Flea Marketing - Parking at My Booth
(San Antonio, Texas)
I'm interested in selling at flea markets to bring in extra money. However, I don't know how to find flea markets that will allow a person to bring her trailer in to the market. Is there some kind of listing of flea markets for this? I emailed one place here in town and first they said no, that I couldn't bring my trailer in, then I received a second email saying that yes, I could bring it in. I think they mean I could bring it into the parking lot, but I want to have it right there by my table. How do I find places that will let me do this?
Coleen, the RVing editor comments:
It sure is handy when you can park your RV in or adjacent to your vender space. Nothing like having your own bathroom, fridge, supplies, and all right handy. Not to mention how much easier it is to set up, restock, and tear down your display.
We use Clark's Original USA Flea Market Guide directory to find markets. Many of the listings give that information. They'll also often list if you can spend the night in your RV by your booth, or somewhere on the grounds, and if there is a charge for it. We normally sell Clark's directory through our website, but right now, we are out and the new addition isn't available, yet. You may be able to buy a copy at a flea market, perhaps from one of the vendors or maybe at the market office. To read more about what I've written about Clark's directory, click here.
You can Google for online flea market guides and they will likely help some. I haven't found a comprehensive online flea market directory, but that doesn't mean there isn't one out there.
It's getting so that a lot of the flea markets have websites. So, if you have a particular market in mind, you might find the info you want on it's site.
When you call or email a market, how you word your question may make a big difference in the reply you receive.
I'd avoid using the word "trailer." They don't know if you mean a recreational vehicle travel trailer, or if you mean a utility or cargo trailer that you use for hauling your merchandise. If you say "RV" that will help eliminate some confusion.
Be specific as to when you want to park your RV at your vendor space. Do you want to come in the night before? Do you want to come in the morning of the market, but then stay there, in your RV, with your merchandise, for the rest of the weekend? Do you just want to park your RV at your vendor space for the day?
When asking about this, make sure to find out how you will be charged.
Some markets allow you to park on your vendor space. And, they charge you for that space. So, if your travel trailer and tow vehicle are 44 feet long, and spaces are 10 feet long, you'd need to get and pay for five spaces. You'd also need to find out how deep the spaces are, so that you would know whether or not you'd have room to put your tables out along side your rig.
Other markets let you park your RV behind your space. If that's the case, you don't need to worry about the space being deep enough for your tables. And, depending on the market layout and your neighbors, you may be able to get by renting only enough spaces for your displays. You might be able to unhook your trailer from your tow vehicle and park them next to each other to cut your length (as opposed to having them one in front of the other in a long line).
I've seen all sorts of variations. Some let us park our truck and trailer by our booth before and after the market, but during the hours the market was open, the tow vehicle had to go to a different parking area (the trailer could stay).
Ask questions. It's great if you can go to the market and scope things out before you set up, but I realize that isn't always possible. It may be better to call than to email, so that if the person you are talking with doesn't understand what you mean, he can ask for clarification.
Oh, one more thing…. If your RV is self-contained and you don't need an electrical hook-up, it can help to tell them that. Some people assume that if you want to park your RV overnight that you need hook-ups there. If you just need a place to park by your booth, let them know.
Go to the Workers On Wheels Work for RVers and Campers blog.