Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shopping at Flea Markets for Items to Sell on eBay


Today's post is brought to us by John S, a fellow seller and flea market extrodinaire.

Whether you call them swap meets, flea markets, jockey lots or a host of other regional terms a flea market as defined by Webster’s is: “usually open-air market for secondhand articles and antiques”. In reality they are so much more, they are even a great source to find items to sell on eBay.

What was once the domain of antique dealers, used car part sellers and farmers peddling their crops has in the last few decades turned into place where a myriad of vendors selling all kinds of items, both outdoors as well as inside cavernous barn like buildings. If there is something you want chances are good that you will be able to find it at a flea market.

They are a wonderful resource for eBay sellers to find items to sell. In the spring and summer families choose to load up their unwanted household items and drive them down to the flea market to sell. It is truly like going to dozens of garage sales all within steps of each other. There are crafters selling all kinds of hand made items. The one business type that I always look for is the vendor selling health and beauty products. Some of the products on the “Hot List" can usually be found there at a great discount.

Tips, Tricks and Hints:

Of course wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking and standing.

Watch what you wear. Dress comfortable but not glitzy. Leave the bling and expensive handbags at home. If you want to get good deals, its better if you dress the part. The vendors are very sharp and can read their customers very well.

Do not be afraid to haggle. Remember the vendors only rent their 10 x 10 spot for the day they really don’t want to load everything up at the end of the day and take it back home. They are use to people asking for a discount. Be smart, don’t ask, “will you take less”, name the price you want to pay.

Timing is everything. If you are looking for hard to find collectibles or other garage sale items you need to get there real early. Antique buyers are combing through tables as the sellers are setting up. If you want to get great deals then you need to be there as sellers are putting their items away.

Keep your money separated. You would be surprised how many times you can get a vendor to accept even less when all you pull out of your pocket is $8.00 for a $10.00item.

Bring cash. Few vendors take checks and even fewer take plastic. Besides, with all the identity theft these days, giving those numbers along with your driver’s license is not a good idea.

Don’t bring anything larger than a 20-dollar bill. Counterfeiters are notorious for using flea markets to launder their wares. If you bring large denominations you might go home with some funny money.

Flea markets are fun! And profitable. Some of the markets are huge and daunting at first. Take it slow if it’s your first time. Always keep an eye out for those items you are looking for and keep your mind open for ideas. Most important, have fun!
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