Flea market vending while full-time RVing lets us choose how often we relocate and how many new markets we work. We can also choose the size of our booth display, making it suitable for any size rig.
The amount of traveling we do fluctuates with the time of year, the prosperity of the present market, and how severe our hitch-itch is at the moment. (Hitch-itch is a term used by full-timers to express the uneasiness of being in one place for too long a time, and the desire to hitch up the rig and move to somewhere new).
In the fall, we do a series of farm harvest shows, which means we move every weekend. In the winter, we may find a place we like and settle in for a couple months. It is possible to sell at a different market every weekend throughout the year. It is also possible to stay at one market year around, although sales may be better if you move at least seasonally.
We consider costs when moving, balancing the cost of moving with anticipated sales increases. Our desire to be in one place or another plays a big part in how often we move, as well as to where we go. Overall, when flea marketing, we move an average of about every two or three weeks.
Several guide books and numerous publications are available to help locate markets. State tourism departments offer listings of events, many which include flea markets, craft sales, and antique shows in their programs. Dealers share information on markets and shows, often providing a lead to the next stop.
It is helpful to call the market or show for information on set-up fees, space availability, and general information. Dates, times, set-up rules, and other pertinent factors often change without notice. While we seldom commit to attending a particular sales event, others prefer the security of having reservations.
The equipment needed to operate a flea market vending business is as varied as the people who do it and the merchandise they sell.
Our flea market set-up is large and seems excessive to some. Sometimes we use as many as 28 eight-foot tables, plus ground space. We use our pick-up truck to tow a cargo trailer that carries our merchandise. Our home trailer is pulled by a retired moving van that Bob has transformed into a well-equipped workshop on wheels. In addition to an inventory that is both extensive and bulky, and tables, we have carried two canopy sets.
I have seen set-ups that included a single card table and a showcase full of jewelry or a box full of the seller's own handcrafted works.
The norm is somewhere in between the extremes.
--- This is the second page of a three part article I wrote back when we were did flea market vending on a full-time basis.