This post is part 5 of a 6 part series explaining steps to take when starting a flea market business, selling merchandise sourced from the liquidation industry. If you’ve missed the first four posts, be sure to read post one, two, three, and four first.
In the fourth post of this series we purchased two pallets of Target general merchandise for our new flea market business. Now it’s time to price all of our new inventory! When reviewing all of the merchandise taken from the pallets, you will have some idea as to values, but there will be some items you will need to research. You can do this in one of two ways:
Google Search: Use Google to research items by entering in the item name, and possibly manufacturers or retailers item numbers. When you hit search a vast amount of information will be returned, but we are most interested in current pricing on a retail level. eBay and Amazon pricing will not reflect an items true geographic pricing. Google and other websites offer a service described as a “comparative shopping engine,” which should return results based upon several resellers. Once you establish an average price for any one item, you can then base your pricing off of a percentage for flea market retailing.
Scan Barcodes: I use an app on my android phone called RedLaser, search for it in the App Store, or Market. This little app, once installed, will scan barcodes and offer average pricing for the item in question. The app has a feature where you can display scanned item pricing based upon your geographic area. So, for example, if you scan a blender, RedLaser will return results from several local discount stores, such as Walmart, Target, Sears, Etc. Now that you can locate local pricing, setting prices for the flea market should be a breeze.
In the first part of this series, we spent time locating a flea market to start our business at. It’s now time to revisit the market and perform a little competitor price spying. Carve out a few hours on a Saturday to visit the market with small notebook for note taking. Go up and down the aisles checking out vendors who are selling items similar to you, if you can’t find a seller that is selling items similar to you – bingo! You’re set!
If you do find a competitor, examine his booth and pricing structure. Try to make as many mental notes as possible, and if that doesn’t work…take written notes! You want to get an idea about the sellers pricing structure. If you can record pricing down, you can then check his prices versus retail pricing. This should give you some indication as far as what percentage of retail he is charging. Maybe this seller is pricing to high, or perhaps, he is right on the mark- either way, you need to fully understand your competition to be successful.
Obliviously, there is not tried and true pricing structure for reselling at the flea market. A lot will be trial and error. Pricing will depend on what your are selling and how many other are competing for a piece of the pie. I personally would try to set pricing at 50% of retail for general merchandise (small appliances, décor, hardware, sporting goods, etc.). Items such as tools will always command a higher price, while clothing you might struggle to get 25% of retail.
In the last post of this flea market series, I will describe how to setup a flea market booth for maximum sales exposure. Talk with you then!