How to Make Money at Swap Meets and Flea Markets

Attract customers to your flea market or swap meet stall.
Attract customers to your flea market or swap meet stall. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Flea markets and swap meets are types of selling events where vendors can earn lots of money for their products. Flea markets contain a variety of products while swap meets typically serve niche markets. To be successful, conduct market research on your items before you attend the events. Market research websites, like Terapeak, give you statistics on how much items are selling for. For expensive items, use appraisal tools like WorthPoint.

Purchase items at wholesale prices. Make arrangements with a wholesaler to purchase products at low prices to sell at a flea market or swap meet. Decide on a reasonable mark-up based on your competitor’s prices.

Find a niche. Beginners should stick with a variety of products to gain experience on how and what to sell. As your comfort level grows, limit your merchandise to a certain type of product. Examples include radio-controlled vehicles, pet supplies, jewelry, handbags or car parts.

Prepare promotional materials for your business to hand out at the flea markets or swap meets. Give out business cards and flyers and take e-mail addresses for mailing lists.

Arrange an attractive table. Your top-selling and most attractive items should go to the front of the table. Keep the table organized throughout the day as people sort through your items. Tie ribbons and balloons to your area to attract customers to your area.

Offer free samples to customers. Set aside a small quantity of food items, cleaning supplies or beauty products to allow customers to test out your products. When selling a variety of used merchandise, set up a free box containing items of little to no value.

Set prices higher than you are willing to take. People who attend swap meets and flea markets expect to haggle. Mark your prices approximately 25 percent higher than you are willing to take for them.

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