Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we set up our flea market wares at the local swap meet -- we're out in the boonies and it's a fairly informal gathering of around 20-30 vendors. The owner of the lot charges $4 a space and doesn't really care what people sell as long as it's more-or-less legal.

I've seen the market hopping, but this wasn't one of those days. It was seriously dead. And I had a number of people who wanted to lowball the prices to below what I paid wholesale and a couple got aggressively rude when I refused to accept, say, $.25 for a rhinestone barrette marked $2.

I sold a total of $30 in hair accessories and costume jewelry. Waste of time if that's what I got every time.

However, here's my observations of the day:

1/2 of the women walking by stopped

Of those,

1/4 bought something -- I made 7 sales

So I figure if I'm in a better location I ought to make a decent number of sales. I'm going to try one of the big swap meets in Phoenix next.

Most of the people who were actually interested in a sale had no problems paying what I was charging, too. I think my price point is about right.

One problem I identified is that a lot of my jewelry (which is imported) is probably made by people with very small bones judging by the size of things. Many of my buyers were Indians, and the local tribes tend to have very big boned people. I sold a couple of anklets to people who walked off wearing them on their wrists ... I need to look for necklaces and bracelets that are little longer. Funny the things you don't think about until you do a bit of test marketing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,511 Posts
Congrats!

At least you made some sales!

You will make more sales as you increase your inventory.

Keep your chin up! Don't let the goof-balls that tried to low-ball you get you down.

Clove
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just don't understand the people who want to pay a ridiculously low price, and are aggressive about it. Do they think I'll sell it for less than I paid wholesale?

I'd be embarrassed to act that way -- to look that cheap, and generally rude.
 

·
Goshen Farm
Joined
·
7,271 Posts
There is a swap meet in tucson near drexal and cardinal where they will stand and scream that you wont sell them something for a quarter when it is only marked fifty cents LOL. Maybe it is an arizona thing? sis
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know if it's an Arizona thing or a "low class" thing.

I can haggle with the best of them, but there's a difference in haggling a price down to a reasonable level and what some people try to do. There seems to be a certain subgroup of flea market customers who believe that because Jane Smith one row over is selling dirty, used, falling-to-pieces thingamabobs that you, who have new, shiny thingamabobs should beat Jane Smith's price. And you are ripping everyone off if you do not lower your prices.

It's more of an issue, I think, in swaps (like the one I attended) where there's both new and used merchandise on sale -- at least, that's my theory. I think certain people don't differentiate between "someone took a yard sale to the flea market" and "someone has brand new stuff they paid for, and expect to turn a profit on."

I'm selling hair accessories. If they want to pay $.25 for someone's gross used hair doodads and maybe catch lice or ringworm or other nasty ickkies (because goodness knows where those used hair doodads have been) and they want to wear dirty, bedraggled crap in their hair, they can be my guest. If they want brand new stuff from me, it's going to cost more.

Somehow, this doesn't compute to some people.

That, or they think I'm just stupid.

Ah, well, I managed to make a sale to 25% of the women walking by, so if those numbers carry over to bigger swaps I ought to do well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,511 Posts
No, we got 'em in Indiana, too.

Last year I set up at a toy train show/swap meet. I had purchased part of a large collection, and was looking to flip it fast, so I marked the stuff cheap. Most of it way too cheap.

The day was a waste for the most part.

But I won't forget 2 guys I met.

One was dressed like a 65 year old wanna-be rock star or, most likely, a dope dealer. He came into my booth, and copped an extreme arrogant attitude.

Then he started saying "You will take $7 for those cars. You will take $50 for that engine. And you will take $5 for those cars." All of his prices were about 1/4 or less than the already attractive (super cheap) prices I had. I politely informed him that he needed to move out of my booth.

About an hour later, a freaky guy got really mad when I politely declined the trade he wanted to make. He wanted to trade some ultra cheap toy police cars from Dollar General for some expensive trains I had.

Now understand that it is very common to see vintage boxes with the original store price tags still attached to them. The same guy got even madder when he found out that I would not honor the $2.95 price sticker from the 1940's, and declared "No one will ever pay more than that for that car".

The same car brought $56 on ebay, which was still cheap.

Matter of fact, all the trains brought great money on ebay. I should have listed them instead of wasting a day at that show.

Then again, I now have 2 unbelievable stories to tell for the rest of my life.

Clove
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,015 Posts
One was dressed like a 65 year old wanna-be rock star or, most likely, a dope dealer. He came into my booth, and copped an extreme arrogant attitude.

Then he started saying "You will take $7 for those cars. You will take $50 for that engine. And you will take $5 for those cars." All of his prices were about 1/4 or less than the already attractive (super cheap) prices I had. I politely informed him that he needed to move out of my booth.
I believe that at that point in time, I would have packed up my things and headed out.

After telling that nimrod " You will get out of my face" .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Had a better day today. Decided to catch the after church crowd. Still slow -- about the same number as yesterday -- but people were in a buying mood. I sold $53, with about half the women walking buy buying something, plus a lot of teen boys who bought friendship bracelets.

With the profit between today and yesterday, I've now paid for one of my two folding tables. :)

I sold almost all of my friendship bracelets -- some of the local teens told their friends and they descended on me en mass. Srsly. It was like I was selling cabbage patch kids in 1984.

I have a handful in ugly colors left; I started with 53. There's a nice profit margin on these, so I'm happy with that. Other people sell them at $3-4 each, but dangit, they only cost about a quarter each. I'd rather sell them by the metric ton at $.75 each than a handful a day at $3! Plus they're good advertising. People tell their friends how cheap I'm selling them and their friends come looking for me and I buy other stuff too!

Am definitely ordering a couple hundred more friendship bracelets.

Need to get some boy stuff ... anyone know if there's anything negatively symbolic about the stainless steel and leather stuff I see right now? When I was a kid it was associated with S&M but I think it's pretty much lost that connotation now, am I right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,511 Posts
Well, you are off to a good start.

Your revenues will continue to grow as your product line grows.

Are you thinking about doubling or tripling your order?

One aspect is that the kids will be in school this week, and good news travels fast. You might consider being prepared.

Clove
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I ordered 100 more of the bracelets, plus some stainless steel jewelry aimed at the teenage boys and tomboys.

I do not intend to sell at this swap every weekend -- mostly I'll be going to the swap meet in Phoenix, which has a ton more traffic. I may sell there on Sundays because it's only ten minutes from my house, and I can also sell poultry there.

I made a point of getting really, really, really bright jewel-tone crushed velvet drapes for my tables. One table is emerald green, the other is royal purple. I'll continue with the jewel tones as I buy more tables ... they can definitely see me from the road if I am there. They can probably see me from outer space. Means when I am there, once people know what I'm selling, they can swing in and see me. They'll remember the tables even if they don't remember me.

*grin*

-- Leva
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,233 Posts
When I was doing shows I had some small sculptures I sold for someone else along with my art I not only had nice table covers but also carried some small tanned rabbit hides and displayed the sculpture on that. It apparantly worked, because it got when I sold a sculpture they'd want to buy the rabbit hide.

Presentation makes a lot of difference ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
Getting out and making sales is what it takes to get started.

Since including military surplus into my wares, I've discovered that I sell my items cheaper that others, yet I still get hassled every once in a while. I sell 30 ft. hanks of parachute cord for $2 each or 3/$5 and can't keep it on the tables. One guy picked one up and handed me $1 and told me that was all he was giving because that's all it was worth. I told him that if he wanted it, he had to come up with another $1. He threw the cord down and stormed off and another man immediately picked up every bit of cord I had on the table. He said that if the man hadn't made such a scene, he wouldn't have noticed it. This man ended up buying over $50 worth of surplus items from me and all because of one irate customer.

Maggie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
But I won't forget 2 guys I met.

One was dressed like a 65 year old wanna-be rock star or, most likely, a dope dealer. He came into my booth, and copped an extreme arrogant attitude.

Then he started saying "You will take $7 for those cars. You will take $50 for that engine. And you will take $5 for those cars." All of his prices were about 1/4 or less than the already attractive (super cheap) prices I had. I politely informed him that he needed to move out of my booth.

Clove
That's acutally a technique I've seen demonstrated on one of those DIY network type tv shows. Can't remember the name of the show but it's one of the British ones (or a knock off) where they give the teams of people a certain amount of spending money then pack them off to a flea market. They buy what they can find and then go to an auction and flog the goods. Whoever makes the most money wins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,511 Posts
That's acutally a technique I've seen demonstrated on one of those DIY network type tv shows. Can't remember the name of the show but it's one of the British ones (or a knock off) where they give the teams of people a certain amount of spending money then pack them off to a flea market. They buy what they can find and then go to an auction and flog the goods. Whoever makes the most money wins.
I don't know about the 65 year old dope dealer rock star. I haven't seen him before or after. Just a weird very heavy set guy, with enough gold jewelry to start a store. He also had an attractive woman with him, and she acted as if she had been beaten down by that freak for years. Just a weird scenario.

Now the other guy, he is a train show regular. I have seen him at every train show in the past 5 years.

Clove
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
... anyone know if there's anything negatively symbolic about the stainless steel and leather stuff I see right now? When I was a kid it was associated with S&M but I think it's pretty much lost that connotation now, am I right?
Maybe. Used to be it was male **** S&M, then it spread to some of the the *******, then to Goth, and I've lost the thread now - it was never what you could call a burning interest of mine, but I used to work in an area that was a big **** home, and a lot of my work "mates" met PC employment criteria. Probably doesn't matter anyway if it sells, but good if you know the implications, and if you balance it out with something else - like the friendship bracelets.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks.

Personally, I *like* the look of the stainless steel jewelry on the right person -- you need the look for it (I couldn't pull it off myself) but it's just neat stuff, and stainless steel's so hard you can cut it in ways you can't with silve. Plus, it doesn't tarnish.

I've spent significantly more than half my life around science fiction fandom. Consequently, there's very little that will surprise me. But I like to know what I'm selling, so as to avoid embarassing myself. :)
 

·
on furlough-downsized
Joined
·
1,516 Posts
Sci-cons, hmmmmm...... We need some of that cool Babylon 5 jewelry, and some Klingon stuff, a few mechanical Tribbles, a couple light sabers...... :D
The most important thing I learned at sci-cons was that some people should NOT wear spandex!! :eek::eek:
I mean, 250 pound girls in Zena costumes.... :eek::eek:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When I think of SF fandom and jewelry and accessories, I think of one of a few things:

Combinations of goth/S&M/punk/ ... and whatever that guy in the two foot tall mohawk with rainbow lights woven into, and wearing a lady's faux fur coat* and safety pin earrings, it is supposed to be. (Hence, my knowlege of past connotations of stainless steel and leather jewelry.)

Cute, particularly as it relates to anime and/or furry fandom ... you know, the folks who wear a pair of doggy ears and a beaded necklace. Or a cat tail. Or antenna. Or faery wings.

Victorian and/or beadwork, handmade, sparkly stuff. Lots of rhinestones.

There's also a small percentage of people who go for the new age/boho/crystal/etc.

The people watching at cons is fantastic ... and there are some of the most interesting people in the world attending.

I tend to show up in a pair of jeans and relatively tame t-shirts. This means I stand out by virtue of being normal. :coffee:

(*I razzed fur coat guy about the fur coat and he said it was his wife's. It was, admittedly, cold that day. *shrug* I guess if you're a guy confident enough to wear a mohawk so tall you need to duck going through doorways, you're confident enough to wear a lady's coat.)
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top