Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Flea Market: Tips and Tricks for Vintage Vendors

We would definitely still consider ourselves flea market selling novices, but with four weeks under our belt, we have definitely picked up on some things that work, and some things that don't work.  Today we're sharing a few tips and tricks that have worked for us.

*AESTHETICS* The first step in selling items is getting people into your booth to look at what you've got!  

SIGNAGE:  I had crafted a hand cut felt banner with our shop name.  It was cute, but maybe not bold enough.  After week two, we went ahead and ordered a large laminate sign with our shop logo.  Not only is it great to catch people's eyes, it also works as sort of a "wall" to divide your tent from those around you.  Or in the case of our booth location this past weekend, it helped block out the city-surroundings so you could more easily see our merchandise.  We also have a small chalkboard sign where we can write down any specials for the day, announce that we accept cash and credit, etc.

DISPLAYS:  I know not everyone is lucky enough to have a woodworking craftsman in the family, but I think have some sort of special display pieces are a must!  I feel like I keep waxing poetic on our triangle shoe rack, but really?  It not only makes our shoes look great, it is conversation starter!  If you're not as wood-crafting-saavy, consider purchasing some pegboard and metal hooks (I think most hardware places will cut them to size for you!).  We display hats, bags and belts on pegboard and it is so easy to move the hooks around and rearrange the displays as pieces sell.

EXTRAS:  We picked up an old oriental rug from the thrift store for $15 to have as flooring in our booth.  It really warms up the space and makes it look extra special.  We also have a small table (our "check out" area) with folding chairs.  It is also great to have those chairs to offer when someone wants to try on a pair of shoes!

*SELLING* How to make sales and what to do with your money...

CASH:  Flea markets can be bustling places and pick pockets are not doubt on the prowl.  We were advised to not have a cash box, but instead, keep the money on us.  I found that my cargo jacket was a great way to house all the cash, as well as my phone and our credit card reader.  We've also seen vendors carry purses or wear some sort of apron with pockets to keep their money close.

That "cash box" stays empty of all money.  It does keep our notepad, pens, and business cards though.

CREDIT:  We highly recommend accepting credit card payments!  I would say 80-90% of our sales were credit.  We use Square (which puts the money into your bank account) and Paypal (which puts the money directly into your Paypal account, and is also nice to offer for others who want to use their Paypal accounts to make a purchase).  Both take a small percentage, but are totally worth it.

SALES/SPECIALS:  It's always nice to offer some sort of sale to customers.  We like to switch it up each week.  We've tried a "$10 dress bin" and "20% off boots."  For our boot sale we made sure to display our boots where they would get noticed right away and they ended up being our biggest seller of the day!

Last but not least:  have a buddy!  The day went by so fast (and was so fun!) working with each other.  If you're a single person shop owner, bring a friend!  Offer them a little cash, or even merchandise as payment!  Buy them lunch.  Make a day of it!  

I swear we were having fun, despite our expressions here!  It was a slow morning as far as sales, so we *may* have been a tad grumpy.

I think that about covers it so far.  Maybe we will check back in at the end of the season and fill you in on what else we've learned.  We would love to hear other valuable tips and tricks we missed--leave a comment below if you would like to share!


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