.  The top sellers at flea markets are the products people already need because you don’t have to convince them to buy.
  • Scarcity – Getting access to high quality general merchandise from name brand stores is very challenging because large retailers don’t sell to individuals, only to companies. So, if you manage to find a wholesale flea market supplier that can get it, you can make a lot of money.  The limited supply of these goods increases customer demand and allows you to charge a premium, as long as it’s less expensive than the store price.
  • Differentiation – If everyone offers one type of product and you offer something completely different, you stand out from the crowd. That’s attractive to savvy shoppers who are wandering the aisles of the market because they’ve never seen anyone selling these products.  You’ll receive more visitors than your fellow vendors and you’ll take advantage of the snowball effect.  When a crowd begins to form at your booth, curiosity takes over, encouraging even more people to check it out.  This is a big reason why Walmart liquidation truckloads are so popular.

How to Set Up Your Vendor Booth to Maximize Sales

Once you’ve acquired some hot flea market items to sell, it’s time to set up your vendor booth using a bit of psychology borrowed from grocery stores.  Have you ever walked into a Price Chopper for a loaf of bread and left with a cart of things you didn’t need?  It happens to the best of us because every part of the store’s layout is arranged to encourage you to buy more.  Let’s do the same for your business.

Below are the 6 keys to maximizing your flea market sales:

  • Keep the space open – Make sure that shoppers can walk around without tripping over products or other people. If you’ve got a popular booth, do what you can to keep the space open to encourage more people to come in.  If you’re area looks to cramped, people won’t bother coming in.
  • Use tables – The most expensive products should be displayed as close to eye level as possible, so put them on tables. Cheaper items should be on a separate table or placed below it if there’s no more room.  The easier it is to see the items you have available, the more sales you’ll make.
  • Place popular products in front – Hot flea market items should be placed at the front of the booth in spots where they’re clearly visible to people passing by. These products are the best because they’re easy to sell and they help to draw in more shoppers.
  • Group products by category – Keep similar items together to make it easy for customers to find what they need. You want your vendor booth to have sections just like a store.
  • Restock inventory – Refill your tables with new inventory as customers purchase things. This keeps your booth looking fresh and gives the impression that there’s still good deals to find.  Empty tables tell people the opposite.
  • Control the temperature – Do what you can to keep shoppers comfortable. If your booth is outside, consider putting up a canopy to provide shade and keep people dry if it rains.  You can also purchase a generator to run fans or heaters, depending on the weather.