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Be Your Own Boss
Be Your
Own Boss

Be your own boss

Whether it's a weekend yard sale or a full fledged business, Selma Flea Market has everything you need to set up shop. What are you waiting for?

Are you stuck in a boring dead end job going no where or on a fixed income and live paycheck to paycheck and never seem to get out of debt?

Do any of the following describe your current condition?

  1. Do you have a dead end job with no potential for advancement, or are you constantly afraid of downsizing?
  2. Do you live paycheck to paycheck?
  3. Do you live on a fixed income that never covers your expenses?
  4. Whatever your income level, do you always come up short of money at the end of every month and can never afford to pay all your bills?
  5. Are you unemployed?
  6. Do you desire any of the following: nice vacation; new car or house; extra money for you or a child’s education, or simply to help someone in need or your favorite charity?
  7. Do you have a strong desire to be your own boss, and live a better life?

If any or all of the previous statements describes your current situation, there is good news – you can change all that by becoming a flea market vendor and becoming your own boss by taking control of your financial situation.  You don’t even have to leave the security of your current job.

If you love bargaining, wheeling and dealing, and enjoy meeting and talking to people, then becoming a flea market vendor is perfect for you.

Selling at a flea market is very easy and, by far, one of the best ways to start a business that has immediate access to thousands of customers.  By becoming a flea market vendor, you can establish a good primary or secondary income with almost no overhead expense.

Many vendors make hundreds to thousands of dollars every month. This has allowed many of them to quit their regular “9 to 5” jobs and become their own boss and control their own destiny.


Getting started as a flea market vendor is easy.  The hardest part is loading your vehicle and getting up early the morning of opening day. First, you need to decide how much space you will need. I recommend visiting the flea market to see how other vendors set up and display their products / items.  Second, decide if your items will be better displayed outside on your own tables or under a tent, or will your items be better under the flea market’s shed, on their tables. Weather may also be a determining factor.  Feel free to talk to the flea market management.  The management can be a lot of help in choosing the type of rental space.  Third, don’t wait until the last minute to reserve your space.  The market will usually have a space for every one; however, on busy weekends the market may be completely full and vendors who fail to reserve a space will have no where to set up.


Beginning your new venture is easy. Most vendors start by selling their own unwanted items.  First, clean out your garage or attic.  Check with your neighbors and then your relatives for items they don’t need or want anymore.  Don’t forget – “one person’s junk is another person’s treasure”.  These items can be very profitable.  Next, check the newspaper for bargains, auctions, yard-sales, or store close-outs. Visit the flea market office and request vendor trade magazines, which provide wholesale items and close-outs that are sold to vendors only.  There are many mailing lists that all vendors should be on that list current auctions and sales.  Visit dealers late in the day and offer a low price for their remaining items.  Some vendors do not want to pack items and haul them back home.  They will sometimes sell their items at huge discounts or even give them away.


The key to successful sales is a good display that is attractive and interesting.  People usually don’t come to flea markets looking for something in particular; therefore, your booth should encourage impulse buying at an attractive price.  Some of my favorites are a very old antique piece or an interesting statue.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be for sale – you just want to attract potential buyers.  Another good idea is to have a bargain table where everything is 25 cents.  Use a big sale sign or balloons – anything to get people to your booth.  Shoppers sometimes need to know how much of a bargain they are getting.  For example, if you are selling a hammer for $2.00 and you can find a newspaper ad from a discount store where their hammers are $5.00, cut it out and display it next to your hammers.  Show them how much they are saving by doing business with you.  Also, for a small fee, Selma Flea Market office will advertise your sale items over the flea market intercom system. 


Never forget you’re at a flea market – the last of the free enterprise system.  Prices are always negotiable.  The main reason people come to flea markets is because they can negotiate prices or even offer trades.  That’s right; the barter system is still alive at the flea market.  If someone really wants a particular item but for whatever reason cannot pay your asking price, they may offer you a trade.  If you are a savvy dealer, you may counter their offer with a discounted cash deal plus their offer.  This is why I love flea markets. You could never negotiate this kind of deal at discount stores.  I recommend that everyone bargains, even if it’s just a little.  It is part of the flea market tradition.  If someone appears interested in an item and begins to walk away simply tell them “if you really like the item make me an offer”, or offer to give them a discount.  You will be surprised at how many people return and give you an acceptable offer.  Finally, smile and have a friendly greeting.  Don’t be afraid to talk to people who come to your booth to browse.  One of the great delights of visiting a flea market is the unique discussions and conversations that you can have with interesting people.  Working at a flea market is fun!


You must keep in mind that flea market shoppers are constantly searching and expecting to negotiate a “super deal”, so your merchandise should be below retail price.  There are several methods that vendors use in determining their prices, but keep in mind it all depends on the actual cost the dealer incurs in getting the items initially.  Most vendors try to at least double their price that they paid for used items.  One important point is to always price your items.  Often customers will not ask for the price of an unmarked item. Also, travel to other markets to see how similar items are priced.  Don’t forget, if someone is interested in an item, ask them to make you an offer. 


Like all gathering places, we must have a few rules.  Ask for a copy at the office or look on this web site.

If you are just an occasional vendor, you are not required to have any type of permit or license.  However, if you are a full time dealer, you may be required to have a peddlers permit for the county you are selling in and, like any business you should pay taxes on a percentage of your income.  We recommend calling the license department in the county which you are selling in.


Treat your booth like a real business.  Keep inventory.  Keep up with sales. Set income goals and try to meet those goals.  If you keep your sales goals in your head, you will always make that extra effort to talk to one more customer, stay that extra hour, or try to find one more item to sell, in order to meet that goal.


Becoming a flea market vendor is one of the easiest and least expensive full or part-time business to be in.  There is nothing tricky or hard in this business, all you need is a desire to earn money and the ability to work with a diverse group of people, and you are on your way.  There are no long term contracts.  You can set up every week, once a month, or any time you want.  Plus, you can take off any time you want!  Finally, YOU WILL BE YOUR OWN BOSS!


To get started, CALL THE SELMA FLEA MARKET TODAY AT (334) 875-0500.

Selma Flea Market
606 River Rd.
Selma, AL 36701
(334) 875-0500