• Emily Lessig

Prepping for a Flea Market (or other event)

I’m getting ready for Mrs. Pinkadot’s Fourth Anniversary Flea Market on September 15th. I’ll have setup outside as a vendor and I’ll be helping Joan with whatever she needs during the event. It’s going to be a big day! As excited as I am though, I know that all of the hard work will come before the event. Just like the other vendors, I’m preparing! Here are some of the things I’m doing:

I’ve started stockpiling finished pieces to sell at the Flea Market. I haven’t posted these items for sale online because I want to make sure I have enough inventory for the big day! That’s the first thing! Making sure you have a good amount of product for the day of your event! Whether it’s an art festival, a flea market, a pop-up shop, or a craft fair, you need to have enough to fill your space and then some so you can replenish your space as things sell.

The second thing I’m doing is pricing and actually putting price tags on each item. When I sell my items online, I price them similar to the way I would in a retail store – or what I would consider “full price”. That way I have a little wiggle room to negotiate with customers or can put an item on sale if it’s been sitting around for too long. For an event like the Flea Market though, I’ll be pricing all of my items lower because I want them to sell that day! The less stuff we have to cart home after a show, the better, right?

Price tags should be easy to find on the item and easy to read for the customers. Don’t make them hunt for a price. If they can’t find it or if they have to ask, they’re more likely to just leave the item behind and not bother. Price tags should also be removable! Either tie a tag on with string or use easy to remove stickers. Nobody wants to get home with their new purchase and find that they can’t scrape the price tag off of it!

Third, I’m keeping a list of all the things I need to bring with me to the event. I started this list weeks ago and have been adding as things occur to me. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

- Easy-up tent with rope and weights

- Square reader (to process credit cards)

- Change (both in bills and coins)

- My phone and phone charger and an external batter, just in case!

- A couple of pens and a small notebook (so I can jot down contact information, notes to myself, etc.)

- Water and snacks

- Chapstick, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, a couple of band-aids, and a long sleeved shirt

- Scissors, masking tape, bags, and packing paper

- Tape measure, paper towels

- Hammer, screw drivers, and pliers (just in case someone needs to take a piece of furniture apart to get in their vehicle)

- Extra price tags and string

- Trash bag

Am I missing anything? What do you recommend I bring? I try to plan for every scenario because I’d rather be prepared for anything than caught in a sticky situation!

Last, but not least, I’m going to actually measure out my space in my driveway, setup my tent, and make sure everything fits. I want to make sure the tent is in good working order and a practice run will make setup on the actual day much faster! I’ll know exactly how to arrange items in the space so that they fit and look good!

So that’s what I am doing personally to prepare for the event, from a vendor’s perspective. But I’m also helping Joan market the event as her Virtual Assistant. I wanted to share how we’re marketing the Flea Market so that you can take that knowledge and use it for your next event. Hopefully you’ll find at least one idea to promote your event that you’re not already using!

First and foremost, we are posting the event on social media. This means that there is a Facebook event setup and we’re sharing that event on Mrs. Pinkadot’s Facebook page, on Joan Wilkening’s Facebook page, and we’re encouraging all of the participating vendors to share the event on Facebook with their audience as well! The event is also being shared on Mrs. Pinkadot’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. So if someone isn’t on Facebook, they should see the event on another social media platform.

The Flea Market has been on the Events page of Mrs. Pinkadot’s website for quite some time and is moving to the top of the list as the date nears! If your website gets a lot of traffic, you might consider using a “lightbox” (or “pop-up box” as they’re commonly known) to get your customers attention. You’ve seen them before – when you visit a store’s website and a little box pops up in the middle of the screen to tell you about a sale or ask for your email address. That’s a lightbox and most websites have an app or tool to add one to your site.

We’re also marketing the event offline (the old-fashioned way). Joan has banners and posters throughout the inside and outside of Mrs. Pinkadot’s retail location in Norfolk advertising the event. Postcards with event information have been placed throughout the store, are handed out to customers at the register, and postcards have also been given to vendors for them to share with folks.

Mrs. Pinkadot’s flea markets have had great turnouts in the past and we know this on will be a resounding success as well! If you’re in the Hampton Roads area, please come join us on September 15th from 10-4 at Mrs. Pinkadot at 1914 Granby St. in Norfolk. We’d love to see you there!

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