Flea market vendors selling novelties, souvenirs and collectibles understand the importance of appealing to shoppers on an emotional, personal and sensory level. Vendors are sure to attract shoppers’ attention with unique wooden handicrafts, licensed sports jewelry, clever animal themed products, and evocative fragrance oils available from top suppliers now and into 2014.
Hand-carved wooden animals & more
A Lost Art is a company that designs and imports hand-carved, eco-friendly and fairly traded wooden handicrafts from Southeast Asia. Owner David Meller works with artisans in that region to craft his line of products. The company’s carved wooden animals, including an owl, elephant, cricket, pig and much more, make the animal’s sound when a person rubs the creature’s back with a stick or blows into an opening. One of the company’s bestsellers is the croaking frog. “Our newest introduction is a selection of three wooden dinosaurs, which I personally designed. I worked with the carvers to get the dinosaurs to produce the right sound,” Meller explains. “Every kid likes dinosaurs, and new movies about Dinosaurs are always being made. These are going to be very popular holiday gifts.”
A Lost Art also offers an assortment of authentic musical instruments from Asia, such as the handmade and hand painted turtle animal clapper/accordion. The instrument makes a clapping noise as the pivoting wooden slats clack together as it is waved back and forth. “They add to our collection of jungle animal carvings and make perfect gifts and toys,” Meller notes. Other musical instruments, such as maracas, rain sticks, didgeridoos and bird flutes, are available. The Lost Art carries additional natural products like jungle vines pencils and teak candleholders.
“Everyone wants products that are good for the environment and fairly traded, like ours, and they give vendors great profit margins,” Meller states. General wholesale ranges from $.50 to $6 for 80 percent of products, and retail typically is from $5 to $50. The minimum order is around $250 but Meller will work with customers if they cannot meet the minimum requirement.
Licensed heart swirl earrings & fathead decals
Licensed products are also popular items because fans of all ages like to show support for their teams. Patter’s Collectibles specializes in jewelry and apparel, as well as some seasonal items, for all major leagues. “Our biggest line is earrings,” shares Edward Patter, owner. “The most popular style brought out this year is the heart swirl earring. It is available in more than 25 NFL teams, and in some colleges and baseball teams as well.” Patter’s offers heart swirl earrings in a wide range of teams so vendors can select those that will appeal to shoppers in their marketplace. The company is expanding the line because it is in such high demand. Patter’s Collectibles’ lanyards are another top seller at flea markets. “Ours have a breakaway feature on the back, and a clip and key ring, and people use them to hold badges and keys,” Patter continues.
“The new fathead’s revolution helmet wall decal is another big seller. It is great for a kid’s room or ‘man cave,’ and a great gift for any sports fan,” Patter suggests. The wall decal does not require nails for hanging and is repositionable. “No one else makes anything like this,” he adds. The firm offers the wall decal in around 30 NFL teams, as well as in the major college, hockey, baseball and basketball teams. Typical markup is double wholesale price, and Patter’s Collectibles does not have a minimum order.
Cat, dog and wildlife signs & holders
Next to licensed merchandise, novelty and souvenir products that feature animals are always great sellers because people love their pets. KC Creations, Inc. crafts a line of animal themed signs, key holders and sculptures, which it produces in the USA. The company recently introduced color crossing signs. Made of durable sun and weather resistant polyethylene plastic, these beautifully crafted signs are 10.5 by 8 inches. “People enjoy placing these fun pieces on doors and fences, and in a recreation area or child’s room,” owner Ken Cleveland points out. KC Creations presently offers the signs in 40 dog, cat and wildlife designs, and will expand the line to 80 designs by 2014. Wholesale is $3.95 and retail is $8 to $10.
Another product KC Creations is introducing in November is a wooden key/leash holder. It is 4.5 by 7 inches, and has three one-inch pegs on the front along with a keyhole slot in the back for easy hanging. The product will be available in a selection of 200 dog, cat and wildlife images. The company will name drop or print sayings on the products at no extra charge. Wholesale is $6.50 and retail is generally $12.99.
Fragrance oils & burners, and salt & pepper holders
Fragrance and body oils, oil warmers and candleholders continue to be popular novelty, gift and collectible items. Merch-A-Mart Wholesale Distributors sells a variety of quality oil burners and lamps, candleholders, and fragrance and body oils. Owner Kimmy Chen reports that her products sell extremely well at flea markets because of their high quality and low prices. “Vendors who try our products always come back for more,” she assures.
Half-ounce fragrance oils wholesale for $.83 and retail for $3 to $5. Of the company’s 200 fragrances, apple orchard, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and grandma’s kitchen tend to be top sellers when the weather turns cool. Other year round favorites include amber romance and baby powder.
Merch-A-Mart offers dozens of styles of electric, ceramic, glass, wooden and plastic oil burners, which many consumers enjoy collecting because of their distinct designs. Another hot novelty item is the company’s salt and pepper holder, available in a number of animal designs and other looks. Orders can be placed online or by phone, and the minimum purchase is $50. Point-of-purchase displays are available. Merch-A-Mart is constantly refreshing its product offerings and, with its vast line of products made in the USA and imported, the company has a fragrance or accessory to appeal to any shopper.
Novelties, souvenirs and collectibles are big sellers year round and in all markets. With a mix of current and traditional products that appeal to shoppers’ individual tastes and deliver a personal experience, vendors stand to satisfy customers as well as earn substantial returns.
For more information:
A Lost Art
Email: Online form
KC Creations Inc.
Merch-A-Mart Wholesale Distributors