This post is part 6 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 five posts, be sure to read post one, two, three, four, and five first.
In the fourth and fifth posts of this series we purchased and learned about pricing merchandise. Now it’s time to head to the market and setup our new booth. This final step takes planning and preparation. The day before you head out it’s best to set up your booth at home; this step will make your first selling day as smooth as possible.
Most single flea market booths are ten feet by ten feet in size. Find a large enough area at home to setup all of your displays. It’s best to “mask off” a 10 by 10 area using painters masking tape, which can be purchased at the dollar store. Once you have the area marked, begin to set up any tables and/or displays you plan on using.
I like to take a 6×8 tarp to use as a backdrop to my canopy. I simply affix each side to the back canopy poles using a couple of small bungee cords. This “back wall” creates a barrier between you and everyone else. The wall will keep people from entering your booth from the wrong direction.
Once you have the canopy and tables setup, start displaying inventory to get an idea as far as how much merchandise you will be able to accommodate. A 10×10 space is really small! You may have to rotate stock from your truck or trailer as room becomes available under the canopy. If this seems to be too much of a burden, you may want to increase the size of your booth to a 20’x20′. If stock is cramped and people cannot efficiently see what’s for sale, business will suffer.
Once you have a good idea as to how things will be setup in your booth, load the merchandise within your truck or trailer in an organized fashion. On sale day inventory should be off-loaded as it will be set up within the booth. Without organization, unloading becomes a tremendous burden trying to sort items for display.
This ends our six part flea market series; I hope I’ve given you much to think about before you start your own flea market business. I would love to hear from you about your experience selling at the flea market! Please tell us about all experiences selling at the market…don’t hold back! Please share all aspects including the good and bad. Your story just might inspire or prevent someone from making a huge mistake!
Our 2020 Liquidators Guide chronicles 12 years of wholesale product sourcing experience and includes my personal black book of direct source contacts! As an industry expert, I'll share the success I've enjoyed along with the mistakes I've made buying and reselling liquidation merchandise.
If you are thinking about buying pallets of liquidation merchandise from a liquidator, broker, or direct from department stores, you need to check out The Liquidators Guide