Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Panic and a solution. More Flea Market Stories.

Okay, last week we went in to super panic mode. Seriously panic. We are down to our last of our money and have nothing to show for the shop in the flea market at all. I spent $3000 on products, store fixtures, rent, business cards, etc. We have made maybe $300 the entire month selling jewelry. Joe and Joe the leather guys keep telling us that business will pick up and that we will do much better when the Christmas shopping comes around but I can't wait till then. We will be broke and need to make rent for the booth and rent for our trailer as well as our regular bills. 

We expected and had a plan that for the first month with everything we were reading online and everything that we had heard from the people who work at the flea market (managers, rental office people, etc) that we would come in and hit the ground running making about $1000-1500 a weekend. The first weekend I made a measly, what??? $30 maybe! That isn't going to cut it. So the next weekend we move thinking it is our space and location. We set up, it looks great and I made $19 the first day and maybe $50 the whole weekend. Still not going to cut it. But we have our savings.....right???? We expected to be able to put our profits back into the business with new merchandise and beef up our merchandise to about $10,000 (retail) in the first month. So then the second month we would take 50% profits out and pocket them and then put 50% back into the business to keep it running but still keeping about $10,000 in merchandise in stock. I even placed a second order for some product that would be great for Christmas holidays. I used some of our savings to purchase this knowing that holiday stuff was needed. It was in the plan but we were expecting to use the sales of other jewelry to fund that purchase. Ugh.

I can't remember if I told you or not but the first weekend we set up we were right next to a booth that had no back. This guy comes in about 2 hours after we got there and the flea market is already open and has been for a while. He backs up to the back of the booth pops his trunk and pulls out a vinyl sign and some boxes and opens up for business. He sells beef jerky in bulk. Not ten minutes after he arrives he has a line of people handing him money. He sells these bags for $20 a pop. It is good value, he gives out samples and he is making money hand over fist. A couple hours later he packs up and leaves. He was only there 4 hours and he said to my husband he made $600!!! The market is open from 9-5 and he is there from 10 to 2 maybe. The next day he shows up, does the same thing and leaves early. This day he mentions something to my husband that he wants to find someone who he can sell this stuff to wholesale and then not come to the market anymore. He says he drives 2 1/2 hours from the other side of the state to be here. :shock: That is 5 hours in the car a day. Crazy. That night my husband and I were talking and my husband says he might be interested in buying wholesale from him and selling beef jerky too. The guy made tons of money those two days doing basically nothing. So the next day, Sunday, I was by myself and talking to the jerky guy. I told him that we were interested in possibly doing jerky and buying from him. The jerky guy tells me that he has someone else who is interested and plus he isn't ready to start doing that yet and he wants to sell here himself for a while longer. So I said okay, no problem. 

A couple weeks ago my husband started looking into the jerky business and thought we would start with some other company, not the company the other guy is selling with. We buy some product but don't like it as well as the company the jerky guy is selling with. We contact the same company and they tell us they will sell to us. So last week we make a huge decision and go "all in" as they say in gambling worlds. We take all our last of our savings and spend it on beef jerky. We buy a pack of business cards and make a few signs on our computer. We rent the center table right in front of my booth. We set up and last Friday, my husband started selling beef jerky. He sold more than I sold that first day than I sold the entire month in jewelry! The next day he did better and Sunday was his best day! Sunday, people came looking for him to buy! :D :D :D 

So we are now in the beef jerky business. My husband is an awesome sales person and ropes them right in. He gives out samples and he tells them about his website too. You should go see it. http://www.jerkyrun.com

This weekend we sold half of what we had and sold out of many flavors. We placed another order this morning hoping to get it in by this weekend.

I am still going to keep my jewelry but sell it at a reduced rate through the holidays and see how things go. Kenneth wants us to close down the jewelry shop and get another booth at the other end of the flea market so we can reach more people. Lots of people have two or more booths in different places. There is a rule though that you can't sell the same stuff within 5 booths of someone else with the same stuff. So no one can sell jerky around my husband right now and we don't interfere with the other guy selling either. We are on aisle A and he is on aisle B. The other guy came in late on Friday and left early and then on Saturday he came in a little earlier and came and talked to my husband and told him that he would be interested in selling to us wholesale. He asked where we got our product from and we told him the manufacturer. He gets his from his brother who purchases it from the manufacturer and the brother lives in Chicago. Not sure what the brother does but it sounds like they split their shipments. Anyway the other jerky guy also asked why we didn't tell him we were interested in getting into the jerky business. We told him that I had talked to him about it and he said that someone else was interested and he wasn't ready to wholesale to people yet. He couldn't seem to remember that conversation. Hmmm..... Oh well. 

So things are improving for us now. FINALLY!!!! Yay! We are still super poor but we are moving in the right direction now. Today my husband is going around to some auto repair shops and such giving them his business cards and handing out samples of his product. If they want to buy right away he has it all in the back of the car and hopefully he will get people to come to him in the flea market along with wanting to buy right away from him today. He is also going to try out a few more flea markets in the area too and see if he can get in and sell.

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