Flea Market Money Making Ideas

by John Zaphyr; Updated September 26, 2017
Finding the right mix of merchandise and pricing will help to ensure success in the flea market biz.

If you're looking for a way to make some extra money on the weekends, or perhaps even replace lost income after a layoff, becoming a flea market vendor could be right for you. The operating cost for a flea market vendor is low. Stall fees are usually minimal, as is the cost of transporting your goods to the market.

The key to a successful flea market business—and the majority of the cost, ultimately—is what you are selling. You’ll need to discover a niche, like handmade crafts, wholesale goods, or stuff salvaged from auctions and neighborhood flea markets. The goal is having things people want to buy, and pricing them to sell.

Finding Items to Sell

This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the flea market business, and the place where you will make (or lose) the most money. Finding the right item is not as easy as it sounds. You can certainly rummage through your attic or basement, or pick through goods your neighbors have discarded, but this strategy offers limited opportunities for long-term success. “Storage locker” auctions are a more reliable source for resale items. They often provide large quantities of salable items at low prices. You can usually find announcements for these auctions in your local newspaper. Read the listing carefully before attending, to avoid wasting time on items that don't interest you.

You can also check Craigslist.org, whose sellers offer pretty much everything (including entire collections). Finally, consider buying gift or novelty times from a wholesaler who offers large quantities at low prices. When purchasing items for resale, you need to get the best price so you’ll have the best profit margin.

Selling the Right Items

Whatever you decide to sell, you should stock your stall with large quantities. This will make your stall look full, and attract more people.

According to flea-market-vendor-resources.com, you should learn which items sell best in your area. Popular items include jewelry; electronic devices such as phones and DVD players; clothing; furniture; tools; knives; used books; candles; and used or new toys such as action figures, baby toys and collectibles.

Pricing to Sell

People who attend flea markets are either looking for hard-to-find stuff or stuff at a low price (or both). Dollar items are especially popular; if you can price your merchandise at $1, you will have an excellent chance of moving it. Of course, this is only possible if you bought the merchandise at a price that allows you to make a profit. You can also bundle items together, by offering a "buy one, get one free" deal or a discount price for a pack of ten. The key is finding the right merchandise at the right price for the right buyer.

About the Author

John Zaphyr is a marketing and sales manager with the Oncology Nursing Society. He has written professionally since1999 and also has editing credits with Friedlander Publishing Group. His articles have appeared in the "Pittsburgh Tribune Review." John earned a master's degree in English education from the University of Pittsburgh.

Photo Credits

  • carribean market stall image by Wimbledon from Fotolia.com