How To Make Money at The Flea Market

In this post, I want to discuss how to make money at the flea market.

I have a friend who makes a living selling things at flea markets.

He goes around various flea markets selling all sorts of items.

I, therefore, know from his experience that it is one of the best ways to make money if you know what you are doing.

Before you do this, I am going to offer you some tips that can help you to succeed on this side hustle.

How to make money at the flea market

What is a flea market?

A flea market also called a swap meet is a kind of market that usually takes place outside where old and used things are sold. It is a type of street market.

Why do they call it a flea market?

The name flea market is of French origin. It was originally called Marché aux puces in French which is translates as “market of fleas”. This was because it was expected that the merchandise being sold was flea-infested.

What sells at flea markets?

The items that sell well at flea markets are things like

  • Cheap new items. People don’t usually go to flea markets to buy expensive items. Therefore if you are selling new items go for the cheap one.
  • Electronics and home appliances. These are probably the most popular items to sell at a flea market. Just make sure that you clean them properly and repair them if necessary to increase their value.
  • Baby clothing and toys. People usually go to flea markets as families as they are usually held on weekends. It is, therefore, an opportunity for parents to buy things for their children. And the children expect their parents to buy them stuff too.
  • Small furniture. This is another item that sells well at flea markets. Items such as stools etc easily sell.
  • Holiday decor. We all want a bit of variety in our holiday decor and flea markets offer a chance to buy cheap holiday decor.

How do I become a vendor at a flea market?

Below are the things that you need to become a vendor at a flea market.

Need a Tax certificate

In most states, you need a tax certificate before you are allowed to sell at a flea market.

The tax certificate allows you to charge sales tax on your sales.

You can get this with your state’s Tax Department. Without this, you cannot be allowed to sell at flea markets.

Find a Flea market to join

After you get your tax certificate the next step is to find a flea market that you can join.

Various flea markets have their own rules and regulations, you, therefore, need to find one that suits the things that you want to sell.

Register with the organizers

Once you identify the flea market then you can register with the flea market organizers.

Some markets take place only on weekends and some throughout the month.

Most organizers will charge you a fee to participate.

Organize or rent a booth.

To be able to sell you need to either rent a booth or set up one yourself.

Find items to sell.

After this then you can find the items that you need to sell.

What is the best way to make money at a flea market?

1. Decide on what type of flea market you want to participate in.

There are different types of flea markets. Most flea markets where I live happen over the weekends.

However, they are some that take place throughout the year.

I should also point out that in some countries that have bitter winter, the outdoor flea markets usually take place in summer only.

As a newbie flea market seller, you need to decide whether you want to make this a full-time trade or parttime.

If it is full time then you may have to join the full-time flea markets.

In this case, you will be charged a monthly fee for space by the organizers

The part-time flea markets will usually charge you a fee on the same day of the market.

Therefore if for whatever reason you decide not to participate you will avoid the charges.

2. Thinks seriously about the location

The success of each market usually depends on the location and its accessibility.

A good location will attract more customers and therefore more money for the sellers.

However, a market located in an area that is difficult to access or far away from populated areas will attract few customers.

So before you join a market think about these things.

I have a friend who sells his stuff at one of our flea markets and he is very happy with the business there.

The market is located right in the city center and close to other shops.

It, therefore, attracts people who may have been in the city for other types of shopping.

Some of the most patronized flea markets are also close to main roads.

This means that they are easily accessible and therefore attract more customers.

3. Identify the right kind of products to sell at your flea market.

Selling the right products can mean the difference between failure and success.

While there are some items that almost always sell well at flea markets, each market is unique.

You, therefore, have to survey your market first before you decide what to sell.

For instance, university towns that have a lot of students may attract mostly young people whose pockets are not that deep.

You, therefore, cannot expect to sell high priced items in such markets.

In such kind of market items like textbooks will also sell well. Students would also be interested in electronic gadgets.

You, therefore, have to take all that into consideration.

4. Identify where to procure good to sell

Once you identify what sells well in a market you need to find places where you need to buy your things.

As pointed out earlier, thrift stores, garage sales, wholesale websites like Aliexpress, your home, etc are some of the places to source your stocks.

5. Determine the correct prices for your goods.

It is important that you don’t outprice yourself.

You, therefore, need to survey your market and see what your colleagues are charging before you set your prices.

It is important that you do this before you even procure your goods.

Otherwise, you may end up with goods that you may sell at a loss.

You are in business and therefore need to make profits if you are to survive.

In setting the prices think about your profits and also your customers.

If your goods are too expensive no one will buy them from you.

And if you are charging too low you may not make enough profits.

6. Set up your stall/booth attractively.

People are attracted to things that look good in their eyes.

Therefore make sure that your goods are arranged properly. Goods of the same kind should be put together.

You also need to put price labels on your goods.

7. Learn to haggle

At flea markets, there is always a bit of haggling over prices.

You, therefore, need to learn this art if you are to be successful. Learn to say no. This is a business, not a charity.

Therefore determine beforehand your reserve price in your head. When a customer goes below that price be prepared to say no.


I hope you have now learned how to make money at the flea market. It just requires following the advice in the above paragraphs and be willing to adjust if things don’t work well.

I also have another article that can help you to make even more money. It is titled, How to flip items for profit.

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