You’ve gotten your merchandise and supplies, have the necessary permits, have everything priced, and have planned out attractive displays. Your flea market stall is all set up and ready to go — now what? As the customers come wandering by, here are some tips to help you make the most of the time you have to sell.
Mirror Your Customers – It never hurts to greet everyone who stops by to look at your products, but resist the urge to be too pushy with your sales pitch. If you have a history in sales, you may be able to pull it off, but many people just get too pushy and scare off potential customers more often than they reel them in. At flea markets and many other retail settings, the best rule of thumb is to mirror the customer. If they seem open to chatting or have questions about your products, feel free to talk away! Otherwise, stay nearby and make sure they know you’re available for any questions, but let them shop in peace while maintaining a friendly presence.
Prepare to Haggle – You can have prices on every piece of merchandise you have set out, but at a flea market it’s inevitable that someone will want to haggle with you. It’s the nature of the setting, so it’s best to be prepared for it. Of course, the easiest policy is a polite but firm “I’m sorry, I don’t haggle on my listed prices.” However, since haggling is some of the fun of shopping at a flea market for many customers, you may want to consider being open to cutting the occasional deal. That doesn’t mean you have to give your merchandise away, but giving a small discount on a large purchase might be worth it. It might be tempting to raise your prices to accommodate these discounts, but in most cases the lost sales from those who think haggling isn’t worth it will be more than what you’d gain in the haggling advantage.
Creature Comforts – Let’s face it, no one is as nice to others as they possibly should be when they’re tired and uncomfortable. When you set out to the flea market early in the morning, keep your own comfort in mind, especially if you will be alone at your stall all day. Pack some snacks or lunch and plenty of drinks, especially if you are selling in summer heat. Making sure you’re fed and as comfortable as possible will ensure you treat your customers kindly and aren’t tempted to start packing up before the crowds are gone.
Marketing – There’s certainly nothing wrong with relying on word-of-mouth and a flea market’s natural crowd appeal to bring customers by your table, but today’s technological world affords a new way to advertise, and for free! Consider posting about your new business venture on your personal social media page, or even starting a business page on Facebook or Instagram. Visuals do more than words — once you’re all set up, post a picture of your stall to entice locals out to buy your products.