Buy & Sell Stuff from Flea Markets

If you are currently operating in the townships you will often find yourself in a position where you don’t have a lot of money to buy stock and your customers don’t have a lot to pay for an item. So what to do?

One of popular businesses to do in this case is to trawl flea markets in surrounding towns looking for items that have resale potential in the townships.

So what items are popular in the townships?
You start with essentials such as food and clothing, and what do you usually find at flea markets in that line:

Distressed / Salvage Food Products
Products that have been damaged or expired (but still safe to eat) is usually taken off the shelf at retailers, enters a secondary “distressed / salvage” market and these products sell at a fraction of its retail value.

Damaged appliances
Damaged household appliances also have a secondary market called the “shop-soiled” market, this is usually end of range appliances that have been on display (people want to see an item before they buy it), shop soiled is usually still expensive, there are two other types of products to look out for and that is repaired or that needs repair. So what happens is if a customer returns a broken item, after a certain time they will be given a new item, the broken item is repaired an enters a secondary market, sometimes if it is not worth repairing like a cheap kettle it will enter the secondary market as is, usually as a job lot (10, 20 ,30 broken kettles), it is up you to see if you see the value in repairing and reselling it. But job lots of broken appliances will usually be the cheapest to pick up. Other appliances that enter the flea market trade is products bought from auctions, usually bought as a job lot but the buyer took what he wanted and is disposing of the rest for next to nothing.

Secondhand clothing
This is a popular item at flea markets and there is a lot of money here. People that sell at flea markets usually buy their secondhand clothing by the black bag and then sell single items for a few rands each. There are also people that sell clothing they got for free from their junk collection service (see below) for very cheap prices.

Miscellaneous Items
Many people that sell at flea markets operate a junk collection service, this means they help people clear out their homes or garages for free and as payment they get to keep whatever is thrown away, this is the source of their stock. Depending on what you can get there might be some ways to make money here. Off the top of my head I can think of a few: cutlery, toys, tableware etc. and most are usually in good condition.

It is quite surprising what you can get at flea markets and if you buying volume you can almost always negotiate a better rate.

This is an excellent business to start if you have very little capital to work with, but not only that, you don’t have to stay small, it is a business that can be grown if you are prudent and wise with saving your money. You can then grow it, the first point being if you don’t have a vehicle, then save to buy one then you can buy salvage food in bulk or do junk collection yourself and make even more money. Often people want to sit and twiddle their thumbs until their dream glamourous business comes along and for years they get nowhere, if you don’t have the connections to start a your dream business (which without a doubt will require capital), you have to start something and build it or you can continue waiting and hoping.