Starting a Flea Market Business

A flea market or swap meet is a place where vendors come to sell or trade their goods. The goods are usually inexpensive and range in quality depending on several factors, which might include urban or rural location, part of the country, or popularity or size of the flea market.

Even used articles can be readily sold in a flea market and if it is initially properly advertised many individuals desiring to dispose their extra items will be eager to be long term vendors.

The advertisement of a flea market will thereafter be easily spread by word of mouth of those benefited, to their relatives and neighbors.

The vast majority of flea markets in rural areas sell second-hand goods. Larger or more urban flea markets usually sell inexpensive items. Flea markets have also sometimes been used as an outlet for contraband or counterfeit goods such as clothing, shoes, handbags, and fragrances. Often flea markets have food vendors that serve snacks and meals. The semi-spontaneous nature and vendor-oriented open-market layouts of flea markets usually differentiate them from thrift stores. Some flea markets offer concerts and carnival-type events to attract shoppers.

Kitchenalia, books, records, milk glass, carnival glass, comic books, pottery, automotive accessories, lighting, electronics, watches, jewelry, dining ware, furniture, quilts and toys to name a few are the items commonly bartered or sold in a typical flea market.

Tired of having the same look and feel of the neighbor next door, people are increasingly visiting thrift shops, antique stores and flea markets to find that unique piece that brings back a special memory and personalizes a home.

Due to their many years of collecting, many vendors at the flea market are experts in their field of antiques and can often provide a new collector with historical significance of where a particular item was purchased, what it was used for and who it might have belonged to. Appraisers usually give out information on an item’s history but from time to time, they also give tips to new and young collectors on how to store, handle and preserve their latest finds.

Flea markets may charge an entrance fee into the premises depending upon the time of entry; more charge to the early birds than late comers. The markets function from 9 a.m. to about 5 p.m. normally, however may be kept open for extended periods during festivals and carnivals.

Flea market vendors must take care to protect their merchandise from theft. Due to the open and crowded nature of most flea market venues, it is easy for a sneaky thief to make off with some of your stock. Keeping alert and watching for the top five signs of flea market thieves will help prevent loss of product and profit: Crowds and big families, Short children, the Sudden organizer, the Sneaky browser and the Grab and run guy.


  • Roshonda Mathis said on October 14, 2010
    how do i start my own flea market in Meridian Mississippi 39301
  • Don Halsey said on March 20, 2013
    Birmingham, AL 35215. Is there a good sample Business Plan for a flea Market?


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