Marketing Your Flea Market Business Course– Introduction

This course will introduce you to some methods of marketing your flea market business. Learn how to apply relationship, viral, website and email marketing strategies to your marketing campaign.

I created this course to give flea market vendors some marketing tips that they could use to bring in more traffic to their booths. Vendors should not only rely on the flea market owner’s advertising to bring in traffic. The owner’s job is to let people know about the flea market, the vendor’s job is to let people know about your business and products.

This course will not only give you tips about offline marketing, but will also give you some internet marketing tips that you can use to start your own online marketing plan. By combining the two sources you will be able to reach more of your target customers. So let’s get started with our first lesson!

Marketing Your Flea Market Business Course - Lesson 1: Getting the Word Out

In this lesson you will learn about using business cards, classified ads, and press releases to get the word out about your business. There are many ways to let people know about your business. As a flea market vendor you have the advantage of the advertising that the owner does to bring in traffic, but how can you bring in potential customers to your booth?

Creating a business card to display your business name and products is a good way to start. There are many places online to obtain low cost business cards. Vista Print is the company that I used and recommend to my vendors. Get FREE Business Cards! Click here. There are many ways to use business cards to your advantage. You can:

    - pass them out to your customers so that they remember to come to
      you for their next purchase.

    - ask your customers to give them to their friends and family.

    - give them to people you meet at the grocery store, your child’s
      school, your church, or any other place that you go.

    - post them on bulletin boards at local laundromats, supermarkets,
      stores, and any other place that provides these boards.

Another alternative to business cards is printing fliers or brochures and passing them out. You can easily create your own using programs that are already on your computer. Having your business details printed on pens, t-shirts, magnets, bumper stickers, and other items can also be useful for spreading your business name.

Placing classified ads in your local newspapers can let local people know about your business. You can include the types of products that you sell and the name of the flea market and don’t forget to include your booth number. Or you can announce a promotion or giveaway event. Here are some examples:

Great Prices on Name Brand Furniture Items.
Visit us at ABC Flea Market (Booths A1-A5)
123 ABC Drive Anytown, AL 54321
Call (123) 456-7890 for directions.

20% off all silver jewelry at Betty’s Jewelry
Visit us at ABC Flea Market (Booths B1-B5)
123 ABC Drive Anytown, AL 54321
Call (123) 456-7890 for directions.

Free gift with any purchase from Smith’s Gifts
Visit us at ABC Flea Market (Booths C1-C5)
123 ABC Drive Anytown, AL 54321
Call (123) 456-7890 for directions.

Win a $25 gift certificate. For entry details
visit us at ABC Flea Market (Booths D1-D5)
123 ABC Drive Anytown, AL 54321
Call (123) 456-7890 for directions.

You can also place classified ads online. There are many places online that accept free classified ads. Craigslist is a popular free classified ads site. You can place free ads in large cities close to you. Using this service may give you more targeted advertising than other generic online classified ad sites.

Update: Ebay now has a classified ad format. Ebay is one of the top 10 most visited sites on the internet. You can get good traffic from a great ad placed on high traffic sites. Find out more about using ebay classified ads here.

Writing press releases can give you some free publicity for your business. Here are some press release tips from PR Web, a popular news and press release distribution site. You can use these tips to create a press release to distribute to online sources.

Want to get names and news from your business in the local newspaper? It may be easier than you think. If you don't have any news to report to the local media, create some. Maybe you've taken on a new associate. Or maybe you're selling an unusual product line. Or maybe you've opened a free advice center for the community. Or maybe you've received an award from a civic or professional group. Local Pennysavers and weekly publications are often quite interested in business news of this sort and can help you attract the attention of thousands of people.

You may be able to attract the attention of the media or a crowd by staging a special promotional event. For example, if you're selling children's products and it's springtime, you can offer lunch with the Easter bunny. Or you can celebrate special business related holidays. Almost every business has a few little-known holidays. Ever hear of National Pickle Day, for instance? Or Cat Lovers Month? Maybe you could celebrate the month that you started your business with a customer appreciation event or sale. Once you find the "right" holiday, you can sponsor a special sale and arrange media coverage of your holiday event.

Offer a desirable or unique item (or even several items) as contest prizes. First, find a contest theme that ties into your business. A vendor that sells baked goods, cook books, or kitchen utensils might offer a pie-eating contest. A vendor that sells children’s items might offer a cutest baby contest. A vendor that sells craft supplies might offer a best Christmas (or other holiday) craft idea contest. Invite contest submissions and offer prizes to the winners. Do contests attract attention? You bet. All it takes is a few signs, a small press announcement or two, and the word will spread throughout the community grapevine.

Prize drawings have worked well for our flea market and our vendors. To get people to sign up for our monthly customer newsletter, we held a prize drawing. All that our customers had to do was fill out a form with their name and address and agree to receive our newsletter by mail. We offered 2 prizes, a remote control hummer and a $25 gift certificate to be used anywhere in our market. One of our vendors uses prize drawings very frequently. Any customer that purchases $50 or more from their booth gets entered to win a free gift product. The prizes are products that they sell and vary from a snow globe to a bamboo water fountain. This kind of prize drawing encourages people to spend more money at your booth because they want the chance to get a free prize.

I hope that the above information has given you some ideas about how to get the word out about your business. Below are some action steps to help you put this information to use.

Action Step 1: Review the tips and methods listed above.

Action Step 2: Decide which methods are most relevant to your flea market business.

Action Step 3: Develop a marketing plan using the methods that you think will bring you the best results.

Action Step 4: Put your marketing plan into action.

Sample Marketing Plan

Here is a sample marketing plan to get you started. In this example we will use a prize drawing as our method of marketing.

Step 1: Choose a product from your booth to use as a prize.

Step 2: Decide what you want the customer to do to receive the prize. This could be to spend a certain amount at your booth, join your customer mailing list, or any other action that you would like them to take.

Step 3: Decide on a starting and end date for the drawing.

Step 4: Create a classified ad to place in local newspapers. Use the fourth example of a classified ad above as a guide. You may also want to create an ad on Craigslist.

Step 5: Create a flyer about your prize drawing, then post them anywhere that you can.

Step 6: Create a press release, then submit it to local newspapers and online press release sites.

Step 7: Once the prize drawing has closed, you need to pick the winner and distribute the prize. You may want to contact all participants and offer them a coupon, discount, or special offer to thank them for participating.

Please feel free to customize this sample marketing plan to suit your own flea market business. Once you have customized your own marketing plan please feel free to share it with other vendors by using our contact form. Or if you have had success using any of the methods in this lesson you can share it too. I will post it on our website and list your name, business information, and a link to your website with the post.

To get the most benefit out of this course, please make sure that you follow through with and apply the action steps. In the next lesson we will learn about developing relationships and friendships to build your flea market business. So let’s move on to lesson 2.

Lesson 1    Lesson 2    Lesson 3    Lesson 4    Lesson 5

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