On the outskirts of nearly every town across the U.S., especially in the spring, summer and autumn, you will see a Flea Market set-up.
Often there will be hundreds of trailers, booths and tables in a large field just off a major thoroughfare. How do these people operate? Where do they get their merchandise? Do they make any money?
Whether they make any money or not depends on the way each individual merchant operates, what type of merchandise is offered and how much time is devoted to the business.
Most of them set up their wares on weekends an spend the rest of the week searching for goods to sell. Good antique dealers who know their product generally make very good profits. Clothing dealers, in the right location, can often bring in up to $600 on a typical weekend.
Jewellery, including rings, various kinds of necklaces, and silver and gold are big sellers.
Large, heavy and bulky items are not generally favourable for flea markets.
The secret to making a profit in Flea Marketing is not what or how you sell.
It's what you buy and how you buy it. You must find items which will sell for 8 to 10 times more than cost, unless you have really favourable products that will sell in large quantity. The products should be unusual; things which can't be obtained locally, unless the price is substantially below market.
You can get seconds and damaged goods direct from many factories across
the country, often at very little cost just to get them out of their warehouse where they are taking up room and gathering dust. Call on the managers in person or send letters offering to purchase factory closeouts, etc. Hand out your business cards letting people know that you are in the business of purchasing various kinds of merchandise.
Auctions, garage sales and yard sales are other good sources.
Don't overlook the classifieds in the paper.
Offer to clean out attics and garages and haul "junk" away. Many times the "junk" turns into the most lucrative profit items.
You will have to learn to "bargain" with the people on all your purchases in order to get them to sell for a low figure.