I got my start in the flea market business when I was sixteen years old. My parents took me to a local retail auction on Saturday nights. The auction purchased insurance-damaged trailers. They sorted through the merchandise and kept all the good merchandise to auction off to the highest bidder. The auction also had a snack bar with homemade food which was priced reasonably, and also a retail food room with in-date food for 50% to 60% off retail prices. At the end of the night, the auctioneer would bring out several large boxes and fill them in front of everyone as people were bidding. Everyone was able to see in full view what merchandise was being placed in those boxes. Well, you guessed it. I bid on those boxes and won the bid. It cost me approximately $125.00 for a total of six boxes. I never thought about how I was going to get those boxes home, since we came to the auction in a car and not a truck. The auctioneer was kind enough to follow us home with all the boxes of merchandise, and at no charge either.
After going through the boxes, I found some commercial copper fittings for AC units worth around $100 each. I had 50 of them. I decided to go to a flea market with all the merchandise and sell the merchandise I purchased. I took all the copper units and several other items and sold all the fittings on my first day at the flea market for $60.00 each, or $300.00 total for all 50 units. I sold them to an AC contractor. This was in 1966 and $300 was like hitting the lottery. That is what sold me on selling at flea markets, and I am still selling today. I have done markets ever since, from small to large, county fairs and local fairs. I started small, invested what I made in purchasing other merchandise and used my 1966 Chevy S.S. for a vehicle to start with.
It is best to start out small, then add as you grow. Try different merchandise, different markets and then add a service business as well.
Where to find Paul Runtich online
The Flea Market Advisor
by Paul Runtich
This book was written for beginner and seasoned flea market vendors with advice, tricks and tips on how to be successful in marketing and selling at any flea market, event, fair or show. This book provides easy to follow instructions on how to make money at flea markets; in addition to how to open and operate a flea market as a business.
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