Well, those of you following our flea market hustle series have now learned how to buy, how to set up your stand, what to sell, and how to build your brand. Now it’s time to get to one of everyone’s least favorite parts of the game, but honestly, it’s probably the most important: math. Yes, flea markets aren't all about having a good picking eye or smooth talking customers into opening their wallets. A common refrain among resellers of any kind is you make your money when you buy. 


For those of you who source products from retail closeouts, yard sales, craigslist, and auctions, you can often get items for pennies on the dollar, but the prices fluctuate rapidly. You have to leave yourself enough room to mark up your product and make a profit. Online, you have overhead like shipping, payment processing fees, and fees on whatever platform you use. The flea market is no different. You have table rental, supplies, gas, millage on your vehicle, and an often overlooked component: your time. 


Here’s a word to consider: margin. The margin on your item is the difference between the amount you can sell it for and the cost of the product for you. A high margin item has a big difference. For example, if you pay $.50 per unit on an item and sell it for $10, that’s a high margin. You need to find ways not only to get high margin items, but to replenish your supplies consistently.


Buying in bulk is a great way to do this. The more you buy of an item, in large quantities, the less expensive your item gets. For example, ordering 25 black t-shirts from WhoopTee with one color ink, according to the free quote tool, would be $7.16 a piece. However, ordering 250 shirts runs $5 per shirt. Let’s say you sell your t-shirts at $20 per shirt. Selling all 25 from the first order will get you $321 in profit. Selling 25 shirts from the bulk order, however, will bring in $375 worth of profit. 


Will it take longer to sell those shirts? Absolutely. Is it more of an upfront cost? Undisputedly. Will it make you much more money in the long run? You betcha! When creating a custom tee design to sell at a flea market, try to keep the color inks in check to control your costs. Check the free quote tool. The best part? WhoopTee won’t kill you with shipping costs. Our orders ship for free!