I manage the largest outdoor Flea market in a Large city. We are in an old twin Drive-in theatre lot. We are open only Saturday and Sunday. We are dependent on the weather. If the forecast is bad, vendors do not want to bring their stuff and chance dealing with the weather. On a bad day we have a dozen people selling and on a great day we have 300. In decent weather we get 150-200 vendors and 8-10 food trucks.

My Proof: https://i.imgur.com/KmzV883.jpg?1 https://i.imgur.com/KXpyKmC.jpg

edit - an AMA takes more time and effort than I anticipated

edit - added link to facebook page we could use some likes and shares https://www.facebook.com/natesswapshop/

Edit- done for now

Comments: 753 • Responses: 93  • Date: 

Braxo544 karma

Do you get vendors that sell MLM products like essential oils, etc?

bacre590 karma

Very few and they don't stick around for long

AbsoluteTrash_223 karma

Do you kick them out? Or are they just not popular enough so they don’t come back?

bacre449 karma

If they don't make money, they don't come back. We only kick out troublemakers

NimdokBennyandAM130 karma

Any troublemaker stories?

bacre243 karma

A few, I handle customer complaints and any volatile interactions between vendors. I can usually calm anything down once they realize we just want everything to be fair and are not playing favorites. We do have a few vendors who show up through the cold and bad weather that may get special consideration because they support us even in the slow times.

bacre475 karma

We have about 50 regulars and up to 300 daily vendors with a pickup load, van or trailer. About 20 people leave tarped up piles of larger items and secure them. We charge $1.50 to come in and shop and $10 and up to sell depending space and vehicle. We have 50% Hispanic clientele.

ArmoredFan153 karma

Have you ever had IRS run ins? As a venue of cash sellers, I imagine 100% of regulars don't report income. So does the venue ever get questioned?

bacre330 karma

our venue plays it very straight and narrow, I have no idea how individual vendors handle taxes. We give receipts, claim all income and have nothing to do with the Vendors.

PerceptionShift402 karma

Holy shit Nate's Swap n Shop on Reddit!! I have been going to these swap meets over half my life. I don't know if I can even think of any questions since I've bought and sold here so many times. So I guess this is more of a 'thank you for everything'!

My dad and I used to shop here then we started selling. Did that for a while then got an antique store booth nearby and eventually bought that shop. This place seriously had such a huge effect on me. I even wrote about it for my college admission essay. It's really impressive it's still open every weekend. So huge shout out to all of you involved keeping it going. I'll be back again soon :D

This sub says I have to think of a question, so here goes: Does Nate have any connections to Boulevard Swap or are they a competitor? A lot of flipper buddies converted over to there but I never cared for it. But I've heard some talk about coming back. Have you noticed any upticks in biz in the last year, or has business stayed steady?

Bonus round question: Favorite food truck in the lot?

bacre245 karma

Boulevard is friendly competition and many vendors and buyers switch back and forth. Business is so weather dependent it is hard to track upticks. My favorite is the tacos from Edwards Food.

bacre271 karma

This may get me in trouble. I spread my lunch purchases around.

r4wrdinosaur28 karma

We used to go to this swapmeet almost every weekend when I was a kid. Had a similar effect on me as a child! Makes me happy to see it here on reddit!

PerceptionShift12 karma

Hell yes we are the children of Nates!

bacre24 karma

Please give us a like or share on facebook. Our advertising budget is near zero. I have been nagging the owner for a year to get him to put up a newer sign visible from 63rd st.

GodHatesTags212 karma

How do you deal with vendors selling stolen items? Or like most Flea Markets do you just not pay any attention to the merchandise your vendors are selling?

bacre279 karma

We have reported people selling items that screamed stolen. We cannot inspect things for sale due to time constraints. We have only had one problem with stolen merchadise, the local police check us out frequently.

bambam0517163 karma

What's the strangest thing you've ever seen a vendor try to sell?

bacre176 karma

Obligatory sex toys. but probably various things they just found a deal on in bulk and really have very little investment.

ThatGuyGetsIt67 karma

What are some examples of sex toys which are obligatory?

bacre59 karma

Another broad question. Our motto is "everything under the sun"

MediocreFisherman38 karma

But what if its something for where the sun don't shine?

bacre58 karma

Might be available but hopefully hidden from view in a plain brown wrapper

RudeTurnip145 karma

What are some things that you don't like to see at the market or outright prohibit? The big flea market near me in Columbus, New Jersey, has been plagued by Chinese knock-offs for what seems like forever now.

bacre203 karma

Any knock off of copyright items, badly outdated food, firearms or anything that appears likely to be illegal or heavily regulated.

Aruhn28 karma

A place in Texas that doesn't sell firearms?

Edit: nevermind. Someone else said this was in Texas. It is not.

Twafflecone11 karma

Missouri is more pro-gun (in terms of laws anyway) than Texas.

bacre19 karma

We could make a killing if we allowed firearm sales. We are opposed to the potential shady sales that might take place.

lnaver79 karma

Where is your market?

bacre101 karma

Midwest metro with pop. of > 2 million

bacre183 karma

Actually KCMO I am not really concerned with being anonymous. I would love some facebook views and shares.

bacre276 karma

Actually give me a mini reddit hug. Nate's Swap and Shop in Kansas City Missouri. We are on facebook and wish we had a lot of traffic.

mrstickball78 karma

Are you advertising heavily on FB? I run a craft mall and without FB we'd have closed. If you need any (free!) help with Facebook ads, let me know.

bacre71 karma

I have started spending a few bucks on facebook. It is tough to guage the results

bacon_taste30 karma

Used to live in KC, this isn't the one at the old drive-in out by the stadiums is it?

bacre31 karma

yep, not the I-70 very close to the stadium but the old 63rd street kinda close to the stadium.

acertaingestault11 karma

You'll need to link to the page for a Reddit hug

mrstickball65 karma

What are your biggest expenses? What are your most unexpectedly-high expenses?

How many people shop each weekend, on estimate?

Is anything covered, or is it 100% trucks/vans that come in and sell out of the tailgate?

This is an awesome AMA, and kudos to you for running a swap & stop. I run a craft mall and appliance store, and love these down-to-earth business AMAs.

bacre62 karma

Rent, utilities, and dealing with trash are big expenses. One 3000 sqft building and many tent frames. A few garage shelter type structures.

thecashblaster46 karma

Looking at at all the paper on your desk, why not use a spreadsheet program?

bacre70 karma

Too fast paced on sale days and owner is 76 and wants things on paper.

ElleAnn4245 karma

What's your advice for first-time sellers?

snobahr104 karma

I can't answer for flea market stuff specifically, but in my experience:

  • Have your paperwork in order BEFORE arriving. Resell permit, local business license if applicable, whatever the venue demands of its vendors.
  • Have at least one other (reliable!) person with you, so you can go use the restroom as needed.
  • Bring a cooler full of bottled water and snacks (use reusable icepacks instead of loose ice, too - reduces drippiness/mess - the venue will thank you for not leaving a mess, afterwards!).
  • Bring a banker's box-sized plastic box (rather than cardboard) to hold your business-side paperwork in: handwritten receipt book, pens, box of tissue, roll of paper towel, business cards, sunscreen, bandaids, roll of duct tape, a couple of small trash bags
  • If you're going to take plastic, a fully-charged battery pack for your smart device, and make certain your card unit works, and that you have the data available for a day's worth of transactions
  • If you're going to be cash-only, have sufficient change on your person to make change.
  • If you're using a folding table to display your wares, a tablecloth for hiding whatever you stash underneath (assuming you want to put empty boxes/overstock under the table).
  • If you're going to use a canopy of any sort, some manner of weights to keep the wind from blowing it away.
  • In your inventory, decide what your absolute, rock-bottom price is for things, and mark them up at least twice that, and allow yourself to be haggled down. If things sell at their stated price, WOO HOO!
  • If you have the space to do so at home, set up your booth area before you go to the market, to figure out the best way to display your stuff, to make sure your stuff will fit in whatever designated size the venue permits.
  • A comfy folding chair

Remember that everyone at the market place is as human as you are. It costs you nothing to be polite and patient, regardless of how crappy a day your customer(s) might be having - try not to contribute to how crappy it might be.

bacre48 karma

Nice comments with which I agree.

bacre90 karma

That is a broad question. Some things are- Come as a buyer first to get the lay of the land. Bring cool stuff. Make your space look nice. If you are selling craft type items or specialty stuff it may take time to build a clientele. Be reasonably priced and ready to haggle.

bacre84 karma

Bring a friend. Do not run off to the bathroom and leave your stuff. Go with a friend who is also selling stuff. Reasonably priced garage sale type stuff sells well. Many sellers are selling inherited items or things they got for a real bargain at garage or estate sales. Many of our vendors are the people who aggressively hit garage sales and estate sales early to find the items that are a real bargain and then flip them at the swap shop for cheap and they still make money. We get mostly repeat sellers who come a couple times a month to sell the stuff they have collected. Nobody has enough storage for all the bargains available to someone who seriously garage sales.

ItsBail35 karma

Do you charge entry fees? If so how to you keep people from sneaking in and how would you track vendors?

I help out with Amateur Radio related flee markets. Usually we charge at the door and the funds are put towards the club. We keep only one set of door opens and try to funnel the crowd but we often end up with vendors and their "helpers" running back and forth. Many people sneak by because of it.

bacre38 karma

Yes we charge. one entrance and pay upon entry.

Timbo_00733 karma

Have Video game scalpers become a noticable problem?

bacre50 karma

We have some very successful video game console and game sellers, not sure what you mean by scalping but these appear to be licensed retail games and consoles.

Braden073227 karma

I think OP is referring to resellers or "flippers" who are often loathed by collectors since they have driven up the price of classic games in the last 15 years.

bacre38 karma

We get both kinds, flippers and grandparents getting rid of abandoned collections.

09wkd29 karma

What’s the single most expensive item you’ve seen sold?

bacre49 karma

$2000 dollar guitars, $5000 mowers, vehicles, $1000 dollar welded yard sculptures

troyanator28 karma

Who owns the land?

bacre54 karma

Kinda personal, but a trust that has had it for sale at an unrealistic price for a long time. We pay healthy rent.

Cheezeball1414 karma

if in the case it does get sold, will you have to relocate?

bacre21 karma

Relocation would be problematic. Not many large lots close in.

balne21 karma

What's a secret that's interesting and useful to know?

bacre42 karma

Ask for help from staff about good spots that aren't in use that day.

sdcinerama18 karma

I'm a huge fan of drive-ins and am bummed when one closes so... how often do you get people inquiring about reopening the property as a drive-in?

bacre33 karma

It is my understanding that modern drive-in projection equipment is VERY expensive. Our metro is blessed with two operating Drive-ins. We will never show movies again without a million dollar investment.

legendairy45616 karma

If you don’t mind me asking, how are your hours?

bacre31 karma

4:00 Am till 4:00 PM Sat and Sun and then a few hours getting what the trash crew missed diring the weekly cleanup.

hiroo91617 karma

What do you do for the rest of the week?

bacre32 karma

I have a second unrelated part-time job.

Imatworklel-4 karma

just a heads up when I search for your business the google results state that you are open 6am not 4am on Saturday.

bacre3 karma

6:AM was winter open time, currently 5:00am and 4:00 when summer arrives and sunrise is early.

bacre3 karma

I do pretty good showing up just before a line forms.

gjoeyjoe14 karma

Is there much profit to be made in managing a flea market?

MediocreFisherman59 karma

He may not answer this, but lets just do a math exercise.

My dad buys and sells antiques and goes to a lot of antique shows. Its generally $50 to setup an outside booth.

Lets say on average he has 100 vendors.

That's $5000 in booth rental fees on a weekend.

Then, $2 for parking for buyers, and you have 1000 people come through on a weekend. That's $2000.

So you've taken in $7000 in income. 4 weekends a month. $28,000

Now we've got to make some assumptions. No electric to vendors. So your electric bill is going to be like $100 a month for the management building.

He said the land is an old drive in movie theater. I know land in OKC is cheap. Looks like maybe 50 acres. I'm just gonna wing it and say $1500 a month for lease or rent.

So you have about $26,000 left.

Now you have employees. Lets say he has 10 employees between cleaners, people charging for parking, people picking up vendors dues, etc. And they probably work 12 hour days, both days of the weekend. So thats 24 hours x 10 employees, 240 hours. Lets say he pays them $15 an hour after taxes and what not are included. So $3600 a weekend, $14,400 a month.

So now you have about $11,500 left for the month.

Now you have taxes. Lets just guess at 25% business taxes.

You are left with about $8000 a month.

I probably fucked up and missed some other expenses, so lets apply a 25% fudge factor.

I'd wager he's probably seeing $5000-$6000 a month income. But, you have to remember thats going to go up in summer, down in winter, and vary greatly with the weather. If you have a cold winter or a rainy summer, you still have to pay all your other expenses.

Thats just my back of the napkin guess.

Jaggle13 karma

Also, he just manages it. He doesn't own it. He stated it was owned by 76 year old man. So the old man is making that money. I can't imagine OP is making much more than minimum wage.

bacre19 karma

Thankfully, significantly more than minimum wage. I do a job that not many people could do and I work very hard.

bacre9 karma

Rent is way higher, we do offer electric spots, utilities are higher. Many spots go from 10 to 15 dollars. Parking is free but each buyer pays $1.50. I would say that your back of the napkin figures are maybe a bit low. We may have 3000 buyers on a busy day. Good months are very bad and bad months we definitely lose money. The owner sees most of this profit, I am a lowly wage slave that is treated well. We need more help, I wish we could get people who are reliable and only want a weekend gig that is mostly morning work.

bacre9 karma

Water bill and fees for stormwater drain off is ridiculous expensive. We have a bunch of things that need to be fixed.

bacre40 karma

Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

MediocreFisherman13 karma

I love going to the flea market on the weekend. I live near Cincinnati and frequently hit up Caesars Creek and Pirates Cove (used to be Turtle Creek). It seems Caesar's has really died since they had a fire, everyone moved over to Pirates Cove.

It doesn't look like you have a lot of inside space. But maybe you can answer this for me. I often notice that a lot of inside vendors at the flea markets I go to are closed. Since the place is only open 2 days a week, this seems kind of odd. I mean, if you only have 2 days a week to make money, wouldn't you want to be there? But more often than not I'll walk through at 9 am and at least 1/4 of the vendors aren't open and its frequently the same ones every time. It seems to me if I ran a flea market I'd have a requirement that they need to be open, especially since people are paying to come in and shop ($2 for parking). Its only making the flea market management look bad when 1/4 of their vendors aren't there. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to buy something but the owner isn't there to sell it to me. Whats the deal with this?

How do you manage vendors that just sell...crap? I see a lot of vendors that have been in the same spot for years that never have customers because what they sell is either over priced or just stuff no one wants. Do you only care as long as the vendor is paying their fees? Or, do you look to manage to ensure that you have quality vendors that people actually want to come in and shop with, rather than people just taking up space?

What about religious vendors? There is a booth at both Caesars and Pirates cove that has Jehova's witnesses accosting you as you walk by. Annoys the crap out of me.

How do you handle vendor / customer disputes? Eg - last year I was looking to buy a dewalt impact driver. There are several used power tool vendors at the flea markets I go to. One guy was asking $125 for a used dewalt impact, battery and charger. I said look dude, they go for cheaper than that new online - https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DCF885C1-20V-Impact-Driver/dp/B01LBT3AZU $92 for a new unit with a carrying case. I offered $75, which he begrudgingly accepted. Later, I found him at another tool vendors booth pointing me out and warning them that I was making up prices online (uh...I showed him the amazon listing on my phone) in order to haggle people down. I just about went and talked to management, as this seemed unnecessarily childish. He didn't need to accept my offer, and he certainly didn't need to tell others I was some kind of scammer.

bacre18 karma

I agree, sellers who only show up when the weather is perfect are a pain. Some vendors spend half the time out finding stuff to sell and then sell when they have a sufficient quantity built up. We have one Religious spot but they are never pushy and never bother anybody. Usually if a dispute gets heated enough to involve management we just call the cops and let them sort it out. We are neutral but on the side of fair.

bacre14 karma

We definitely give incentives to Vendors who are going to show up regularly and offer desired merchandise.

MediocreFisherman5 karma

Interesting. I just noticed you said you had one inside space. Do you still see issues with vendors not showing up there?

bacre5 karma

Nope 3 or 4 inside vendors are always there.

bacre13 karma

The single most frustrating thing is buyers who haul household trash from home or construction debris and dump it in our parking lot when they leave.

periphescent13 karma

There used to be a large combination indoor/outdoor flea market near my hometown that was finally closed after the land sold. One thing I noticed during its last few years were the influx of unlikely and younger vendors. For example, there was a vendor who sold horror themed memorabilia and DVDS, as well as a young husband and wife who sold model/cosplay/prop weapons.

Do you find you're getting more niche and/or younger vendors these days? What types of things are they selling? What's the reaction from the other vendors and customers?

bacre19 karma

other vendors are just glad to see a crowd. DVD's are problematic due to copyright. Mall swords and cheap knives are common. Quality used tools, refurbished lawn mowers and other small engine items are very popular. Antiques and vintage cool stuff gets snapped up.

MediocreFisherman8 karma

Antiques and vintage cool stuff gets snapped up.

Red Coleman Lanterns are something I always keep an eye open for. For some reason they are worth more than green ones. What I've been told is that because they have a single burner instead of 2, the amish like them because they are brighter. You can frequently find them for $10-$15 and flip for $50.

bacre6 karma

That is a good example of why some people come to the Swap Shop.

MediocreFisherman10 karma

Any thoughts on making flea markets less of a stigma for upper class folks?

I grew up with a dad and grandfather who loved antiquing, flea markets, etc and I really enjoy haggling and buying used stuff.

When I tell people at my office job that I went to the flea market the previous weekend, I definitely get that air of "eww" from them, like I told them I went greased up pig wrestling or leper scalping. One lady even told me she refuses to go to Aldi for groceries because "only poor people go there." When I said I have 2 kids that drink a ton of milk and they frequently have milk on sale for $1 a gallon she said "but its from Aldi." Do you think they have like...cheaper cows they use or something?

I really enjoy the hunt for good items. Yeah, I can go to Kohls and buy clothes off the rack, but I'm rather proud of the italian made dress shirt I got at goodwill for $2.50 that still had the tags on it.

Maybe stuff for the kids, to draw in parents? Have like a weekend where you rent a bunch of bounce houses or something? Pumpkins and pony rides near Halloween?

bacre5 karma

need for staff and regulations stop many promotions. The stigma is misplaced. We are 50% a glorified garage sale. But then again you will run into some riff-raff at the swap and shop. That and some really cool people.

ElleAnn429 karma

How long have you managed this Flea market? If it's been awhile, over that time have you seen a shift in demographics of buyers or sellers? Do you see any new trends in buyer or seller demographics?

I ask because when I think of Flea markets, I imagine middle aged men browsing through neon beer signs and rusting tools and recent immigrants selling bootleg dvds and cheap plastic stuff from China. I'd be interested in running a booth selling used kid's items (not collectible/ vintage stuff), but I'm not sure the right buyers come through.

bacre17 karma

I have been there just over a year. Our market is half Hispanic and half lower socioeconomic whites and blacks. People make money selling stuff they got at a garage sale for .50 cents for a buck or two. It is impossible to predict what the buyers want on any given day.

bacre12 karma

We have a dozen or so buyers who regulary come early and snap up real bargains and flip them on ebay or whatever. People sometimes sell stuff they have very little invested in for a lot less than it is worth. If you have $1500.00 dollars worth of stuff in a storage locker you are paying for every month, eventually you are money ahead to sell everything for what you can and do away with the storage payment.

Dooblesnott4 karma

Are there many vendors selling their wood shop crafts, and does there seem to be any market for those? My wife and I have thought about putting our hobby shop to use and selling items at the flea markets after I retire from trucking. Just curious if it's worth dreaming about.

Also, by any chance is there any truck parking there or nearby just to browse and shop? I go through KC often and even have extra time every once in a blue moon.

bacre5 karma

Truck parking is available. Crafts have a hard time usually because they aren't usually cheap enough. we have some talented welders and other craftsmen who do well. and a few knitters and craftshow people who a disappointed.

sf5856 karma

Has Marie Kondo had an impact on your business?

Love outdoor fleas!

bacre13 karma

enlighten me I have never heard of Marie Kondo.

sf5856 karma

My apologies.. the leader of the KonMari "tidying up" movement that's been responsible for headlines like "Goodwill doesn't want your junk." She advocates eliminating possessions that don't play a regular part in ones life.

I was curious as to whether you've seen more sellers, fewer buyers, or something else, as a result of this movement.

bacre9 karma

Haven't really noticed an effect. Weather determines how much business we get.

AgonyofAntigone6 karma

This is a privately owned site? Would you like to see more flea markets in more places? (I'm near Baltimore, and Baltimore has this one huge empty paved area.)

bacre8 karma

This is a privately owned site that jumped through all of the zoning hoops. We have been in business since 1975.

bacre6 karma

Morning after thoughts - hidden drinking is a problem, we don't notice until late afternoon when most buyers are gone and people start acting up.

We are a social safety net. People who have unexpected expenses and want to avoid "payday" loans and are reluctant to borrow money from friends may have stuff they can sell to raise a little quick cash. I had an old man and his grandson once empty stuff from garage to try and raise money to pay off electric bill and get lights back on. He had a bunch of old stuff he was not going to miss. I let him in to sell on credit and 2 hours later he was as happy as anyone I have seen. He came to pay me his $15.00 and proudly told me he and his grandson had made $700 and would have electricity soon and the kid got a bicycle from another vendor.

SweetPeaRiaing6 karma

What can you tell me about Flea Markets and Facepainters? (Do you have them? Do they do well?)

bacre9 karma

We have had 2 or 3 facepainters at our market. None returned more than a few times.

Avachiel5 karma

You mentioned you have a large hispanic clientel.

I recently went down to my local flea market in Texas and it was almost entirely hispanic.

How do you recommend someone who doesn't speak spanish join this market?

I intend to sell minerals/fossils and I'm discouraged because I feel like I won't be able to communicate the nature of them.

bacre7 karma

We have a guy who comes down from Iowa with rocks and minerals. He is sometimes ecstatic about his day and other times a little disappointed. He comes down 2 or 3 times a year with a pickup truck and a trailer full. Most Hispanic customers speak at least enough english to handle a transaction. And we do have hundreds of non-hispanic buyers. Google translate is your friend.

masdar15 karma

Have you ever seen real, live fleas being sold at your flea market?

bacre8 karma


AmerisaurausRex5 karma

What % of items or vendors do you believe are illegal? In the sense, at my local flea markets you can find shoes, watches, sunglasses, cologne, etc. that are either fakes or they are stolen. Is this something you keep an eye out for and have to deal with regularly?

bacre10 karma

We have shut down vendors with obvious fakes. Some people have such bad fakes no reasonable person would accept them for the genuine article. We do get some high end stuff used and from close-outs.

Mercutio333335 karma

Do you think there are enough cheap Chinese katanas on your property to arm a small insurrection based out of your flea market? Maybe even enough socks and underwear to keep them out in the field?

bacre6 karma

Katanas are not the thing like other knives. and gloves we have a vendor who sells nothing but work gloves in packs of a dozen.

bacre4 karma

https://www.facebook.com/natesswapshop/ come and give us a like or a share

AlphaXTaco4 karma

Hopefully not being too intrusive/incriminating, but what's your stance on vendors selling bootlegs of popular movies/albums? The flea market near me often has a fair number of bootleg movies and it always seemed hella sketchy.

bacre6 karma

Very sketchy, we ban people that we see selling copyrighted stuff, but it is very tough to keep on top of.

Jgaitan824 karma

What do you tell Vendors who sell Walgreens items that have been stolen? Or do they just pay an extra 10% to have a slot or table?

bacre8 karma

I have never noticed stolen Walgreens items. I do see health and beauty stuff from extreme couponers who are buying things at a heavy discount and reselling.

ThrowawayBlast3 karma

Extreme couponing is still a thing?

bacre8 karma

Yep, they sell detergent, razors, shampoo, diapers. They must make money, they keep coming back.

xampl94 karma

I know weather is a big deal for you - have you thought about buying one of the abandoned big-box stores (Sears, Walmart, Toys-R-Us, similar) and opening an indoor market?

bacre8 karma

really a different business and probably not sustainable unless open all week. Then you are collecting a commision on sales and have more responsibility to look after vendors items.

Sapinski4 karma

What is the raunchiest thing you've ever seen in your line of duty?

bacre12 karma

People who do not know how to crap in a bathroom.

chrisfs3 karma

Do a lot of the vendors have this as their primary source of income ?
Are there people who do a 'garage sale ' lot. I have always wondered if it would be feasible to get a few people together and just sell stuff we don't want/need at a booth at a swap meet. Is that doable or just more hassle that it's worth paperwork and fee wise ?

Do you get people who are just starting out as a business or have they been making or selling what they make/sell for a while ?

bacre5 karma

I think more people should avoid the hassle of a garage sale and bring a truckful to the flea market. We have parking, rest rooms and the buyers. At $15.00 for a pickup load, it might be nice to avoid the parking and security problems of having a garage sale at your house.

bacre5 karma

Mostly people in the business for a while. A bunch of occasional sellers who garage sale for a few weeks to build up inventory and then come to the market.

bacre3 karma

We have several vendors who sell paper goods and trash bags. They buy a pallet at a time and have the best prices in town.

We have a guy who sells pecans, we have a guy who sells 5 gallon buckets of laundry detergent.

seanxjohnson3 karma

How much thought is put into the layout? Do you shift good stores in a dense pocket with the random storage locker sellers on the outskirts, or some other method?

What are 3 things new sellers do wrong?

bacre7 karma

Layout is mostly first come, first serve. Our best vendors pay to reserve the spaces they like.

new sellers sometimes come to sell without every coming as a buyer to see what it is like.

New sellers overprice craft items

New sellers underprice hot items and sell out of good stuff too early. Better to slightly overprice and haggle for price.

Fartingpenguinhole2 karma

Is this the old mustang flea market?

bacre2 karma


WillowRose2252 karma

You at Starlite in Tacoma?

bacre3 karma

nope, Kansas City Missouri

ThrowawayBlast2 karma

Do you attempt to keep two vendors who sell the same product apart?’do you prevent vendors from calling out to passing customers? What are the rules on loud music?

bacre3 karma

I deal with loud music politely on an individual basis. Vendors of similar items tend to group together to encourage potential customers to come by and see what they have

XinArtemis2 karma

What's the most illegal thing somebody is trying to sell?

bacre4 karma

Definitely handguns. Not on display but sold out of cab of pickup.

Rossum812 karma

How much money does the average vendor make?

bacre4 karma

They must do OK we have mostly repeat vendors.

zorocozgrove2 karma

Why is it I buy a 1200 dollar ring and it's only worth scrap metal value?? A good 115 bucks.

bacre3 karma

Maybe huge markups in the Jewelry business? I would not recommend shopping for valuable jewelry at the flea market.

neuromorph2 karma

Where are all the vintage unopened MTG cards? I keep hearing about finds at places like yours but never scored myself.

bacre3 karma

They are around, probably not commonly but they get snapped up by those smart buyers at daybreak.

No_Beast_So_Fierce2 karma

Do you regret removing the drive in portion of your business? So many classic drive-ins are turned into flea markets and it saddens me.

The flea market near my house painted their screens a horrific color. Feels like salt in the wound driving past every day.

But... The churros and corn thingy there are pretty awesome.

bacre3 karma

Our screens are gone.

Onett199X1 karma

What's the coolest/rarest Video Game sale you've seen?

bacre2 karma

I don't know what is valuable in the video game world, but this weekend I had a 19 yo jumping up and down as he told me about the large lot he had bought for a single price. He made it sound like he had gotten hundreds of dollars worth of stuff for 10 bucks.