Although you can make a living from selling items on Craigslist, eBay or through your own yard sales, venturing to a flea market can help you sell your wares to a wider group of buyers. Becoming a vendor at a flea market is a good first step to building your own store front. You can connect with a lot of collectors and other interested buyers, and your overhead is lower than if you had to lease a storefront.
In Texas, one of the best-known flea markets is Traders Village. The first location opened in Grand prairie in 1973. Since then, locations have opened in Houston and San Antonio as well. There are literally thousands of vendors who set up shop at each location, and Traders Village is a popular destination for shopping and even cultural events as they come through town.
To become a vendor, you just need to pay for a space. You can rent a space by the day or weekend, or you can make a long-term arrangement for a month or even a lifetime membership. This gives vendors plenty of flexibility and makes the lease cheaper than owning a shop premises would be. You'll also need a sales tax permit in order to sell items through the flea market.
A few items are restricted from sale at Traders Village:
Food and drink, as the market has its own food vendors
Anything with copyright infringement
Anything religious or political
Items that are not family-friendly, like adult-related materials
Fireworks or firearms
Aside from these items, you can sell anything you'd like from handmade crafts to electronics or antiques. This makes the flea market a great destination for auction hunters since your merchandise will vary so much from one week to the next. As you meet buyers, you can figure out different people's unique tastes and make lasting connections with your top buyers so you can contact them in the future for a quick sale of certain types of items.
Although Traders Village only exists in three Texas cities, there are hundreds of flea markets throughout the state. For example, Austin has several large flea markets, including the Country Flea Market on U.S. 290 and the swap meet at Bergstrom Airport.
You can find a flea market, swap meet or vendors fair in your city by searching online or asking around from other vendors. Check to see if there are any limitations on what type of items can be sold, since some locations will have different requirements than others. Before you decide on one, try visiting to get an idea of what types of wares are sold and who shops there. This will help you figure out which location will be best for you.