You might be interested to
know that you can successfully
sell wholesale dresses at the
I know that you might not
associate flea markets
with high end designer
dresses, but you might be
I have personally seen brand name
dresses sold at flea markets, and
I have also supplied vendors with
brand name dresses at
my Brooklyn closeout warehouse.
Provided that there are
shoppers in the flea market
that wear dresses, then you should be able to
Having said that, it's important
to determine what kind of dresses
those shoppers are looking for, and
what their budgets are.
Like in any retail business, it's
important to match the right
products to the customer base.
The shoppers at the flea market
might love designer dresses
by brands such as Tahari
and Calvin Klein, but
it would only make sense
to try to sell them if in
fact they can afford to
pay the prices that you
will need to charge so that you
can make money.
Now don't assume right away
that people at a flea market
can't afford to spend
$50 or $100 for a brand name dress.
If they are buying brand name clothing
elsewhere, then they are potential
customers for your designer dresses.
People prioritize differently,
so even someone on a limited
budget might decide to allocate
more money for a brand name dress
when they have the opportunity to
Or you might catch the attention
of someone that is going to
a wedding and needs a
dress that might not
otherwise buy for themselves.
I think it's really important
to remember that flea market customers
are expecting to get a bargain,
and therefore can purchase more
high end expensive products,
provided that they feel that they
are going to save a good deal
of money on their fashion purchases.
So how do you purchase wholesale
dresses at a low enough price so that you
can offer them at substantial savings compared
to their original retail value?
You can focus on purchasing department
store overstock clothing and closeout
I know of sellers that visit
going out business auctions,
so this might be an option
that you should consider as well.
The challenge with auctions
is that they are infrequent,
and you want to be sure
that you can find the merchandise
that you are looking for.
On the other hand, if you
visit a dress wholesaler
you know that they will
have the retail product category
that you are looking for.
Visiting a closeout wholesaler should
enable you to purchase
dresses at below wholesale prices.
At that point you will be able to
retail them at the flea market
at really low prices as compared
to the original retail prices.
Another important factor that you
want to look into is the brand preference,
if any, of the shoppers.
For example, are people looking
for designer wear by Nine West
or Jones New York, or are they
more interested in fashion dresses.
You might discover that there is a
demand for both categories of
dresses, but this is something that you
should personally look into before
Style preferences are
also important since every
market has its
own fashion sense and
If you notice that there is a lot of
competition by vendors that
are also selling dresses, don't get discouraged,
since this can actually be a good sign.
If you see that there are many
vendors selling dresses, and that
they all seem to be making sales,
then it looks like you have found
a swap meet with plenty of customer
demand for your wholesale dresses.
I would like to share with you
some tips that I believe
can help you in the actual sales
#1. Always display the original retail price
of the dresses next to your sales price.
This way customers can instantly see the
great savings that you are offering them.
For example, let's say you purchased a
of R&M Richards dresses that have original
retail values of $150 each.
You will want to put up a sign that lists the
$150 price next to your asking price.
So if you are selling the R&M Richards
dresses for $50 each, then your sign
would display both prices.
#2. Give flea market customers a discount
for purchasing more dresses. Using the above
example, you might want to offer
3 or more dresses for $40 each.
This way people will be encouraged to purchase
more dresses than they originally planned on.
You can always remind your customers
that they can always use the additional
dresses at a later date.
Always be careful in ensuring that
your sales price gives you a
profit after taking account for the
rent and other expenses
that you might incur.
If your business takes off
you might even need to hire
someone to help you
sell your clothes.
#3. Be flexible with your prices.
If you see that a shopper is seriously
interested in purchasing one of your
R&M Richards dresses, but they
are a few dollars short, give them
the dress at a discount.
This is not only good business, since you
will have made a sale that you otherwise
would have missed out on, but it
also builds customer loyalty
by creating goodwill between you
and your customer.
It's important to note
that many of the shoppers
at flea markets are
In other words, the same
people could potentially be
your customers every weekend.
At the same time, you need to be
clear in expressing the reason why
you are giving someone a discount.
You don't want them to expect the
same discount every time.
#4. Offer wholesale prices to other flea market
vendors and shoppers.
You should let other flea market vendors
know that you are willing to sell your
merchandise to them at wholesale prices,
provided that they purchase your merchandise
I realize that the flea market vendors that you
supply merchandise to will then become your competition.
But assuming that there are enough customers for everyone,
and that you would be happy with a large quantity sale,
then it makes sense to also take this approach.
You will also want to let shoppers know
that you can offer them
wholesale deals as well.
The reason is because some of the
people that come to flea markets
can have a relative or friend
that has a business.
In New York there are many shoppers
that have relatives in countries such
as Nigeria, Trinidad, and Guyana.
Often they will buy merchandise
so that they can send it to their relatives.
Their relatives will then sell the merchandise
either from their homes or from their
I find it interesting that even retailers
who come to my closeout warehouse in New York
will visit local flea markets, such as the Queens Aqueduct
Flea Market, to look for products for their shops.
So you might be surprised
to discover that many of the people
visiting your booth are actually boutique
#5. Set up your flea market booth just like it's a real store.
That means that you should use mannequins
and garments racks to properly display
your wholesale dresses.
I realize that it's going to be a lot more
work this way, since you will have to set
up and take apart your booth every day.
But I believe it's worthwhile to present
a more professional appearance.
You will attract more shoppers,
and present your merchandise in
a way that demonstrates its value.
You will also want to make shopping
by your space as convenient and
easy as possible.
Remember, it's not just the sale that you
make that day, but the future sales of
dresses that you can make to that customer.
One last tip that I would like to share with you is
to keep the same spot week after week.
You want your customers to know where to
find you when they are ready to purchase again from you.