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Insiders’ Secrets To Flea Market Profits

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin All rights reserved.

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I n s i d e r S e c r e t s T o F l e a M a r k e t P r o f i t s - L a r r y L . A u s t i n P a g e 2 o f 1 0 1

Please Read This First

“Flea Market Secrets” is copyright  Larry L. Austin, P.O. Box 640, 12300 SE

130 Ave., Ocklawaha, Florida 32183 Email: FloridaBud@mfi.net

This book may only be sold by current Members of Ebookwholesaler. This book

must not be offered through auctions or auction sites under any circumstances. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the author except for brief passages which may be used by a reviewer. Copying by any means including electronic methods, selling or hiring, transmission by voice, electronic mail, posting to a Web site or uploading to an ftp site or CD duplication is strictly forbidden. Legal action will be taken against offenders.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The author, his publisher, agents, resellers or distributors assume no liability or responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the use of and the advice given in this publication.

It is recommended that users of this guide seek legal accounting and other

independent professional business advice before starting a business or acting upon any advice given in this guide. The user should seek the legality of the advice given pertaining to any laws that may exist in his or her local community, state, or country. This book is not intended for use as a source of legal, accounting, business, or financial advice. This guide is written for information purposes only.

Any perceived slight of any person or organization is totally unintentional.

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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Table of Contents

Please Read This First .............................................................................................2

Author’s note ............................................................................................................7

Introduction ..............................................................................................................8

Secrets The Flea-market Dealers Don’t Want You to Know! ...........................12

Wholesale Prices.....................................................................................................14

Settle for Less….Get More....................................................................................15

The 3 x Mark-up ...................................................................................................................... 15

Where Dealers Buy and a Few Jokes For the Road ...........................................17

Where To Get Your Merchandise ........................................................................19

Other Choices .........................................................................................................22

Tail-Gaters ..............................................................................................................23

Table Swapping ......................................................................................................24

Hard Luckers..........................................................................................................25

Dumpster Diving ....................................................................................................26

What to Sell.............................................................................................................28

Where to Get Products ..........................................................................................30

After-market merchandise by the pallet............................................................................... 31

Where to Set Up .....................................................................................................32

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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I n s i d e r S e c r e t s T o F l e a M a r k e t P r o f i t s - L a r r y L . A u s t i n P a g e 4 o f 1 0 1

1. Regular Markets and How to Find Them...................................................................... 32

2. Road Side Set Ups… On Your Own............................................................................... 32

3 Parking Lots ...................................................................................................................... 33

Necessary Permits ..................................................................................................35

The Big Question. ................................................................................................................ 35

What You Will Need on the Road. .......................................................................38

Supplies and cost.................................................................................................................. 38

“No One Home” Campgrounds............................................................................42

The 5 Most Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them..................................43

How to Deal With Jerk Vendors...........................................................................47

Give Me the Low Road ..........................................................................................49

Take the High Road ...............................................................................................52

Price Wars...............................................................................................................53

Have Some Fun, Start Your Own Price War With Your Partner! .................................... 55

How to Make Quiet Money… Dealer to Dealer .................................................57

Back Door Sales......................................................................................................63

How To Stay Alive & Well On The Road............................................................64

E-Z Living…No Money - No Problem!................................................................65

Road Travel Note: ................................................................................................................ 66

Part Time Work at Campgrounds .......................................................................67

Never Sell Low on Friday......................................................................................70

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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I n s i d e r S e c r e t s T o F l e a M a r k e t P r o f i t s - L a r r y L . A u s t i n P a g e 5 o f 1 0 1

The Sales Tax Trap ................................................................................................71

Prices, Prices, Prices ..............................................................................................73

Quick Trades Without Money ..............................................................................75

Stay or Leave ..........................................................................................................76

Rule # 1. After you finish a market, leave.......................................................................... 76

Building Inventory vs. Money In Your Wallet ...................................................78

One-Day, Two-Day, Three-Day & All-Week Markets.......................................79

One-Day Markets: .................................................................................................................. 79

Two-Day Markets ................................................................................................................... 80

Three-Day Markets................................................................................................................. 80

All Week Markets ................................................................................................................... 81

First Monday Markets...........................................................................................82

Camping for Free ...................................................................................................83

Sell Your Own Products ........................................................................................84

In Conclusion..........................................................................................................85

Try to be as self-contained as you can afford. .................................................................... 87

Glossary of Terms ..................................................................................................88

Confidential Sources of Supply ............................................................................90

Businesses That Work ...........................................................................................92

A Sales Tip ............................................................................................................................... 94

From a Female Point of View ...............................................................................95

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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Bathroom Procedures............................................................................................................. 95

What to take: ........................................................................................................................ 95

What not to take: .................................................................................................................. 95

Know the prices of the merchandise: .................................................................................... 96

What food to take with you:................................................................................................... 96

Clothing to take:...................................................................................................................... 96

Driving: .................................................................................................................................... 96

Breakdowns ............................................................................................................................. 96

What not to do:..................................................................................................................... 96

Displays:................................................................................................................................... 97

Helping With the Set-up at Markets ..................................................................................... 97

Odds & Ends...........................................................................................................98

Make your own tables: ........................................................................................................... 98

Table Covers:........................................................................................................................ 98

Vendor awnings: ..................................................................................................................... 99

Tarpaulins: .............................................................................................................................. 99

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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I n s i d e r S e c r e t s T o F l e a M a r k e t P r o f i t s - L a r r y L . A u s t i n P a g e 7 o f 1 0 1

Author’s note

I’m forever thankful for what the road has given me; the freedom of life that few have experienced.

Most of what I’ve learned has come from my fellow vendors and customers. Like a vast network of learning…with every set-up, some new thing, a tip, a sales pitch, another location to try out.

All for free!

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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I n s i d e r S e c r e t s T o F l e a M a r k e t P r o f i t s - L a r r y L . A u s t i n P a g e 8 o f 1 0 1

Introduction

Back in the early 80’s, I was fed up with my going-nowhere job. Don’t get me wrong, the job was well respected and the money was enough; I was a classroom teacher.

But after a few years, I found myself staring out the classroom windows at the real world. I wanted to travel. I had seen many people wait until it was too late to start living the good life. Many fell into tragic endings, including my own parents.

There had to be a way to break out.

So begins my story.

My journey - and hopefully yours very soon.

Not knowing anything about how to make money was a big problem.

I knew I had to learn; it was the only way that I could escape the classroom.

It wasn’t easy. There was no one interested in showing me anything that would help. In fact, quite the opposite. Friends and relatives like to keep you in your place; you know - the little box they have drawn around your life. They want you to stay in that box. It keeps the pecking order in place.

No help came from that camp.

I really like to travel so the first thing I did was to make a list of possible ways to make money on the road. I wrote down the pros and cons of each idea.

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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I n s i d e r S e c r e t s T o F l e a M a r k e t P r o f i t s - L a r r y L . A u s t i n P a g e 9 o f 1 0 1

Finally it hit me that the easiest way to make money with the least amount of hassle was to work flea markets!

Over the next two years, I haunted flea markets in my area. I checked out the dealers, what they were selling and also, how they were talking to the customers. I took notes on what seemed to work and what didn’t.

Somewhere along the way I realized the first secret; only a few vendors were making any real money!

The second secret that I discovered was just as important; where and how the flea market was located and how it was managed.

This set the pace of business. Some products worked and some didn’t. (What to sell and what not to sell).

The next big problem was I didn’t know how to SELL…or…what to SAY to make

it work. I found a cheap-priced flea market that was close to home. Finally with great effort, I got the courage up to rent a booth and, telling myself I could do it, tested the waters.

(If you have never sold anything to strangers, don’t get too nervous about this short story. You can do it and, with a little practice, you will be making sales with the best of them, trust me. ☺ )

I was a woodworker in my spare time, so I decided to make some routed wood

signs. You know, the ones with sayings on them, (that way I figured I could make my own products at home and not worry about the extreme hassle of trying to take a workshop of electric hungry tools to market, let alone do the work and sell at the same time - No Way!)

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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So, there I was. It was getting close to Christmas. I made some neat folding lean-back racks for the signs to be displayed on. I placed my beautiful holiday signs on the racks. They really looked nice. Much to my pleasure a large crowd of people stopped at my booth. They exclaimed how beautiful the signs were. Some made remarks like “those are the best looking signs I’ve ever seen!” Wow, there must have been 30-40 great compliments that day.

One problem, at the end of the selling day I had made NO SALES AT ALL! The

final blow was when some jerk came by and told me it was a great idea and he was going home to make some for himself! A Lesson Learned: Sell What the

Customer Wants, Not What You Want.

After a few more tries I switched to several kinds of sample signs in my booth and let the customers place orders for them to be ready the next weekend…With Their Own Words On Them! You know, stuff like, ‘The Jones’, ‘Bob & Mary’, or

‘Thank you for not smoking’, etc, etc.

Of course I would always take a small deposit to secure the deal. I made out an order form with the exact size of the sign, type of letter style and so on (this is very important when doing custom work of any kind). Always make sure the customer signs the order form and you have a way to contact them during the week. (Don’t forget to get their phone number also if something comes up, as things happen once in a while.)

I finally was starting to make some weekend money. The dream of traveling was getting closer and closer. Then, quite by accident I discovered a “Directory to Flea Markets.” It listed the markets state by state, the phone numbers, hours of

business, etc.

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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I n s i d e r S e c r e t s T o F l e a M a r k e t P r o f i t s - L a r r y L . A u s t i n P a g e 1 1 o f 1 0 1

Boy, I was ready to hit the road! I had quit my teaching career and was living down on the Mississippi Gulf coast. With the help of my small weekend market work and a couple hundred a month I got from a real estate mortgage, I was ready to travel.

After trying a bunch of different items on the side, I finally decided that the only thing to do was put my wood sign business on hold and stock up on high mark-up items that took little space and could be sold just about anywhere. Incidentally, that item was jewelry, (see reference section for sources). When I had enough to sell, I packed up and hit the road.

Since that time way back then, I’ve traveled most everywhere that I wanted to go.

The markets have always paid my way. My travels, as well as yours will give you fond memories filled with stories and adventures. I’ve camped with millionaires and outlaws both, each with their own thoughts and outlook on life. You will soon learn that there is a lot of fun to be had and a lot of things to do and see. Don’t wait until it’s too late. GET STARTED NOW!

P.S. I have had vendors tell me that the first time I break a $1000 dollars in sales in one weekend, I will turn to my partner and say, “you know, even if I was worth something before, I’ll never be worth anything again! Making this kind of money in one weekend!”

Copyright © 2004 Larry L. Austin

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