Product Sourcing Course for Flea Market Vendors – Introduction

This course will introduce you to some methods of product sourcing and also give you some tips to find flea market items to sell.

I created this course to supplement Chris Malta’s free product sourcing course. Chris Malta is founder and CEO of Worldwide Brands. Chris and his team over at Worldwide Brands produce very high quality wholesale sourcing information. I highly recommend that you sign up for their Free Product Sourcing Newsletter, where you will find tradeshows, wholesalers, and other product sourcing news. As a flea market vendor, you may find the contents to be very valuable and useful in your flea market business.

The course from Worldwide Brands is very informative and flea market vendors can find great tips and ideas to use for their product sourcing. However, their course is mainly focused on obtaining products for online businesses and/or eBay auctions. Most flea market vendors do not sell on the internet yet. Also, a lot of flea market vendors do not use eBay auctions to supplement their flea market business.

So I created this course to help flea market vendors apply the product sourcing tips and information to their flea market business. In each lesson you will find questions, brainstorming, and action steps that correspond to each section of the Worldwide Brands’ course. So let’s get started!

Product Sourcing Course for Flea Market Vendors Lesson 1: Local Sourcing for Flea Market Vendors

In this lesson you will learn what product sourcing is, how a flea market vendor can benefit from proper sourcing methods, and which local sourcing methods to use for your flea market business.

Step 1: Watch the video format of Chris Malta’s Product Sourcing Course to get a general idea of the information that you will learn.

Step 2: Download your copy of Chris Malta’s “Successful Product Sourcing” e-book. You will refer to chapters within this e-book in each lesson of this Product Sourcing Course for Flea Market Vendors.

[Please note that both links above open in a new window so that you won’t lose your place on this page. Just close the window when you are done and come back here to finish your lesson.]

Step 3: Read (pages 1-3) of the “Successful Product Sourcing” e-book. For this lesson we will focus on the local sourcing methods section of Chapter 1. We will cover the “Factory Authorized Wholesale Suppliers” and other sections of Chapter 1 in a later lesson.

Step 4: Review the key points below.

Key Points of This Chapter

-Key Point # 1: The benefits of doing your product sourcing properly for your flea market business are:

    -  You earn the highest possible profit margins from your booth.
    -  You can be flexible in the products that you offer to your shoppers.
    -  You can effectively compete with other flea market vendors’ prices.

-Key Point # 2: The local sourcing methods mentioned include:

    -  Attics, Garages, and Yard Sales
    -  Local Merchants
    -  Local Artisans
    -  Storage Unit Auctions

Step 5: Review these brainstorming ideas and answer the questions.

As a flea market vendor, you probably use some of the local product sourcing methods mentioned above to source your products already. What other local sourcing methods do you currently use?

Brainstorm some other methods. Some other local sourcing methods that I can think of are: local auctions; other flea markets or trade days; merchandise from friends, family, and/or neighbors. Can you think of any other local sourcing methods? List them below.

Step 6: Review the action steps below, choose which action steps you want to try and then make the time to complete these steps. List your own notes in the space provided under each action step.

- Action Step # 1: Browse through the yard sales and garage sales section of your local newspaper. Make a list of the sales that offer the types of products that you sell or would like to sell. Then make the time to check them out. You may find some great merchandise that you can resell at your flea market booth.

- Action Step # 2: Ask family members, friends, or neighbors if they have any items that they don’t want or would like you to sell for them at your flea market booth. Sometimes people just want to get rid of items and they will give them to you for free. Or you could offer to give them a portion of the money that you receive from the item when it sells. Think of a few people and list them below, then start asking them for their unwanted items.

- Action Step # 3: Check out the local auction listings. You can sometimes find these listed in your local newspaper. Some flea market owners provide a calendar of local auctions taking place in the area. These calendars usually list the times and dates that the auctions are taking place. Some even include a short description of the items that will be available at the auction. Ask your flea market owner if they provide this. Visit the auctions that offer the types of products that you would like to sell.

- Action Step # 4: Contact the local Self-Storage facilities in your area. You can usually find these in the phone book. Ask if they are having any auctions soon. Make a note of times and dates, then visit these auctions.

- Action Step # 5: Take a trip around town to find local merchants that you can obtain products from. Thrift Stores or Dollar stores can provide some good products. Items you obtain from these sources can be combined to create a package deal.

For example, you can obtain an assortment of toys and games from these sources then buy some party bags and candy. Put the toys, games and candy in the party bag to create grab bags. Add a list of websites that you can find free printable party games or printable craft projects and you have a product that would be great for teachers or room moms. I would have been happy to buy these pre-made grab bags when I was room mom chairperson for my daughter’s class. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy from having to go to the store, buy the items, and fill the bags, then research to find some games or craft projects.

Brainstorm some product ideas using local merchants. What other ideas come to mind?

- Action Step # 6: Research the local artisans in your area. Check around to see what kind of items are available through these local crafters. You can either approach them about offering a few of their items on consignment at your flea market booth. Or you can ask to buy a few products at a discount rate to resell them. Make a list of your local artisans and start contacting them.

- Action Step # 7: Although this is not really a product sourcing method, I thought it fit in well here because it supplements well with the local merchant and artisan methods. Check out the local merchants and service providers that sell products or services that are complimentary to your own products.

Brainstorm some ideas about what people would buy before or after they buy your products. Then contact and partner with the local business owners or service providers that offer these products or services.

There are many ways that you could partner with these local businesses. You could swap business cards, you would pass out their cards to your customers and they would pass out your cards to their customers. You could pass out their business cards and ask for a % of the profits they make from the customers that you refer. You could offer an advertisement within your newsletter about their products or services. You would either charge for this advertisement or ask for a % of profits. I will be dedicating an entire course to partnering with local businesses. These are just some ideas to get you started. Think of the local businesses in your area that provide similar or related products and services. Brainstorm some ways that you could help each other build your businesses.

-Action Step # 8: There are numerous ways to increase your product selection using local sourcing methods. Be creative and try to think of some other methods that you can use to obtain flea market items to sell from your flea market booth.

To get the most benefit out of this course, please make sure that you follow through with and apply the action steps that are relevant to you and your flea market business. In the next lesson we will learn about product sourcing middlemen. These are the people that stand between you and the real wholesalers. Let’s learn how to spot them and how to avoid them. So when you’re ready, let’s move on to lesson 2.

Lesson 1    Lesson 2    Lesson 3    Lesson 4    Lesson 5    Lesson 6

* Some of the information in this course is extracted from the “Successful Product Sourcing” e-book which is Copyrighted by Worldwide Brands, Inc.


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