This post is part of a 6 part series explaining steps to take when starting a flea market business selling merchandise sourced from the liquidation industry

Today, I’m starting a new series of posts entitled “Selling at the flea market,” where I plan on reviewing the steps I would take if I were starting a retail business on shoe string budget. My goal will be simple: start a part-time weekend business selling customer returns, closeouts, shelf pull, and excess merchandise sourced from a wholesale liquidator. My plan is to generate $500-$1000 in revenue each weekend. Buckle up, this should be fun!

I’m starting this flea market business with $1500 to cover inventory and other miscellaneous costs associated with getting started. I will review the miscellaneous costs as the series goes on, but let’s get started with step one:

Locating the best flea market – sounds obvious, huh? Well, there’s a lot of research and planning involved in site selection. I would start by performing some basic research about all of the flea markets within a hundred mile radius of any one location. This step is critical because of several factors including:

Market traffic flow – get general statistics about each market including average traffic on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Days open – Find out what days the market is open including holiday schedules. This is also a good time to review market hours.

Cost and ability to set up shop – What are the costs associated with setting up for the day and weekend? How are these fees paid? Daily or monthly? Will you have the ability to rent a specific section of the market ongoing, or is it first come, first served? Some markets will actually have stall or booths that can be rented ongoing. If you find a good market, you want to have the ability to setup a permanent location within. Some markets have lockable stalls that inventory can be kept in, which can serve as a store within the market.

Once you’ve gathered all the above information, review all stats before making a commitment to any one market. You may have to travel to a flea market within a neighboring city if it offers better amenities and traffic. There is no sense in starting a business at a slow flea market!

In part two of this flea market series I will review the necessary permits, licenses, and equipment you will need to get you flea market business up and running..stay tuned!

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I'm sharing 18 years of pallet and truckload buying experience within 200+ pages of the Liquidators Guide