West Coast Trading
7731 Somerset blvd.
Paramount, CA 90723
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How To Price Items at Flea Markets-Swap Meets
Have you ever tried to sell something that you knew was worth it, but no one would buy it?
You need to know THE GOLDEN RULE of flea markets and swap meets: AN ITEM IS ONLY WORTH WHAT SOMEONE IS WILLING TO PAY FOR IT.
Like it or not this is just a plain fact. This is why the pricing of your items is so important. Be sure to price your merchandise well in advance of the market and be sure to set the prices for everything you'll be selling. Also, you may want to change some of your prices from week to week, depending on which flea market you're selling at. If you regularly purchase most of your stock from the same place have a small variety of items, you know what your cost is and what the market will bear, you'll be safe with a simple markup policy for everything.
If, however, you make your merchandise purchases from different sources (wholesale overstock, closeout or return merchandise warehouses for instance) and your wholesale lots quite often contain different types of items, you'll find that a simple mark-up process will not apply.
A good general rule for pricing any merchandise which can be purchased in retail stores: The magic selling price seems to be about 66% less than an item's retail price. Pricing merchandise at half of its retail price usually isn't enough.. Buyers (especially women) will not buy anything from a flea market when they know they can buy it when it's on sale at a store for that price. For example, say you're asking $10 for a 'widget' which sells for $15 in stores. No one will buy it from you--but they will buy it from the store when it goes on sale for $10. This same principle applies no matter what the retail price of the item.
The pricing information we are providing here are GUIDELINES only. If you have a price strategy that is working well, by all means stick with it.
1. The first thing you want to do before a weekend flea market...go and purchase a local newspaper's weekend edition. It will have all the sales for that weekend. Check and see if any of your merchandise is on sale. If any items are on sale, reprice those items well below the stores sale price. You don't want to be selling your 'widgets' for $25 if Walmart has them on sale for $20.
2. If someone is haggling with you--and they walk away without BUYING, you've LOST. When this happens, it often pays to call them back and say, "OK, I'll give it to you for X amount." As long as this amount is exactly what they offered, they'll buy it. This way, you're still making a profit. On a slow selling day this tip can turn a bad day into a good day, and on a good day it can still increase your profits. With any potential customer, take the time to find the price you can both agree on, this makes for a "Win-Win" deal.
3. Sometime people think that they're getting a good deal only if they can beat you down to a ridiculously low price where you make little or nothing. Don't waste your time haggling with them, it will do no good and you might miss out on other buyers with whom you might have made a sale.
4. How do you set a selling price for an item when you've no idea of it's value? Sometimes you have to price something higher than the buyers are willing to pay. You will want to use this strategy to discover what the market will pay for your item: start with a high price and then gradually lower it, people will tell you what they think of your price and will eventually you will find out the best asking price!
5. Rare, antique or obscure items. For those items that just don't fit in the regular pricing strategies discussed above, The Antiques Roadshow people publish some pretty good guides that cover exactly how to determine an item's year of manufacturer, it's desirability among collectors, and of course, what is its approximate value. You can find these guides for sale all over the web and they are pretty reasonably priced.
West Coast Depot provides the information contained on this site and is meant as general information only. It should not be used as a substitute for legal, tax or financial
advice. As laws vary from state to state, and are constantly changing, only a lawyer, accountant, tax or financial advisor can provide you with specific advice to rely upon.