Is It Time For Your Own Store

We are all scrambling around trying to earn more money to pay those bills. As a crafts person the only real way to make extra cash is to sell all those crafts we have created over the years. I know most of us just like to create stuff and end up giving them away as gifts for birthdays and Christmas. But if you have a room full of stuff that you have made it is time to get them out the door and make yourself some money to pay some bills, buy materials and supplies for more craft projects or even to be able to take a class or two and learn a new skill. We want to encourage men, children and women alike to get out there and sell your completed projects. There is always a market for good quality, unique or interesting items. The trick is to find a market that you are comfortable in and jump in!

Personally, I prefer the online sales arena but recently we have decided to involve some of our other family members and have taken the plunge and gotten ourselves a semi-permanent booth at one of the local flea markets. The weather will be getting cooler soon and a flea market may be your ticket to having your own store. Most of these places are only opened on weekends and if you rent a space a month at a time you can get a better price and be able to store your wares there. This is a great advantage in that you will not have to load and unload your vehicle, arrange all of your stuff, etc. Most of the newer flea markets offer spaces with a roof, garage door that you can lock and will allow you the creative freedom to arrange all of your items to your liking. They have the instant traffic that a regular store front cannot guarantee, are less expensive and some have wireless internet, free electric and have bathroom facilities that you do not have to keep up all for less money than a regular retail space.

There are some expenses you will have to incur before opening your doors but with a little imagination, help from family and friends and using what you already have around your house you could create a very special place to show off all of your items. Some of these units will have to be cleaned, painting, lighting may need to be added or rearranged and you will have to keep in mind the weather. Unless your flea market is located within a building you will have to keep yourself cool in warm weather and warm when it gets cooler. You will want to bring your own lunch and drinks and have a partner to help out with bathroom breaks and just to stretch your legs.

Before committing to a space you should check out several different flea markets in your area (if you have more than one) and you definitely should visit them a few times and at various times of day. It is a good idea to take note of the permanent vendors, what they sell, how their store is arranged and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. But only if they are not busy with customers. We have found that most regular vendors at a flea market are helpful and want more regular vendors to bring in more traffic. Pay attention to the vendors and see if they are in a relaxed posture, not yelling at each other, no loud music and not too bunched together then you might have found a very nice place to start. You should read over the rules for vendors, comply with any local ordinances about sales tax and business licenses, etc. Most of all you want to make sure that the different kinds of vendors are spaced out and not all bunched together and selling the same types of things. Most flea market managers will ask what you are selling so that they will offer spaces that are not in direct competition with your immediate neighbors. It is okay to have several vendors selling some of the same kinds of merchandise but you don’t want them too close together.

More later……