Being a vendor brings you in touch with a wide range of people; being set up at a flea market brings hundreds of people by you daily. But what if that isn’t enough? What if you want to see a wide variety of places as well as people? Sometimes being a nomadic seller can pay off; putting your products in front of new eyes every weekend can result in a lot more sales than you might gain from staying in the same place. However, moving around presents a whole set of challenges that aren’t an issue when selling at one flea market. Let’s break down some of those challenges, so you can decide if being a traveling salesperson might be right for you.
Planning Ahead – Running any business requires a certain degree of planning, but when you operate out of the same flea market every weekend, your plans tend to be a little repetitive. Moving around requires a lot more planning and scheduling. Many fairs and festivals book their vendors six months or more ahead of time, so you have to plan your schedule out carefully so you know where you are traveling on any given weekend. Planning mistakes can lead to double-booking, which damages your reputation, or empty weekends, which can of course damage your income.
Another part of planning ahead is knowing how far from home you’re willing to travel. If you’re willing to go farther than day trips, you’ll need to scout out hotels ahead of time so you can be sure you find a place that falls within your budget and doesn’t result in you losing money on the trip. Some sellers even choose to invest in an RV, so their home-away-from-home travels with them.
Networking is Key – Networking is beneficial to any vending business, but when you travel, it can become doubly important. Having contacts in the industry can lead to you having an ‘in’ with booked festivals or fairs, and can even let you know when these fairs are happening. You may be familiar with the western end of your state, but if you make a contact familiar with the fairs happening in the eastern end, you can double the territory you can cover with a simple information exchange.
Think Outside the Box – Aside from just traveling around to different flea markets, traveling around gives you the opportunity to sell at a variety of venues. Street festivals, themed fairs, holiday bazaars — all are income opportunities when you’re willing to travel and have items to sell that fit in with what the owners want to offer their customers. Depending on what you sell, you may even be able to get into specialty fairs like renaissance festivals, pop culture conventions, or church fundraising fairs.
Never-Ending Excitement – Traveling around allows you to benefit from a sense of wonder and excitement — and not just your own. When you sell at pop-up fairs or yearly festivals, you get to be a part of an event that people in that area have been looking forward to! They come to these events planning to spend money, and you can catch a piece of that if you plan properly. Traveling around certainly presents unique challenges, but also offers the opportunity for greater sales.