How to Get Items to Sell at Flea Markets

by Nancy Wagner; Updated September 26, 2017

Selling stuff at a flea market gives you a way to put some extra cash in your pocket. The key to making some bucks is to buy items that are low cost so you can turn around and sell them for a tidy little profit.

Clean Up

Get your feet wet in the flea market business by cleaning out your home and garage to find suitable items for your booth. Adult and children's clothing, tools, kitchenware, books, household accessories, vases, small appliances, toys, shoes and just about anything else you find can be sold.

Go Shopping

Head to neighborhood rummage, yard and garage sales to find items to sell. Watch for "everything must go" sales where people are selling everything quickly and are more likely to be interested in negotiating. Shop at your local dollar store and see what the local thrift store has on its shelves, especially on discount days. For instance, in an article for The Penny Hoarder, writer Steve Gillman, an experienced flea market vendor, says he bought stuffed animals for about a buck at the thrift store and then sold them for up to $5 each at the flea market.

Estate Auctions

Attend estate auctions, and watch for items you're willing to cart to your booth. Writer Brie Dyas, in a 2014 article for the Huffington Post, recommends watching for deals at auctions on silverware, dishware, glassware and jewelry.

Tips

  • To find estate auctions in your area, look for local estate auctioneers and ask them to add you to their mailing list so they can notify you when they have an upcoming auction. Search websites, such as Auction Zip and EstateSales.net, to find auctions near you.

Buy Wholesale

Visit online directories such as WholeSaleCentral.com or WholeSalers Network to find companies that sell products at wholesale prices. Find out who sells products to the dollar stores, such as Pride Product Corporation, suggests Gillman. Use the Internet to search for a specific product in order to find national wholesalers, suggests writer and marketing expert Caron Beesley in an article for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Add your zip code to the search to find local providers.

Get Crafty

Make and sell crafts or baked goods, jams or farm produce -–– food that doesn't require a handler's license to sell –– at the flea market. The founders of The Krazy Coupon Lady, a website devoted to finding and sharing great deals, suggest making unique crafts and typing them to the season to boost sales. If you're not crafty, find people who are willing to sell their crafts to you at low prices.

About the Author

Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. She holds a B.S. from Eastern Illinois University.