If you’re looking to make some money quickly, flea market flipping is one of the best options out there!
Flea markets are places where dealers meet to sell their goods and where you can go to find great deals on all kinds of items. They have more of a village feel to them and are probably the most primitive way to buy and sell in modern times. People just pull up in their cars, get their items out, and wait for you to come by and give them cash for their stuff.
Shopping at flea markets is certainly a different experience than going to a local retail store and grabbing something off a shelf or buying things online and having them shipped to your door. You get more of a personal connection with the dealers as they sit out next to their booths and interact with you if you have any questions.
I love shopping at flea markets and am glad they’re still around today! Because you can find items so cheap, it makes it easy to turn around and sell what you find at places like eBay or craigslist for more money.
Getting the most money reselling things comes down to where you try to sell them. Because there aren’t many people shopping at flea markets, the dealers have to price their items cheaper in order to be sure they sell. An item that sells at a flea market for $5 could very well sell for $100 if it’s listed online where there are millions more people shopping.
What is Flea Market Flipping
Flea market flipping can really be boiled down to four words “buy low, sell high.” The idea is that you buy items at a steep discount and resell what you buy at a higher price.
I’ve been flipping for a couple of years now and last year I ended up making a profit of over $10,000 doing it part-time. It’s a great way to earn some extra money and I wanted to share some specific tips on using flea markets as a place to find good items for reselling.
Find the Best Flea Markets in Your Area
To become a flea market flipper, you must first know which flea market to go to! If you only have one in your area, then you know where to go, but if there are several, pick a day to visit all of them and see what they’re like.
You’ll want to pay attention to how many people show up to sell and what kind of items they have.
If the flea market is located in a higher-class area, you may find that people are charging too much for you to be able to make good profits when you go to resell.
If the market is in a lower-class area, you may find that the quality of items to buy isn’t that great. This is why it’s important to go to all the flea markets near you and find out which ones you should start shopping at regularly.
Take Plenty of Cash
Chances are, you will only be able to pay with cash for anything you buy at a flea market.
Make sure you stop at an ATM on the way, or the day before you plan to go.
Take more cash than you think you will need because there’s nothing worse than finding a killer item and not having enough money to pay for it.
Get There Early
Most flea markets open up really early and you want to be there as soon as they do. If the dealers already have their items out, you got there too late. Getting there so early is important because other people will also be shopping as soon as possible.
I’ve even heard of people buying a dealer booth so they can get in before the flea market opens and shop.
Some of the dealers might even walk around and see if anything is worth buying before they set out their stuff. If someone buys the good items before you get to them, you may as well stay home. There’s always a chance that someone won’t notice the good stuff, but you’ll do much better if you’re the first one out there.
Keep this old cliche in mind “the early bird gets the worm”.
Along with getting to the flea market early, it’s important to act quickly when you see something you want. If you’re standing there looking at things, someone could come up and purchase something you were interested in if you don’t claim it right away.
The flea market game is a competitive one and unless you’re the only one shopping, all items are up for grabs at any moment.
Develop a Keen Eye for Value
It takes some time to develop, but eventually, you’ll be able to spot valuable items quickly. It may take digging through a pile of what looks like junk to find a hidden treasure. Don’t just quickly walk by the dealer booths skimming over things. You might miss a good item if you don’t look thoroughly.
You also shouldn’t let dirty or damaged items dismay you from purchasing. You’d be amazed at how well some items clean up with a simple cleaning. When it comes to furniture, you can make nice profits if you’re willing to do a little refurbishing.
A great way to find an item’s value is by searching for it on eBay and setting the filter to “sold” to see what it’s going for. This may be tricky to do while you’re at the flea market though. You may have to take a chance and hope the item you’re buying is worth more than what you pay. Sometimes you have to “pay for your education” meaning you might buy an item that isn’t worth any more than what you paid.
One of my favorite things about shopping at flea markets is that you can almost always get the dealers to come down a little on their asking price. If something is $20, see if you can get it for $15.
There’s no harm in asking for a lower price as long as you do it in a polite way. Kindness goes a long way in many areas in life and it’s no different at flea markets. The more likable you are, the better chance you have of getting discounts on items you want to buy.
Don’t lowball the dealers though. It isn’t worth it to upset them and they may not want to do any future business with you if you try to get them to go too low on prices.
Buying things at flea markets is very personal. You have to talk with the dealers face to face to make the deal. If you plan on going to flea markets on a regular bases, getting to know the dealers can pay off big time!
Let them know what kind of items you’re looking for and if you buy something from them, tell them you’ll be interested if they come across any more of the same type of thing. You may even give out your phone number and tell them to contact you if they come across the items you’re interested in.
Building relationships is a great way to make sure you get value when you continuously go to flea markets.
How Much Can You Make Flea Market Flipping
The sky’s really the limit when it comes to flipping things. If you’re just looking to make a side income, flipping is one of the easiest and fasted ways to earn extra money.
If you’re looking for a new full-time income source, flipping can also be a great option. The good thing about flipping full-time is that you can control your schedule and not answer to a boss. The downside is that you’re never guaranteed a paycheck and you will have to cover things like health insurance on your own.
For a real-life example, Will over at Terminal99 on Youtube turned flea market flipping into a full-time business so it can be done!
It’s up to you how serious you want to get with flipping, but the most important thing is to take action and develop a system to stay consistent. Over time, you can really build a nice income with reselling.
Nathan has been a personal finance writer since early 2018. He and his wife reached a net worth of one hundred thousand at the age of 25 and are on their way to financial independence. His favorite way to make money is selling things on eBay and has grown his eBay business to earn five figures selling part-time. He loves sharing what he learns about finance and any eBay tips he comes across. If you’re interested in becoming an eBay seller, check out his reseller Facebook group.