Archive for August, 2012

Flea Market Business Success: Organize Operations

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Organize your Operations

While in the early days of your business selling as much as you can during each flea market day may be enough, you need to become organized and strategic about your operations in order to grow your business to its full potential.

  • Keep track of accounts and customer records: A simple notebook to write down your sales may be enough at first, but it is much easier to keep track of sales and inventory with proper software such as Intuit or Quicken, as well as CRM’s (Customer Relationship Management) softwares. A CRM would allow you to collect your customers’ data (such as email address, phone number or even home address) so you can then market to them outside of flea market opening times.
  • Keep inventory records: Make sure you know how much you bought of something, how fast you sold it and what your profitability was. This will allow you to make faster and more educated purchasing decisions down the line, and you’ll be able to pull up sales information for an item quickly and easily.
  • Take advantage of technology and tools: If you only accept cash or check payments, consider accepting credit card payments. This will make it easier to close sales with customers who may not be carrying enough money in cash. Consider obtaining a merchant service account with your bank, and take advantage of Smartphone applications for Credit Card processing. iPhones and other Android based phones now have the ability to charge and process credit card payments on the spot without the need for a credit card machine.

How to Source Wholesale Merchandise for a Flea Market or Resale Business

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Source Merchandise Efficiently

If you are just starting out, you may not be very familiar with the different ways in which you can source products for your business. Here are a few starting points:

  • Trade Shows: Visit wholesale industry trade shows to meet companies face-to-face, negotiate deals in person and take advantage of a huge scope of products all under one roof. You can typically source everything you need in one visit to a trade show, from several vendors. For a list of closeout industry trade shows, visit the Association of Surplus Dealers online.
  • Internet searches: A simple Google search for “wholesale products” or other similar terms will yield a slew of results. When browsing through company websites, make sure to look for wholesalers who own and warehouse their own inventory if possible. In many cases, wholesalers who do not own their own inventory are brokers, or middle-men, and you can often overpay for products versus working directly with the wholesalers who own the products. If possible, choose a wholesaler you can visit in person to inspect the goods prior to making your first purchase until you are comfortable.
  • Trade Magazines and B2B Websites: There are many printed sources and wholesale search engines dedicated to helping businesses find product. Some of these publications include: Retailer’s Forum, Swap Meet Magazine, Independent Retailer, Solo Mayoreo (Spanish), Web Wholesaler, Western/Eastern Merchandiser and more. Popular B2B sourcing websites include: TopTen Wholesale, CloseoutCentral and WholesaleCentral. These search engines allow you to enter a search term and find wholesalers nationwide who can provide you with those products.