Today the Internet offers three compelling reports from three different flea market professionals. They have advice on selling books, selling a community, and selling your company brand.
Dot McDaniel, a consignment-style indoor flea market owner in Alabama, has grown the Eastbrook Flea Market and Antique Mall to 200 vendors, some of whom she meets every day for tea. McDaniel offers her insights into the business in an interview with The Montgomery Advertiser:
What do you like most about the job? I like the people. We have wonderful customers and excellent vendors. I have vendors who have been with me the whole time. We’ve helped raise each other’s children and grandchildren.
What is your biggest challenge? My biggest challenges are meeting expenses and following local government regulations.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in your business in the past decade? One change has been the merchandise that people want. It used to be more china and silver plates. But not anymore; the younger ones want a different style of merchandise.
First-time vendor Gwen Veazey reports on the challenges of selling used books at a North Carolina flea market:
I found the Jamestown Flea Market office tucked behind several buildings off Jamestown Road. A nice woman assigned me a great corner location, though it took a while to find it in the dark. At 7:30 under the stars, the wood tables sparkled with frost. I tried wiping them with a towel, but the ice was hard as diamonds. My first misgivings intruded. Not many of the other sellers had arrived. A woman offering pocketbooks and accessories close by generously loaned me a cloth table cover as the one I brought wasn’t big enough. Deb arrived to help, and we scraped the frost off, then began setting up, probably too early. The tables dampened with rising dew requiring books be dried off again with towels.
In a post at the GarageSaleCow blog written by site mascot Cowvin, flea market and swap meet vendors are urged to adopt business mascots of their own:
Find or create yourself a mascot, and you’ll inevitably draw people over to see what it is you’re selling with that as your representative. You can have a live-action mascot of your own without investing in a heavy-duty costume; just go to a thrift store sometime near Halloween and pick up a lightweight costume for cheap. You can use it year-round and build a consistent “fan base” in your flea market customers, too.
Is this goofy mascot on to something? Read the entire essay to find out.