Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mike’s Unique Road to Flea Market Success


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Mike's UniqueBefore deciding to open Mike’s Unique Collectible and Antique Flea Market in November 2009, owner Mike Cook had no retail experience and had never even been inside a flea market. Once he started planning for the launch, however, class was in session. “I just went around and studied flea markets around the country, and I just looked at them, taking notes about what I liked and didn’t like about them,” Cook notes. “I put a list together, and came back and talked to my partner, laid down our store, and it’s been great ever since. We’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way, but we’ve been able to get through the mistakes and learn from them.”

Mike’s averages about 200 vendors, with a total of 250 booths located in a converted Walmart store. Vendors rent by the month, and sell throughout the week. Because the store is temperature controlled, cold temperature is a positive for the flea market. “We’re busier in the winter, because nobody can go to the lake, or work outside, so on the weekends so they go to the flea market,” Cook adds. “The worse the weather, the busier we are.”

Future Expansion

Cook is hoping to grow the Springfield, MO market and will be adding additional locations in other cities. He recently started a website, Mikesunique.com, where customers can buy certain items from the market online, noting that he wanted to have a web presence for the market but was “tired of paying Ebay fees.”

Mike’s Unique Collectible and Antique Flea Market charges $70 per month and takes 10% out of all sales. It is located on 3335 W. Sunshine St. in Springfield, Missouri, open 9 to 6 Mondays through Saturdays and 11 to 6 on Sundays.

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