There are plenty of salvage food retailers who started their salvage food business at their local flea market, and there are those that continue selling salvage groceries at the swap meet. If you are thinking of opening a salvage food business, but lack the necessary capital to open a traditional store maybe the flea market is a viable option to get started?

Let’s go over the pros and cons of selling salvage groceries at the flea market:


No Overhead – When you set up shop at the flea market you are only responsible for paying your space rent. Fees for selling will vary widely for market to market, but cost is usually based upon market traffic. If in each weekend a market boasts 20-30,000 people obviously the fee to sell will be relatively high. The more visitors to the market means more sales opportunities for you! Average booth rent will range from a low of $10 per day to a high of $50-$100 per weekend.

Shoe String Start-up – The flea market can be used to build your business with little start-up capital. Your basic expenses will be booth rent and inventory! Because the overhead is non-existent you save the money necessary to open a traditional brick and mortar storefront within a few months of flea market operating.


Logistics – The flea market may offer low overhead, but the labor effort to bring your salvage food inventory can be intense. You will have to load, unload, merchandise, and then pack up again at the end of the day.

Temperatures Controls – If you are reselling food you must keep your stock at a consistent temperature or contents of canned good can become compromised. Shelf life depends on how well and what temperature food is stored at. With this in mind, it might be best to resell only dry goods at the market.

Please weigh the pros and cons when thinking of setting up shop at the flea market, especially when reselling salvage groceries. The market can offer the potential to stair step your way to a more traditional store front, but it is very hard work.