Polk Ag Center presents ‘birth of a flea market’

Published 10:56 pm Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Mill Spring Agricultural Development Center is presenting this weekend the first of a regular school-yard swap meet that it hopes will develop into a large regional flea market.
“Our goal is to grow this event into the largest monthly flea market/swap meet in the foothills region,” says Polk County Agricultural Economic Development Director Lynn Sprague. “When we get 100 vendors out here, on the last Saturday of each month, we will have reached that goal.”
Sprague and those involved in Polk County Farmland Preservation and Agricultural Development have been busy beavers turning the former Mill Spring School into a economic stimulus incubator for local entrepreneurs, many who lean toward agricultural, heritage arts, regional food production and sustainable business and regional conservation initiatives.
“Our monthly school-yard swap meet is just another attempt by the Polk County Agricultural Development Center at creating anchor programs for folks to stimulate their own economic growth and sustainability,” says Sprague.
Other core programs include farmland preservation, farmers markets, grants, friends of agriculture breakfasts, workshops & courses, and community gardens. Flea markets and swap meets offer individuals a great low-cost option to make money and give business owners a very public day in the community for direct marketing and more personalized face time with potential customers. You can rent a booth at the Mill Spring Flea Market for a minimal fee.
By Definition
A flea market is a large, traditionally open-air market where people sell a wide range of goods, typically used. A flea market is often a great place to find bargains on used goods in reasonable condition ranging from trucks to jewelry.
Several different kinds of merchants can be found at a flea market. In some regions, people bring their own possessions, setting up a small stall to sell various used goods. In other cases, a merchant may actually be a dealer of used goods and new goods, who either frequents flea markets or runs a store and travels to flea markets.
It is also possible to find merchants selling new products like handmade jewelry and other crafts at a flea market, and in some areas people sell agricultural products or baked goods as well. The wide variety of sellers makes it impossible to predict the goods for sale at a flea market.
Vending: Some useful tips
Find some flea market items to sell. The items that you can sell at flea markets are numerous. The places that you obtain these items from can vary from items from your own garage and items you create to finding wholesalers to buy your products from.
Pay the booth rental fee and set up your items for sale. Bring your own table and arrange your items neatly on the table and start selling.Be engaging in your booth. Dont just sit there; every item should and does carry a story. The better the story the likelier the sale.
Ask this flea market to provide additional services to vendors like a newsletter that gives you business tips, local auction dates and times, recommended places to buy products, etc.
Things You May Need
A few dollars to pay for your booth rental, at least a few ones, fives, and tens to make change, items to sell, a table covering, a welcoming booth and a smile!
Perhaps you will want Kleenex and paper towels, pens and paper to write down what you sell, a calculator, a book, a cooler with ice and water and a lunch, a folding chair, and items with prices marked.
Lots of good items are passed over because someone will not ask what is the price, or they thought it would be more. Make it easy for your customer.
To register for this Saturdays sale, or for further questions, call Moira McCormick, Polk County Agricultural Economic Development Office, 828-894-2281.

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